Welcome to Seaweek 2015 (28 February to 8 March). It’s time to “Look beneath the surface – Papatai ō roto – Papatai ō raro”.
The sea is part of our lives—we swim in it, sail on it, eat food from it…
Many aspects of the sea affect us. The sea controls climate, supports life, wears away and creates land, and provides resources.
Life on Earth depends on the sea. However, look beneath the surface, and life under the sea is a mystery to many of us. Compared to our knowledge of life on land, we know much less about what goes on in the ocean.
New Zealand has a large and incredibly diverse marine environment. It extends over 30° of latitude—from sub-tropical to subantarctic.
Scientists estimate that our marine habitats provide homes for up to 65,000 marine species (although only 15,000 of these species have been named!).
Scientists also estimate that as much as 80% of New Zealand’s native biodiversity may be found in the sea. Yet less than 1% of our marine environment has ever been surveyed.
On average, seven new marine species are identified every fortnight.
“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realise that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent. ” — Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist
Seaweek is a great opportunity to learn a little more about life beneath the surface.
You might like to enter one of the Seaweek competitions:
National poetry competition
Write a Haiku (three-line poem) inspired by the Seaweek 2015 theme, illustrate it with a photograph, and post onto the Seaweek Facebook page.
“Seaweek Selfie” photo challenge
Post a selfie showing yourself “Looking Beneath the Surface” and being an “Ultimate Young Ocean Explorer” and post onto the Seaweek Facebook page.
Seaweek’s a wonderful time to know our ocean—its habitats, characteristics and inhabitants—better.
“The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides.” — Jules Verne, Science Fiction Writer