David Levy – Revelation Chapter One – Jun 19

It is human nature to cluster. An empty cinema and what happens? The next person who arrives sits right next to you, and similar occurrences happen in a car park.

It must have something to do with the need to feel safe and that is a numbers game. Marinet members have always called upon us to be party to other NGOs and we in fact joined the umbrella grouping called Oceans 2012.

The bottom line is that these groupings always agree on that which they all can agree: the lowest common denominator. They do so rather than speak out for what is aspirational and what are the solutions.

They do so to be one of the herd — to be known and heard as one of many, however ineffective they are being. It’s a recipe for social acceptance but also for failure of effort. Oceans 2012 was a classic example of this administrative failure. However for the group the back-slapping felt good, even when it wasn’t merited.

On Wednesday 5th June in London another such conference is taking place. It is organised to represent the success some feel is warranted for the NGO movement’s positional growth on marine management. I am sure that little rancour will be present and much good hearted bonhomie will be shared amongst the converted.

What concerns me is that once again the main issues will be side-lined because they are frankly unpalatable. That means the deterioration in global and regional fish stocks; the constant illegal breaching of international law by criminals, effectively supported by government agencies who display little or no enforcement to change this behaviour.

So “good news conferences” may satisfy the self-righteous, may even delude those on salaries to thinking that they are doing a major piece of work which will mean something. But the reality is that, with or without them, we are off the cliff and falling with an inevitable certainty of crashing.

How I just wish that Marinet had partners who would, in all honesty, share this positional statement.

Maybe the youth and Extinction Rebellion have reached a similar understanding. Either way, Jonathan Livingstone Seagull knew what it meant to aspire and in doing so became inspirational.

David Levy

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