James Rus­sell

Element - - Contents - El­e­ment ed­i­tor

Back in the old days, my fam­ily, en route to the coast for our hol­i­days, would com­pete to be first to spy the blue rib­bon of sea on the hori­zon, hence earn­ing the dis­pen­sa­tion to scream. ‘I see the sea!’. My par­ents were ter­ri­ble at it.

The ocean elic­its a vis­ceral re­sponse in all of us; we in­stinc­tively like to be near it, on it, in it. It’s surely sci­en­tif­i­cally im­pos­si­ble to ex­plain, given our un­suit­abil­ity to an aquatic en­vi­ron­ment. Per­haps it’s the amoe­bic soupy bits of our brain re­mem­ber­ing from whence we all came.

Yet it’s un­de­ni­able, our link to the sea, and the de­cline in the ocean’s health and well­be­ing are ar­guably the strong­est stim­u­lus for mak­ing us all stew­ards of en­vi­ron­men­tal causes.

In this is­sue we cel­e­brate this life force, yet we also chal­lenge our­selves to take steps for its preser­va­tion.

We are cer­tainly not pow­er­less to make a dif­fer­ence. Join a coastal clean up (visit sus­tain­able­coast­lines.org.nz for a full list) choose farmed seafood or a plen­ti­ful wild stock for your meal, and avoid sin­gle-use plas­tics, which make up the bulk of the enor­mous rub­bish gyres in our oceans. Do you re­ally need a straw in that drink, or will your lips work just fine?

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