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I Spy...
Observing the ocean
– from a waka!
Giving
the Ocean
a Voice
an interview with
Teone Sciascia
by Don Long
How is t...
Pacific voyagers
For thousands of years, voyaging canoes – double-hulled ocean-
going waka – have been exploring the Pacif...
Te Mana o te Moana
Don: Tell us about the purpose of the voyage.
Teone: We are giving Te Moananui-a-Kiwa, the Pacific Ocea...
Haunui
Don: Tell us a bit about Haunui, the
waka that you sailed on.
Teone: Haunui is a double-hulled,
ocean-going voyagin...
Te Hauora
Don: What did you observe?
Teone: When we were a long way from land, the ocean looked
pristine. As soon as we go...
What’s the proof?
Don: Were your observations systematic?
Teone: Systematic observations are very expensive. You need sate...
← Previous 7
Acknowledgments
Text copyright © Crown 2013
The map on slide 4 is by Scott Pearson. This image is copyright ©...
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Giving the ocean a voice

  1. 1. I Spy... Observing the ocean – from a waka! Giving the Ocean a Voice an interview with Teone Sciascia by Don Long How is the Pacific Ocean doing? Is it in good health? The crews of seven voyaging canoes have been finding out. What did they observe? →Next Individual images, text, and multimedia for download → I Spy... Table of contents → From
  2. 2. Pacific voyagers For thousands of years, voyaging canoes – double-hulled ocean- going waka – have been exploring the Pacific. In fact, people first came to Aotearoa on voyaging canoes. Recently, a fleet of seven voyaging canoes, Te Mana o te Moana, spent 2 years criss-crossing the Pacific Ocean, observing its health. Kāi Tahu and Ngāti Kahungunu researcher Teone Sciascia sailed on one of the waka, the Haunui. Don Long spoke to Teone Sciascia after he returned to New Zealand. Te Moananui-a-Kiwa Don: What’s your relationship with the ocean? Teone: I was brought up next to the ocean. I love what it has to offer. I want my children to have the same opportunities that I’ve had. And I’ve been a research diver for the Department of Conservation. Don: When did you first think that all might not be well with the ocean? Teone: There were fewer and fewer fish. Then I heard that the coral on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia was bleaching. On dives, I found rubbish on the ocean floor, so I took part in cleanup dives. I couldn’t just stand by while things got worse. Bleached coral ↓ 2← →Previous Next
  3. 3. Te Mana o te Moana Don: Tell us about the purpose of the voyage. Teone: We are giving Te Moananui-a-Kiwa, the Pacific Ocean, a voice. Someone has to do this. If we don’t, who will? That’s the kaupapa. Don: Did you observe any more signs of problems with the ocean before the fleet set sail? Teone: On training sails, we observed rubbish floating in the ocean. Some of it looked like it had come from fishing boats. Some of it looked like it had come from the land. None of it should have been there. ↑ Haunui is named after Tainui kaumatua Hōne Haunui. 3← →Previous Next
  4. 4. Haunui Don: Tell us a bit about Haunui, the waka that you sailed on. Teone: Haunui is a double-hulled, ocean-going voyaging canoe. It is 22 metres long and 6.5 metres wide. It has two masts (tira) and two mainsails (rā). Don: Which part of the voyage were you on? Teone: I was a crew-member on Haunui from Suva, in Fiji, to Honiara, in the Solomon Islands. On the way, we stopped at Port Vila, in Vanuatu. It took 20 days to sail that part of the voyage. Teone’s voyage Honiara Solomon Islands Port Vila Vanuatu Suva Fiji New Caledonia Te Moananui-a-Kiwa / Pacific Ocean New Zealand 4← →Previous Next
  5. 5. Te Hauora Don: What did you observe? Teone: When we were a long way from land, the ocean looked pristine. As soon as we got close to land, we started to see rubbish. When we saw plastic rubbish and bits of sawn wood floating past us, we knew we were getting close to an island. Don: Did the crew take samples of the rubbish? Teone: It is hard to manoeuvre (say man-oo-ver) a waka, so it is hard to take samples. We took photographs of what we observed instead. The Fijian waka in the fleet found a marine turtle tangled in plastic rubbish. The waka managed to stop, and the crew freed the turtle. This was videoed. Don: What do you think these observations tell us? Teone: People don’t understand that the ocean’s health affects us all. For example, think about the fish we eat. And we saw dead sharks floating in the sea. Fishermen had caught them, cut off their fins, and dumped their bodies. This is so wasteful. ← Plastic can kill. ← Shark fins for sale – they are used to make soup. 5← →Previous Next
  6. 6. What’s the proof? Don: Were your observations systematic? Teone: Systematic observations are very expensive. You need satellites and research ships crewed by scientists. We have shown that there is a problem. Something is happening out there. Something is wrong and we are pointing this out. Don: So, in your experience, what is the value of people sailing into remote parts of the Pacific to see what’s going on? Teone: When we report what we have observed, it gives Te Moananui-a-Kiwa a voice. We give talks and describe what we have seen on websites. We show people our photographs from the voyage. These photographs are a wake-up call. We have discovered that things need to change within ourselves, within our communities, and within our countries too. Hopefully, our observations will lead to further research and some good changes. Glossary bleaching – when coral loses all its colour and turns white fleet – a group of ships kaupapa – purpose manoeuvre – move around pristine – clean systematic – in a well-organised and fair way, making sure all the parts are treated the same 6← →Previous Next
  7. 7. ← Previous 7 Acknowledgments Text copyright © Crown 2013 The map on slide 4 is by Scott Pearson. This image is copyright © Crown 2013. The photograph on slide 2 David Burdick/U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/htmls/reef3085.htm is in the public domain. The photographs on slide 1 © Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and slides 3 and 6 © Teone Sciascia are used with permission. The photographs on slide 5 (top) “Another dead seabird entangled in plastic” © TeamOCEAN from http://www.flickr.com/photos/11710139@N08/4491503708 and slide 5 (bottom) “Shark fins Taiwan” © Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: Shark_fins_Taiwan.jpg are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence. All the text, images, and photographs in this article may be copied, distributed, displayed, and revised in all media by teachers and students. Please attribute the work to the writers, illustrators, and photographers, where appropriate. Individual images, text, and multimedia for download → Teacher support material →

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