Oceans do not separate us, they connect us together.
They are beautiful, ruthless, and expansive; they have abundant life within them that we respect and revere but, sadly, they are also being overexploited by industrial fishing fleets, devastated by human activities, and trashed by our waste.
This Saturday, the 8th of June is World Oceans Day. The day was designed by the United Nations as a way to celebrate everything we love and admire about the oceans, and to look for ways to protect them and those who depend on them for their livelihoods. This year's theme runs for two years, until 2014 and proclaims "Together we have the power to protect the oceans".
For Greenpeace Africa, this could not be closer to the truth. Today in Senegal, our team will be organizing a half-day meeting in Joal, a fishing village located a few hundred kilometres from Dakar. Talking to and working with fishermen and women of these communities is extremely important as they are the ones who would lose the most should the government start awarding licences to foreign fishing fleets again.
In January of this year, Senegalese President Macky Sall was awarded the "Excellence in National Stewardship of the Ocean" award during the 6th edition of the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards in Washington, D.C., after cancelling 29 fishing authorizations in April 2012 that the former regime had illegally granted to foreign pelagic trawlers.
It is responsible fisheries management like this that leads the way in oceans protection, and we hope to see more of it coming from West Africa.
Each of us feels connected to and depends on the oceans whether it's for life, or for adventure, so get involved this June 8th. Whether you organise a beach clean-up, choose only sustainable seafood, or take action online, make this Oceans Day count.
Here's how you can help:
Join 7000 other people calling in Casino supermarkets in Senegal to stop selling the iconic Thiof fish species until it's reached sustianable levels.
>> Sign the petition online or sign on Facebook.