♪‘We are going to MEMS Focus Week!’. The girl who came from Sushi country turned into Tuna and sang MEMS song on January 21st assembly. I thought it was really ironic because I was quite sure I consumed most Tuna in whole college! 3 days I engaged with marine environment a lot gave me a huge impact for my thinking.
MEMS- Marine Environmental Monitoring Service; People basically associate this cool service with Scuba diving session, but sadly they have no idea about what exactly we are doing except that. Actually, we have a lot of activities for saving our ocean. Sometimes, we go out of campus to clean the beach, to gather petitions, to talk and listen to people. On the other hand, we are trying to improve kitchen food for sustainability. Everyone in MEMS is really passionate about own project as well. We feel 4 hours in a week are definitely not enough. Also, the important thing is that our ‘marine environmental monitoring’ happens mainly in our daily life. I hope focus week became one of the good opportunities to know about us.
I have changed a lot through half year in MEMS.I knew that there are some hard facts about marine environments before coming AC, but I actually tried not to listen to them. We have to catch fish to eat, use ships to carry oil. We enjoy the barbeque in the beach and scuba diving in the sea. Everyone knows that we cannot live without ocean. However it made us feel like escaping from the reality. Human is selfish enough to destroy the environment and just leave it.
My most shocking experience during Focus Week was watching the movie of ‘the cove’. Before watching it, I had already heard from 2nd year that Japan kills 6000 dolphins per year, but I didn’t believe at all. Fishing whale in Japan is so famous and I used to eat whale in Japan quite frequently. But I had never heard about dolphins. On the last day of MEMS focus week, I finally got a chance to watch ‘the cove.’ People, Sign, atmosphere in the movie were so nostalgic for me, and soon I found dolphin fishing what happened in the movie was true. I was just so shocked and felt shame that I didn’t know anything about it before. I don’t think many people in Japan know the fact. In addition, I did some research about it and I found there are actually a lot of perspectives about dolphin fishing. It seemed a controversial issue. Japan has to preserve the food culture and food chain in the sea. I understand what they say too. However, as a member of service who saves the sea, personally I believe that dolphin fishing has to be stopped as soon as possible.
Many fish we are eating now will not exist 5 years later. But Farmed fish does not always become a good solution from aquaculture aspect. Still oceans are contaminated by human like BP oil spill. Focus Week made me think again about relationship between human and ocean.
Our sea is not a food generator, it is the place we are born and grown. We all who live in the earth have a duty to save our home.
MEMS will continue our marine monitoring until people notice how we rely on the ocean.
Behalf of Marine Environmental Monitoring Service,
Erica Yokoyama/ Japan 11-13