I owe my life to the ocean. It has given me this incredible career that I love and it has, quite literally, spared my life on several occasions. The ocean connects me to nature in ways I never thought possible and it allows me to travel the world as I chase down the famous waves of Nazaré, O’ahu, Teahupo’o and more. Throughout my travels, I have discovered firsthand the beauty of the ocean and learned to respect its incredible power – it can and will remind you who’s boss whenever it wants.
As I’ve traveled the globe and ridden some amazing waves, I’ve seen with my own eyes the unfortunate reality facing the ocean. I’ve seen the destruction of precious habitat, witnessed the pollution of our shorelines and the incredible amount of fish we recklessly take from the sea. In each of the places I visit, the story is the same: the oceans are in trouble and need our help.
The oceans may seem inexhaustible when you stare out from shore, but they’re not. They have real limits. After too many years of fishing recklessly and carelessly dumping our pollution into the sea, it’s catching up to us.
During my time working with Oceana, I have discovered that today we catch less fish than we did in the 1990s despite having better technology and more boats on the water. We continue to expand dangerous offshore drilling even though the memories of what happened with countless oil spills are still crystal clear. And we still waste billions of pounds of fish every year by throwing them overboard dead or dying while a billion people on land go hungry. The list goes on.
But one of the great things I’ve learned is that despite all these threats facing the ocean, it’s not too late for us to turn things around. The oceans are resilient and they can bounce back if we take the right steps.
That’s why I joined Oceana. As surfers, we are on the frontline. We are connected to the sea more than most people and I think we have a responsibility to do what we can to help.
So, when you’re out there on the water this summer trying to catch your next wave, take a minute to think about how important the oceans are to all of us and consider what you can do to help.
To learn more, check out my new public service announcement that we filmed in O’ahu, Hawaii. Join me and Oceana. Let’s help the oceans catch a break.
To get involved with Oceana, visit www.oceana.org