(This story is featured in Wild #183, Autumn 2022)

Oceans are an extremely important part of our lives. Therefore, it is important that we endeavour to protect our oceans for our future generations.

This starts with the younger generations of today learning and understanding why the oceans are so special. More than this, we can encourage our youth to take steps every day towards protecting
the oceans and encourage children to learn about and help them want to care and protect the marine environment.

Teaching children to care about the ocean is reasonably easy as there is so much to discover. There are many, many documentaries’ children can watch like BBC’s Blue Planet but giving them the live experience of a snorkel or dive in the ocean itself blows their minds as we found out.

Aliquam is the is the brainchild of Anthony Gordon and is the Latin word meaning ‘scuba’ or ‘bubbles’ or ‘to a large extent’. Anthony comes from a background in rescue, short story telling and filming the mountains in Nepal to the oceans of the northern beaches and Mosman in Sydney. With his genius in storytelling Anthony recognised an area where we could generate the younger generation to experience the ocean.

“Giving a gift of the ocean to the next generation is more than just an ideology. It is also more than passing on the turbulence created by generations past. What it is about is simply making a start to give them the gift of knowledge and ability. To provide them an extremely rare opportunity to experience their first breath beneath the surface.”

Aliquam was created to encourage children to be more mindful of human impact on the ocean. The idea was to take some local children underwater, some for the very first time with a snorkel let alone scuba and get their reactions to the experience and inspiration on future protection.

There is that great saying “out of sight, out of mind” and this could not be truer for the oceans.

What the oceans need is action and as the youth of today are the future, they will inherit our oceans. The part they play is vital and this will only happen if they experience this firsthand and know and care about the ocean.

Taking these children underwater was an amazing experience and their reactions were very heart-warming. Making it fun is an essential part as kids love to have fun, but at the same time teaching the safety aspects of snorkelling and scuba diving.

To take care and know about the ocean you really need to have experienced the ocean. By understanding how everything is connected and how we interact as humans with the ocean children will learn to care as we learnt from this programe – they want it to be a better place. This programme showed us by the reactions of the children how well this can work.

After spending time with these children and hearing about their experience, it would be an ideal world if all children were taught about the oceans in schools and were given an underwater experience whether it be just snorkelling or an intro to scuba diving.

The oceans need protecting and by showing and letting children experience them up close and personal how they can protect them, what better legacy to pass on.

There are diving experiences and learning to dive courses from the age of eight years old. As children’s physical and mental stages of development are different, defining what age depends on the child’s maturity, learning skills, and physical strength. The minimum age for scuba diving is generally 10 years old with parent or guardian permission. All potential student divers must complete a brief scuba medical questionnaire that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while diving. In some areas, local laws require all scuba students to consult with a physician before entering the course. On the physical side all students must complete a 200-metre swim or 300 metres in mask, fins and snorkel without stopping. There is no time limit for this, any swimming strokes may be used. Finally float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods.

Thank you to our supporters and sponsors for this series for showing their care in protecting the oceans.

CONTRIBUTOR: Jayne Jenkins 

This story originally appeard in Scuba Diver Mag