From Sabine, the Assistant Cook and one of the activists on board the Arctic Sunrise in the Med right now - for our bluefin tuna campaign.
I have been at sea for almost five weeks now. To be out on the sea puts everything into a different perspective. Everything is magnified – both our human community and wild, pristine nature. For, not only is there a different, very special camaraderie among people on board, all of us being confined to a small space together for six weeks, but when you look at the sea and see no land and nothing but blue – the water, waves and the sky - our human presence in this setting feels quite miniscule.
In view of this it is a trip to try to understand how human beings – such a minority species – can inflict such damage. How we are capable of hunting bluefin tuna to extinction.
At the same time it is even more baffling to realise that we are practically the only people out here trying to directly stop the bluefin tuna fishing. And we are but a tiny spot within the Mediterranean Sea.
Now, we all read up on environmental and social injustice issues from our homes, in the newspapers, and take part in online actions to try to create a change – an important one. At the same time there is something amazing about actually being right in the middle of the action–– it is quite amazing to see that there are not many people out there in the field, so to speak.
Just looking at the sea and seeing nothing but blue and the water and the waves, and maybe an occasional fishing vessel in the distance, again shows me how small we are. This again reinforces my belief in the importance and necessity of activism, of direct action to protect the planet. I think it tends to get forgotten that direct action actually does make a difference that a few people can set off larger scale environmental and social change. So, if anything, my experience on sea and the different perspective of humans and nature that is triggered by it, reminds me of the necessity, power and effectiveness of this kind of action – for if no-one goes out and does something against the impending bluefin tuna extinction (and, needless to say, this applies just as well to all other forms of life on the planet) the whole issue at hand will just remain as abstract and removed from our “lives” as the tuna that is served on your plate in a restaurant.
Being right at the scene of the bluefin tuna fishing is a great reminder that activism, indeed, can create a change, that a few people on a boat can makes such a difference – be it simply in forms of bearing witness, or actually directly confronting the fishing. I love it.
All images © Greenpeace/Paul Hilton