Asian Diver (English) - - Post Report - Text by Tas­neem Khan

THE SHIP IS UN­DOUBT­EDLY one of mankind’s engineering mar­vels – it rep­re­sents in­no­va­tion, ap­pli­ca­tion of physics, com­plex ar­chi­tec­ture, cul­ture, his­tory, trade, ge­ogra­phies, and mi­gra­tion. Ev­ery ship car­ries sto­ries with it, and those that sink con­tinue to gather sto­ries and sup­port lives long af­ter their years of sail­ing. Af­ter travers­ing oceans and in­ti­mately know­ing their char­ac­ter on the sur­face, these ships now wit­ness the oceans’ depth and dy­nam­ics. Like ev­ery­thing that en­ters the ocean – they be­come a part of it, in­ter­act and re­act with it.

The ever-vi­tal ocean yields an al­chemic power – it con­jures habi­tats and niches from what it is given. For cen­turies, hu­mans have been tap­ping on this power by us­ing sunken ships and other ob­jects to cre­ate and en­hance fish habi­tats in ar­eas of low fish abun­dance or high fish­ing pres­sure. Quite like a rocky reef, these ob­jects be­gin to house an­i­mals that re­quire hard sur­faces to at­tach to – tube­worms, oys­ters, scal­lops, snails and tu­ni­cates that weren’t able to live on the muddy seafloor now have a sub­strate that is crit­i­cal to their ex­is­tence.

Ship­wrecks are es­sen­tially new habi­tats with dis­tinct com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing on and within them. The first or­gan­isms to ar­rive are usu­ally al­gae and lar­vae. Over time, the wreck will tend to mimic ad­ja­cent and some­times seem­ingly dis­tant nat­u­ral reef sys­tems. This re­veals an in­cred­i­ble amount of in­for­ma­tion about the move­ment and con­nec­tiv­ity

For man to act upon a call to save the ocean, and for the ocean to ac­cept man’s of­fer­ing – mor­ph­ing it into a hab­it­able home for its crea­tures – is a beau­ti­ful act of har­mony be­tween man and sea

LEFT A diver swimming through the bridge of the found off Mt. Lavinia in Sri lanka

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