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Why The Ocean Matters

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Why The Ocean Matters

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Dear friends and colleagues,

With pride, I welcome you to Matters Academy’s booklet, "Why The Ocean Matters".

Hong Kong and our surrounding seas have provided us with a livelihood for generations. We have achieved international importance because of our relationship with the ocean. Our Fragrant Harbour and our bond to the Greater Bay Area are home to more than 30 million people and play an ever-expanding role in global development.

We rely on the oceans for food, transportation, and recreation. And yet, our oceans are under substantial threat. How can we not put our concern on the ocean and our future?

World Ocean Day is upcoming on 8 June. We take this opportunity to commemorate World Ocean Day by this booklet sharing the work of ten leading individuals and their organizations affecting ocean change in Southeast Asia.

We celebrate and dive into the work of Ocean Warriors, Thailand Manta Project, saving corals in the Philippines, OceansAsia, the Shark Foundation, Conservation of Green Sea Turtles, Bloom Association in HK, and CITES Enforcement.

We also provide the latest insights on underwater ecology: how do fish feel? What do they know? the benefits of the ocean ecosystem, fish stock depletion, and coral reef ecology.

Lastly, let's work toward the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life Below Water, to embark on our journey echoing "Why The Ocean Matters".

Welcome.

Dear friends and colleagues,

With pride, I welcome you to Matters Academy’s booklet, "Why The Ocean Matters".

Hong Kong and our surrounding seas have provided us with a livelihood for generations. We have achieved international importance because of our relationship with the ocean. Our Fragrant Harbour and our bond to the Greater Bay Area are home to more than 30 million people and play an ever-expanding role in global development.

We rely on the oceans for food, transportation, and recreation. And yet, our oceans are under substantial threat. How can we not put our concern on the ocean and our future?

World Ocean Day is upcoming on 8 June. We take this opportunity to commemorate World Ocean Day by this booklet sharing the work of ten leading individuals and their organizations affecting ocean change in Southeast Asia.

We celebrate and dive into the work of Ocean Warriors, Thailand Manta Project, saving corals in the Philippines, OceansAsia, the Shark Foundation, Conservation of Green Sea Turtles, Bloom Association in HK, and CITES Enforcement.

We also provide the latest insights on underwater ecology: how do fish feel? What do they know? the benefits of the ocean ecosystem, fish stock depletion, and coral reef ecology.

Lastly, let's work toward the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life Below Water, to embark on our journey echoing "Why The Ocean Matters".

Welcome.

