Seadoku is a little experiment we're trying down here in New Zealand but it may take the world by storm.
Here's the thing. Later this year the United Nations will meet to discuss the fate of deep sea life in international waters. For over two years now Greenpeace, along with a chorus of other NGO's and scientists, has been calling for a moratorium on bottom trawling in international waters.
During those two years a bunch of nations, and I'm ashamed to say NZ is up there with the worst, have been systematially wiping out delicate deep sea habitats in a remorseless search for the increasingly scarce orange roughy. The world needs to know ... and that's where sudoku puzzles come in.
Our plan is to make thousands of little flyers and hand them out to people on their way to work all over the country. On one side is information about the bottom trawling issue but on the other side - and here's the clever bit - is a Sudoku puzzle!
Sudoku is the vehicle and the bait. People see the puzzle grab the flyer, stuff it in their pocket and take it to work. Slowly but surely information about the plight of the deep spreads into the offices, the lunch rooms and the cafes.
But then it gets really clever. Where do you get the solution to the puzzle? Where do you get another one? On our website of course greenpeace.org.nz/seadoku
And there of course we also have a short video about the bottom trawling issue, a slide show, an e-card, an online action and of course more Seadoku. Indeed there's even an online sudoku puzzle generator with a seemingly inexhaustible source of sudoku puzzles.
So there's the connection between sudoku and the deep sea. Tenuous perhaps but while you're doing your Seadoku puzzle consider this. If the puzzle takes you 10 minutes, in that time the international bottom trawling fleet will have destroyed an area equivalent in size to 1500 football fields. And, while the orange roughy spawns, this happens day in and day out.
So before you try your hand at Seadoku take a moment to send a message to the key governments urging them to take strong action at the United Nations.