The World Oyster Society

President's Messages

“Let the sea live. Let us live with the sea.” This is one of my own favorite sayings that I prefer to use at lectures and at other meetings. “Let the sea live” includes two meanings: One is not to kill the sea. Ocean environments should be preserved, not destroyed. The other meaning advises us to use the sea appropriately. Through the combination of these two, we can follow a course of supporting a wealth of marine life while maintaining sea environments in good condition to the greatest extent possible. We can accept gifts from the sea with gratitude that we can show by providing measures for artificially improving its production even a little. As a result, human beings can exist and co-exist “to live with the sea”. One who searches for the meaning of life in “living with the sea” will find life with the sea. We human beings, depending heavily on the sea for our food, are obliged to use the ocean, which covers about 75% of Earth’s surface, actively and subjectively to continue to live on Earth. However, the sea is not so generous that it permits unlimited development. As long as human beings harmonize with the nature to survive, “Let the sea live. Let us live with the sea.” should be rephrased correctly as “We are sustained by the sea”. In this sense, such a sense of humility that “we are allowed to use the sea” should be embedded in the education of young people. In this case, the most important task is that educators be free from the development-first doctrine with growth as the overriding principle, which was taught when we were young.

It is considered that human beings selected a new lifestyle of agriculture and stock breeding about 10,000 years ago. Human populations grew steadily thereafter. Later, triggered by the Industrial Revolution, humans departed from a terrestrial life framework. One aspect of this departure is that the ecological system of nature includes a material circulating system that is complete, whereas human economical activity has no such system. Our “affluent” society is based on “effluence” technology.

Various phenomena such as ozone layer destruction, global warming, and acid rain, as well as ocean pollution, which now pose global problems, were created artificially because the technologies that created them put settlement of these resolutions on the shoulders of the natural world. None of us can escape from these global scale abnormal phenomena. The atmosphere and seawater surrounding Earth are continuous. Consideration of that fact directly implies that no place on the entire Earth has been reserved as hallowed ground.

Human society has arrogantly embraced the belief that people are almost entirely free from the environment: that they can conquer environments anywhere and anytime. Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear that when environments change suddenly, even humans, with their adaptive capability, cannot cope with changes. There is no outcome but ruin. One readily apparent fact is that a healthy Earth has environments that still guarantee evolution and adaptation of living things including human beings. More correctly, it indicates an ocean planet. The term ocean planet derives from the fact that no planet exists other than Earth where as much as 75% of its surface area is covered by water. I consider that the real practice of “Let the sea live. Let us live with the sea.” points the course to maintaining this planet Earth as a healthy environment for all.

If we recognize the undeniable fact that primitive life born in the sea evolved into the present appearance of human beings, then it might be considered that a clue to resolving the question of how we should live on Earth can be found in the sea itself. As long as we are living things being kept alive in the linkage with the natural world including the sea, we should know much about the sea and others. This is the most important condition for “Let the sea live. Let us live with the sea.” Conclusively, construction and practice of a “Global-environmentally friendly aquaculture system” is nothing more or less than “Let the sea live. Let us live with the sea.”

(December, 2013)

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