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Why The Ocean Matters

  1. 1. We celebrate and dive into the work of Ocean We celebrate and dive into the work of Ocean Warriors, Thailand Manta Project, saving corals in the Warriors, Thailand Manta Project, saving corals in the Philippines, OceansAsia, the Shark Foundation, Philippines, OceansAsia, the Shark Foundation, Conservation of Green Sea Turtles, Bloom Conservation of Green Sea Turtles, Bloom Association in HK, and CITES Enforcement. Association in HK, and CITES Enforcement. We also provide the latest insights on underwater We also provide the latest insights on underwater ecology: how do fish feel? What do they know? the ecology: how do fish feel? What do they know? the benefits of the ocean ecosystem, fish stock depletion, benefits of the ocean ecosystem, fish stock depletion, and coral reef ecology. and coral reef ecology. Lastly, let's work toward the United Nation's Lastly, let's work toward the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life Below Water, Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life Below Water, to embark on our journey echoing "Why The Ocean to embark on our journey echoing "Why The Ocean Matters". Matters". Welcome. Welcome. Dr Glenn Frommer Dr Glenn Frommer Executive Programme Director of Matters Academy Executive Programme Director of Matters Academy Dear friends and colleagues, Dear friends and colleagues, With pride, I welcome you to Matters Academy’s With pride, I welcome you to Matters Academy’s booklet, "Why The Ocean Matters". booklet, "Why The Ocean Matters". Hong Kong and our surrounding seas have provided Hong Kong and our surrounding seas have provided us with a livelihood for generations. We have achieved us with a livelihood for generations. We have achieved international importance because of our relationship international importance because of our relationship with the ocean. Our Fragrant Harbour and our bond to with the ocean. Our Fragrant Harbour and our bond to the Greater Bay Area are home to more than 30 million the Greater Bay Area are home to more than 30 million people and play an ever-expanding role in global people and play an ever-expanding role in global development. development. We rely on the oceans for food, transportation, and We rely on the oceans for food, transportation, and recreation. And yet, our oceans are under substantial recreation. And yet, our oceans are under substantial threat. How can we not put our concern on the ocean threat. How can we not put our concern on the ocean and our future? and our future? World Ocean Day is upcoming on 8 June. We take this World Ocean Day is upcoming on 8 June. We take this opportunity to commemorate World Ocean Day by this opportunity to commemorate World Ocean Day by this booklet sharing the work of ten leading individuals and booklet sharing the work of ten leading individuals and their organizations affecting ocean change in their organizations affecting ocean change in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia.
  2. 2. Harry Chan (2020 HKSAR Honours and Awards Medal of Honour (M.H.)) Hidy Yu (Founder from DEVE) Jamie Piyada Monmannerat (Thailand Manta Project Leader) William Restauro Villaver (Marine Biologist) Gary Stokes (Co-Founder of OceansAsia) Sam Cooke (Research Associate of OceansAsia) Andrea Richey (Execeutive Driector of H.K. Shark Foundation) Sharon Kwok (Director of Aquameridian Conservation & Education) Stan Shea (Marine Ecologist of Bloom Association HK) Hau Cheuk Yu Loby (Ph.D. in Marine Ecology, The University Of Hong Kong) Can fish remember? Can fish feel? What do fish know? What does the ocean ecosystem do for us? The wrong pick in the ocean Do fish need showers? What is it about under Hong Kong waters? Global actions What we can do for our future, inspired by SDG 14 targets 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 25 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 01 Sharing from Ocean Leaders 02 Facts about the Ocean 03 What we can do for the Future
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  4. 4. Some ghost nets I had handled were huge - this size was about two ferries. Some ghost nets are as large as a basketball court. Those nets piled up. You'd find the coral covered by the ghost net, whitening by looking close. It causes them to lack sunlight exposure. Worse still, ghost nets could trap coral reef fish. Imagine how the divers feel if they get trapped by a ghost net. Ghost nets pose a danger to divers. It causes harm to marine lives such as crabs too. We've seen so many times when we dive that the ghost net entangled crabs. They're still alive. We used scissors to release them. It's sad to see this. Marine lives are innocent to be killed in this way. I suggest divers take scissors and torches with them when they dive. Some divers have experienced entangling by ghost net. Ghost net may induce economic loss too. Imagine if a boat's engine got entangled by a ghost net. It costs a fortune to repair it. The ghost net is part of the marine rubbish, about 46 per cent. It's a significant proportion. The whole thing will affect the ecology. Ghost nets and garbage kill marine creatures, leading to a loss of some species, which could be the enemy of other species to maintain the marine ecosystem. In the end, the whole ecosystem loses its balance. For human beings, our economy, lives and health are heavily influenced severely. Misfortune never comes singly. In recent years, the decomposing styrofoam on the beach has also been discovered to harm living things. HARRY CHAN 2020 HKSAR Honours and Awards Medal of Honour (M.H.) in recognition of dedicated community service and contribution to the promotion of environment and conservation education " " Fireside Chat with Ocean Warriors Cantonese
  5. 5. HIDY YU Other than ghost nets, which I have seen a lot underwater, I have organised shoreline cleanup—a lot of rubbish. Such as construction waste, medical waste, expired food, animal bodies. You name it: Mahjong, broom, air conditioner. Now the, plastic bottle, beer cans, soft drink cans, plastic bags, and masks are typical in the world. The weirdest rubbish I have ever seen is Guan Yu's figurine, which was thrown into the sea. I asked my buddy if we wanted to take it. My buddy nodded. So we picked it up. There's lots of rubbish out there. It's hard to imagine what you'd find. The most unforgettable scene to me is the scene of Typhoon Mangkhut in 2018. Typhoon Mangkhut raged loads of rubbish to Heng Fa Chuen, one of the residential estates located along the coast. From the photos, you will notice indecomposable plastics remaining. Maybe those plastics have existed for over 20-30 years. Typhoon Mangkhut brought up the plastic issue to us. It's horrible. Founder, DEVE " " Fireside Chat with Ocean Warriors Cantonese
