Surfers spend more time in and around nature than a lot of other people, and it’s because of that that we at Aloha Surf Journal decided to get their thoughts on it. We sat down with Sally Fitzgibbons and asked her a few questions about her relationship, her experience, and the changes that are happening in the fight against marine pollution.
Aloha Surf Journal: Do you think in surfing, more than in any other sport, there is a special relationship between surfers and the environment?
Sally Fitzgibbons: In surfing, there is a very strong relationship between surfers, at least most of them, and Mother Nature. There are so many beautiful beaches, wildlife, and surfing spots around the globe to take care of.
As a surfer, you’re constantly in contact with the environment. Oceans are our playgrounds. We spend our days in the water, surfing waves and if we want to keep on doing it, if we want to continue to travel the world searching for waves, we need to protect our planet. It’s essential to keep our waves surfable.
Have you had a bad experience while surfing because of pollution?
My worst memory with marine pollution was certainly in Indo. People there have the bad habit of throwing everything in the ocean, believing that waters will clean it. When you surf, you are often under the impression that you’re paddling in a sea of oil and plastic bags. It is pretty disgusting. If nothing is done in the coming years, the future of surfing in the region is clearly threatened.
Do you see a positive or negative change regarding the protection of the ocean?
Mentalities are slowly evolving. More and more people are involved in the ocean’s protection, but it takes time for people to change their habits and understand how important it is to act for the planet. Environmental organizations have never been so powerful. Governments seem to be ready to consider the warnings of environmentalists and scientists, and green companies are popping up everywhere. We must keep on fighting for the environment if we want the next generations to be able to surf our waves.