Updated: Jan 27, 2022
Growing up, when thinking about the Ocean, I always thought about the deep waters, the creatures within it, and the pretty turquoise blue I had only dreamt of seeing in real life. When I was 18 years old, I was finally able to swim in the ocean when I went to Cuba. I remember one night, as I was enjoying a beverage, I went to the ocean shore, walked in until the water went up to my knees, and just looked up into the sky FILLED with stars. As I did this, I could feel the waves splashing against me and I remember thinking this moment was magical. Now, I am a little older and, although I have only been to the ocean once, I am slowly learning the crucial role it has played in my entire life.
My name is Meghan and I am the Marketing Manager at Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures. I research and work closely with Pam to develop content that educates and inspires the SUP community on all things SUP and, (you guessed it), the ocean. One feature of the business that I have had the privilege of being a part of is the Closer To The Ocean email series. Doing research on all things related to the Ocean has given me the best ocean view, allowing me to learn and understand marine life, the central role the ocean plays in my overall well being, as well as the well being of the earth on a deeper level.
Where it All Began
I guess you could say I have never been educated on the ocean and what it has done for me. The first piece was learning how essential it is to the overall well-being of the earth, ultimately learning Ocean Literacy. Without the ocean, we cannot exist; the plants, trees, animals that wander and fly among us, cannot exist. The ocean influences the climate and weather, and ultimately makes the earth habitable. Mind blowing. Not only that, but the ocean remains such a mystery, in fact only 5% of it has been discovered and charted; there is so much more to learn!
Where It Hit Home
During one of my research sessions, I was learning about whales and was really connecting with the information on a deeper level. Whales are social creatures, just like humans. Without their group of whales (also known as pods) they essentially feel a lack of purpose. As humans, community and connecting with others gives us meaning, support, and love. They value communication and I was completely fascinated by this information and just thought it was so interesting to share the same values as these marine creatures. I wanted to learn more.
What I Did Next
One day, while scrolling through Netflix, I saw a documentary called Seaspiracy. With my new found interest and discoveries in Ocean Literacy, I decided to watch it and get more enlightened. I honestly went into this documentary thinking I would learn about the wonders of the ocean and interesting new facts. To my surprise, it was nothing like that, in fact, I think it is the kind of enlightenment and awareness that many of us need.
Seaspiracy is a documentary that was filmed in 2021 and is about the environmental impact of fishing. It was heavily suggested that the destruction of the marine ecosystem is due to commercial fisheries. More specific topics discussed included whaling in the Faroe Islands, the Taiji dolphin drive hunt, and modern slavery within the fishing industry and its particular prevalence in Thailand.
Watching this was heartbreaking, but also made me more aware of how I can support marine life. One topic specifically discussed was the catching and training of dolphins and whales for marine theme parks. The marine creatures are separated from their pods, trained to do tricks for the sole purpose of entertainment, taking away their purpose.
As I continued to do more research on the internet, I stumbled across stories about orcas at marine parks, such as Sea World. Many of these articles mentioned orcas dying at age 30 (more or less) while living in these themed parks due to illnesses; they weren’t being cared for properly. This is concerning considering orcas can live to be 100 years old or more in the wild. Orcas also help with maintaining the health of the overall ocean.
I have continued to stay updated on orcas and dolphins at marine parks, signing and sharing petitions to have them released. It is important for their survival and the ocean needs them.
Bringing More Awareness
One thing I want to continue to do is talk about the new knowledge I have gained; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Most importantly, I want to discuss what people can do to support these precious creatures that we reside with on this earth and encourage them to do their own research. Without knowledge, we remain puppets, feeding into this cruelty and supporting it.
I strongly encourage my ocean friends to watch the documentary Seaspiracy on Netflix. It will inspire you to support our ocean and be there for the precious marine creatures within them. We need the ocean and right now, it needs our support.
You can watch this documentary here.
I am incredibly grateful to the Closer To The Ocean emails for bringing this knowledge to my attention; knowledge truly is power. There is so much to gain from these emails, not only knowledge on the injustices occurring among the creatures of the ocean, but interesting facts, and recent trends that have made headlines.
I think the most important thing is to recognize all that the ocean does for us. I encourage readers to research Ocean Literacy and learn more about how essential it is to the human experience. I also encourage you to find something you are passionate about in regard to the ocean and get involved in some way. There are many activists that advocate and participate in beach/ocean cleanups, educate and bring awareness of plastic pollution and so much more. Sign a petition - it literally takes minimal effort to do this. Talk about the things of the ocean, the good, the bad, and the ugly, because it is all important.
To learn more about how to get Closer To The Ocean, sign up for our emails to learn new facts about our marine friends and what you can do to help. You can also follow Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about the Ocean and marine creatures within it.