Monday, July 15, 2024

Dive into Seaweek

Aotearoa New Zealand’s national week to celebrate the sea, Seaweek, has begun.

The annual event is an opportunity for everyone to deepen their connection to the ocean and get involved in community events in their local area.

“There’s no way to overstate how important the ocean is to our way of life,” says DOC’s acting Marine Ecosystems Manager, Mathilde Richer de Forges.

“Our lives and our wellbeing are intertwined with the health of the ocean and everything in it.”

There are events in every region of the country, from free guided snorkel tours to photography competitions, public seminars, and beach and harbour clean-ups.

WHile recent weather events have impacted some event plans, DOC says there are many other ways to get involved digitally.

“Participating in Seaweek doesn’t mean you need to wear a wetsuit and flippers,” says Mathilde.

“You can also attend online events, participate in an online citizen science project such as Spyfish Aotearoa, or take the time to learn more about any aspect of the ocean which is interesting to you.”

New Zealand is a hotspot for marine biodiversity, with more than 17,000 marine species and more being discovered regularly.

Unfortunately, our oceans are suffering from the cumulative effects of climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing, pollution, and invasive species.

Taking time to reconnect with the ocean can give people a much-needed dose of optimism and inspire action to help protect it.

“The first step to protecting the ocean is to care about it,” says Mathilde.

“These experiences inspire us to take action and connect us with other people who are doing the same.”

Seaweek runs March 4 to 12. To find an event near you, visit https://seaweek.org.nz/whats-on.

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