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Understanding the importance of the ocean, taking responsibility & making the next generation heard

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

Messages from Fiona-Elaine Strasser, All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassador from Germany

Fiona-Elaine Strasser, Ocean Youth Ambassador from Germany

The 26th episode of the AtlantECO podcast is our second conversation in a short series where we meet young people from around the Atlantic basin to listen to their messages as All-Atlantic Youth Ambassadors. This programme was launched in 2019 under the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance and brings together and empowers young ocean professionals as they promote sustainable development and stewardship of the Atlantic Ocean, to give them a voice within their communities and beyond.

This conversation is with Fiona-Elaine Strasser, ocean youth ambassador from Germany who is keen to engage with people from her generation and ensure everyone understands the importance of the ocean for our society, and that studying it is crucial, not only for the future of our ocean, but also for our future as we depend on its health.

Fiona is part of the EuroSea project, an initiative that is focused on improving and integrating ocean observing and forecasting in Europe for a sustainable use of the ocean (you can listen to the episode dedicated to EuroSea here). For her it is important for people, especially those of her generation, to recognise that the data we collect from the ocean is the basis we need to get a better understanding of how the ocean functions. In the short term it helps us get accurate weather forecasts, and define the status for aquaculture and fishing quotas, and in the long term, we get better predictions linked to climate change or how currents might be changing and how that would affect nutrient cycles and so on.

Her hope is that the whole world understands how important the ocean is for us, especially those who are the least aware of how the ocean impacts us at every moment, for example those living far from the coasts. And her vision is that we start taking responsibility, and that we enable enforcement of the regulations and listen to the amazing ideas that the scientists come up with. With the ocean being so vast, it is difficult to know if people comply with the rules, for example with high seas “the no man’s land”, where no one thinks they are responsible but everyone takes whatever they can, so people should start taking responsibility for their behaviours and decisions.

Her main call to action is for politicians and decision makers to listen to her generation, to invite them into the debates and give them power to contribute to decisions being made, because it is their future that these are impacting.

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