  6. 6. All species in the ocean are suffering. Bycatch is caused by the wrong method of fishing using the wrong type of gear, such as trolling boats which drag everything on the face of the ocean, including the coral reefs, and everything gets destroyed. To help with this problem is very simple. Just know where your seafood comes from and try to reduce your seafood consumption. You can save a lot of beautiful fish that you love just by choosing what you’re eating for each meal. The second one is tourism as you know and you see on social media, people are more drawn into the ocean nowadays, and you see a lot of people going to the beach, want to swim with these beautiful fishes. So we impact these animals when inserting ourselves into the ocean that’s not our natural habitat. It’s theirs. It’s your choice to choose how much negative impact you want to leave. Try to reduce that to as minimum as possible, starting from choosing the right sunscreen before going into the ocean. Make sure they’re not full of chemicals and going to damage the coral reefs. As simple as that, be more mindful of what we are doing. Be more mindful that we are going into becoming a guest at another person’s house. Behave. " JAMIE PIYADA MONMANEERAT Project Leader, Manta Trust (Thailand) " Thailand Manta Project English
  7. 7. WILLIAM RESTAURO VILLAVER Corals, both the fast-growing and the slow-growing, on average, grow only three centimetres per year. Branching corals like the Staghorn corals can grow as fast as 10 centimetres per year. For the massive corals like the practice at Pavona, the growth increment is less than 1 cm per year. In this regard, it will take at least 50 years for a damaged coral reef to recover, or it will not recover at all in some instances. So you end up with the dead coral reef. Most people, especially those not living in the coastal areas and going into the sea, think they are rocks, but corals are animals. An indication that corals are animals is that they need sunlight to survive. Night divers observe another indicator. During the daytime, what is seen as just stumps of some coral stones that when during night time they start to bloom into some beautiful flowers. Marine Biologist " " Saving Corals, A Philippines Story English
  8. 8. GARY STOKES Teams from OceansAsia have found dozens of masks washed up on this beach and others around Hong Kong on every subsequent visit. While this problem was first noticed in Hong Kong, it is an international issue: divers have found face masks on the seabed while on clean-ups near Côte d'Azur, France; over 300 discarded gloves and face masks were seen and photographed around Southampton in the UK over four days by a British photographer, and it's not hard to find masks littering the streets of most major cities. And more stories keep coming out regarding PPE littering cities across the globe. Co-founder, OceansAsia " " Marine Plastic Pollution from Face Masks English
  9. 9. SAM COOKE As I'm sure most of you know, plastic is everywhere. It is a highly versatile, lightweight material that can be fashioned into thin, transparent films or shaped into highly durable building materials. Humans produce a lot of plastic. Since it became a consumer product in 1950, plastic production has grown by 8.7 per cent per year! In 2018, annual global plastic production totalled ~359 million tonnes. That's the same as nearly 740,000 jumbos 747's, or to put it differently, that's 63 times higher than all the waste Hong Kong produced in 2019! The rise in plastic production has been linked with the versatility of plastic and the increased demand from the expansion of 'throwaway culture. Throwaway culture isn't just single-use plastic bottles replacing recycled or reused glass bottles or other single-use consumer items taking over markets. It also became part of the medical profession, with hospitals moving towards a 'total disposable system' in the late 1960s. Throwaway culture results in a considerable amount of plastic being discarded. This was partially by design, with the term 'throwaway living' being coined in the mid-1950s. In Hong Kong alone, up to 2,320 tonnes of plastic waste is sent to landfills every day (846,800 tons per year) in 2019, of which 33% is plastic bags alone. Research Associate, OceansAsia " " Marine Plastic Pollution from Face Masks English
  10. 10. Executive Director, H.K. Shark Foundation ANDREA RICHEY When I first volunteered for H.K. Shark Foundation, I was blown away. I never thought that I was contributing to the destruction of the shark population by eating sharks. And sometimes, I didn’t even know I was eating a shark. So, I decided to quit my job and full volunteer time for three years for the shark foundation, and later on, I became the executive director. Over a hundred a million sharks have been killed for shark fin soup. But the number is more like two hundred and seventy-nine. It’s no longer just for shark fins, but other products also. I was so blown away by this number, and I thought I needed to be the voice. There are so many charities doing good for children, but we talk about sharks as the impact that do so much for our ocean. They keep the sea clean. They manage the balance of the ecosystem. They control the fish population. They like to go after the weak and sick fish, so the sharks are cleaners, and that’s important. " " Save Sharks, Secure Your Future English
  11. 11. Director, Aquameridian Conservation & Education The green sea turtle has existed for so long in the earth. It's a pity not to protect them, pushing them to extinction. How can we teach our descendants? This is already an adequate reason to conserve the green sea turtle. Human beings overthink themselves as the most intelligent living creatures on the earth. But those scientific people who have natural talents know we know a little about the planet. We are still undergoing discoveries from the ocean in recent years - new marine creatures, new micro-organisms, and new whale species. The sea is enormous. Over 70 per cent of the earth's surface is the ocean. We have not counted the depth of the sea, where we barely have been there. We do not know what we can find from the sea to contribute to human beings. We do not even put a minute to think about it and destroy it very quickly. On land, it's easier for us to conduct conservation because we see the trash. We believe there is no trash in the ocean as we cannot see them. Remember, nowadays, the sea has become our garbage pitch. The green sea turtle is one of the greatest victims. The green sea turtle is vulnerable even for its survival. We should not take them for granted. SHARON KWOK " " Conservation of Green Sea Turtles Cantonese
