Ocean Soul

Posted by Suzi | October 23, 2012

I know I’m harping on about the sea a lot lately but I have to share the work of ocean photographer Brian Skerry. I saw him talk at The Sydney Opera House recently, and wow he’s had one of  those careers that  kind of makes you want to drop everything, grab the first snorkel you see and plunge underwater.

Having spent over 10, 000 hours of his life in the sea, his insight into a world which it’s easy to think you know all about (but actually most of us don’t really have a clue) was so gripping.The cycle of life he describes; dictated by instinct, the patterns of the sun and moon.

Skerry explained how in order to truly capture his subjects, they had to be willing to let him enter their world. And what a world it is. Do you know the longest chain of mountains known to exist in the whole Universe resides in the ocean? It’s more than 40,000 miles long. Or that the blue whale, the largest animal on our planet ever (exceeding the size of the greatest dinosaurs) still lives in the sea? Its’ heart is the size of a Volkswagen car.

The sublime workings of it all makes the damage we humans have done all the more horrifying. We kill 100 million sharks every year. Hunters typically catch them, cut off their fins (while they are still alive) for soup and throw them back into the ocean where they either drown or bleed to death. In the past 100 years, our staple favourite meal favourites- tuna, cod, swordfish and marlin- have declined by up to 90% from over-fishing. While in the next 20 years, worryingly, the number of people relying on food from the sea is expected to double.

I know it sounds depressing, right? But, luckily, where measures have been taken to repair damage- the system has wondrously rebuilt itself. At the end of the talk, a lady in the audience, who was instrumental in founding Greenpeace Australia, stood-up and asked Skerry: “If there was one thing people could do to help what would it be?”

“Research”, he replied, immediately. I know it’ll take one more post of me going on about the sea but if I do this, then post it up- will you come along for the ride with me?




All photos: http://www.brianskerry.com/ 



  1. Amazing pictures! And amazing to hear all these things about the sea I never knew. Would love to hear simple ways to help.

    Comment by Leslie Dickens — October 23, 2012 #

  2. It’s normally hard to take in facts – but the way you’ve presented them alongside these images is clever! Thank you and look forward to hearing research

    Comment by Abi — October 23, 2012 #

  3. I’m in! Wanted to do something for ages just didn’t know where to start.

    Comment by Dave Richards — October 23, 2012 #

  4. Absolutely! Right with you.

    Comment by Denis — October 23, 2012 #

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Sydney Interior Designer, Suzi Boyle, Editorial branding, Interior Sourcing in Sydney and London