There was a strong reason why I delivered an underwater speech to protect the marine life
Last Sunday, I climbed into the tight quarters of a Global Sub Dive submersible — essentially a clear bubble on a power platform — with sub pilot Randy Holt. As an islander and as the president of the Republic of Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, I am well aware of the ocean’s natural beauty. But our descent to 407 feet was a revelation as we passed through an incredible underwater world rich with marine life.
In just one area, I saw seven different species of coral and countless varieties of fish. We passed by a hammerhead shark, a tropical sunfish and a manta ray more than 6 feet wide.
I was proud to deliver a speech from that depth — a first for a head of state, I’m told — urging a greater worldwide effort to protect the oceans. But I wouldn’t want the novelty of the event to overshadow the message: Safeguarding the oceans and marine life from climate change, acidification, overfishing, deep-sea mining, plastic pollution and other threats is a global responsibility.
Much of the world’s food and half of the oxygen we breathe comes from ocean waters. The ocean is also the largest active carbon sink on Earth, absorbing more than 25 per cent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Allowing their continued abuse is self-destructive and invites catastrophe.
In Seychelles, we are working together to explore the […]