  12. 12. STAN SHEA Once, I went to an aquarium. The tour guide and people around me pointed at the fish, saying what they had tasted on this fish that fish. It is the way how they appreciate fish. And indeed, there are different ways to look at fish. What is overfish? To put it into a simple term, the rate of catching fish exceeding the fish growth rate is overfishing. There are 61% full-fished, and 29% of them are over-fished in the world, according to the United Nations Food And Agricultural Organisation (FAO) data in 2014. Another fish crisis indicator is the size of the fish we catch today compared with the old days. In the same fishing competition held in the US, the winner caught the fish weighing around 20 kg in 1956. In 1980, the biggest fish caught in the competition was 9kg. In 2007, it was 2.3kg. The change is not merely the fish size but also the fish categories. This is a phenomenon around the world. Marine Ecologist, Bloom Association HK " " Fantastic Fishes and Where to Find Them Cantonese
  13. 13. Humphead Wrasses have an extraordinary life. They are one of the very few species which eat coral-attack Crown-of-thorns starfish. In other words, they can protect coral reefs. Another characteristic is that Humphead Wrasses is a protogynous hermaphrodite - born female and changes gender to male at a point in their lifespan. Around 9 years old, some Humphead Wrasses will become male to mate with the female to reproduce. As a fish species, their sexual maturity comes in very late. The prematurity stage is therefore very critical for the species to survive. Ph.D. in Marine Ecology, The University Of Hong Kong " Saving Face: Humphead Wrasse CITES Enforcement Cantonese HAU CHEUK YU LOBY "
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  15. 15. How many times have you travelled for How many times have you travelled for water? The crystal blue ocean, vivid and water? The crystal blue ocean, vivid and colour underwater creatures, gentle sea colour underwater creatures, gentle sea breeze. All that make us involuntarily go breeze. All that make us involuntarily go "wow". Natural as the ocean may seem, "wow". Natural as the ocean may seem, there is no such thing in the world that we there is no such thing in the world that we can take for granted. can take for granted. Human beings are regarded as advanced Human beings are regarded as advanced species on earth. We learn from experience species on earth. We learn from experience and are adaptive to change. Our knowledge and are adaptive to change. Our knowledge also directs us to manipulate the also directs us to manipulate the environment around us. environment around us. The current ocean news raises the alarm The current ocean news raises the alarm about our behaviours towards our about our behaviours towards our environment and other living creatures. environment and other living creatures. Climate change, loss of species, trash Climate change, loss of species, trash pollution startle us with what we have used pollution startle us with what we have used for our betterment on earth. It is time for for our betterment on earth. It is time for everyone to be made aware of our everyone to be made aware of our degrading oceans. Together we shall dive degrading oceans. Together we shall dive into the knowledge of protecting our oceans. into the knowledge of protecting our oceans. The ocean is beautiful. The ocean is The ocean is beautiful. The ocean is unfathomable too. After a series of unfathomable too. After a series of discoveries about the ocean, we will realise discoveries about the ocean, we will realise that marine creatures are cognitive. They that marine creatures are cognitive. They provide services to us as part of the provide services to us as part of the ecosystem. They evolve and improve just like ecosystem. They evolve and improve just like us. They are skilful at making a living, just like us. They are skilful at making a living, just like us. us. Should we feel grateful? Ocean conservation Should we feel grateful? Ocean conservation leaders help us be aware of the hidden issues leaders help us be aware of the hidden issues and drive us to be good global citizens. If and drive us to be good global citizens. If there is no such ocean problem, would there there is no such ocean problem, would there have been the coming up of these leaders? have been the coming up of these leaders? We should feel fortunate to have these We should feel fortunate to have these proactive, heartful leaders bringing up the proactive, heartful leaders bringing up the issues. Because "ignorance is not bliss". issues. Because "ignorance is not bliss". Let's learn more about the facts about the Let's learn more about the facts about the ocean! ocean!
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  17. 17. Source: https://www.globalgoals.org/goals/14-life-below-water/#things-to-do 01 Find a Goal 14 charity you want to support. Any donation, big or small, can make a difference! 02 Reduce waste – much of the trash we produce on land ends up in the oceans. Stop using plastic bags: Usage and improper disposal of plastic is a major cause of marine pollution. 03 Never buy bottled water – boil, filter, chlorine, rainwater, do what you can.
  18. 18. Source: https://www.globalgoals.org/goals/14-life-below-water/#things-to-do 04 Run a campaign on the effects of plastic use on the seas and oceans. 05 Organise a cleanup project for rivers and oceans. Engage your whole community to clean up a local river, seaside or ocean. 06 Buy local and certified fish. You can support small-scale producers by shopping in local markets and shops. 07 Stay informed. Follow your local news and stay in touch with the Global Goals online or social media.
  19. 19. SPECIAL THANKS TO:
  20. 20. SPECIAL THANKS TO:
  21. 21. SPECIAL THANKS TO:
  22. 22. www.matters.academy Storymap https://arcg.is/iaKXL

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