Do we fully appreciate our significant dependence on our seas?
Could we, and the ocean, benefit from deliberate curation of a stronger oceanic cultural identification?
The ocean is central to our lives, yet we often only realise too late, too slowly and when faced with emergencies.
What is close to us and our identity, we care for. What we know, value and how, affects our choices: consuming fish from sustainable fisheries, corporation's social licence to operate, approving of port expansion, and how we feel about trends in environmental conditions.
Australia is an island, 70% of our territory is undersea.
91% of Western Australians live on the coast, and our First Nations’ traditional ‘lands’ include ‘sea country’.
In WA, 20% of our fresh water, 50% of our power and 20% of our protein are from the ocean.
Coastal areas are the most popular places for recreation and the setting for our most beloved stories.
To achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and healthy oceans, international conventions recommend we have more holistic relationships with the ocean. We can use these challenges as a growth opportunity.
We can deliberately grow the breadth and depth of our caring for our sea country by drawing on both scientific and indigenous knowledge.
The real opportunity is to do this creatively, using art, digital communication, festivals, rituals and cultural centres as means to effectively grow our oceanic identity.