Witty World

Saturday, July 18, 2015


“It is the worst of times but it is the best of times because we still have a chance.” - 
Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer

For millions of years, the ocean truly was a cradle of life, supporting animals large and small in its fold. During the early parts of the Industrial Revolution, the ocean was a silent buffer – absorbing much of the carbon dioxide, pollutants and effluents human society was creating as by-products of progress. It has, for years, supplied a growing demand for protein too. Unfortunately, large as she is, the ocean is not infinite, and nor are her resources or limits. Today we are very close to pushing those limits.

To protect the ocean and the life within it, through education, research and management, so that our children will continue to have access to this source of richness and beauty that sustains us today, Witty International School, Pawan Baug organized an Interactive Workshop on Marine Conservation on 18th July,2015. The guest speaker, a marine conservationist, Ms. Nayantara Jain, Executive Director of Reef Watch fondly known as Tara, steered the workshop ahead with an interesting and an eye-opening presentation and talk. Students were enthusiastic and excited to learn about marine biodiversity. Students learnt that every day, 22 million tons of carbon dioxide from factories, cars, power plants and other human sources are absorbed by the world’s oceans. The result? A frightening phenomenon that's making seawater more acidic, spelling disaster for many marine animals, from plankton and coral up the food chain to sea stars, salmon, sea otters, whales — and ultimately people, who rely on oceans for food.

Wittians learnt about coral reefs and the deep sea and were enthused about the different species of fishes found underwater. They were enraptured by the beautiful coral reefs which are the rainforests of the oceans but were shocked to know that they comprise of only 0.02% of the ocean but 25 % of the marine life depends on the coral reefs for their sustenance. Ms. Nayantara Jain shared her love for the most endangered marine predator, which also happens to be the most misconstrued; the sharks.  She even provided the students with the data which was highly shocking that sharks are responsible for taking lives of 11 human beings in a year while human beings are responsible for killing 4,117 sharks per hour, an astounding figure. Students were also intrigued to find out that India is the second largest exporter of shark fins. The Principal, Mr. Bijo Kurian quoted, “Through such innovative conservation workshops, scientific research and inspiring education we champion the need for plastic-free oceans, sustainable fishing, effective Marine Protected Areas and an end to overexploitation of marine life.”

The workshop paved the way for the naturalists within the students to blossom and help in conserving the marine life. Students learnt that if Ocean survives, Planet Earth survives. Ms. Nayantara ended the session with soulful and heartfelt words, “We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our children. And if we are not ready for a future wherein we see biodiversity only on Google and not in real life or sustain on oxygen made in factories we need to gear up and take action. To sustain and lead a better life all should first know the ocean and then use this knowledge and enthusiasm to sustainable management.”



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