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Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries


f you are flying Air Malta at the beginning of October, there's a good chance you'll find yourself in the presence of a modern-day superhero. Sneak a peek at the man sitting next to you or at the woman across the aisle – they could well be on a mission to save our planet from destruction. How? By keeping an eye out for our oceans, the source of all life on Earth. Oceans produce at least half of the world's oxygen: we literally depend on them for every other breath we take. Yet beneath the sparkling Mediterranean you might admire from your seat, worrying changes are taking place. Climate change, pollution, overfishing are threatening our oceans – and our own survival – to an unprecedented degree. Luckily, there is hope. This month, hundreds of ocean advocates fly to Malta to take action for healthy oceans at the fourth Our Ocean conference. In fact, you might even be one of them yourself –

if so, thank you for your contribution! Unlike traditional superheroes, today's ocean champions know that there is no straightforward solution: no single villain to hand over to the police and eliminate this existential threat. Instead, the path of action will require a mix of measures. Part of it will be making certain ocean areas off limits to fishing, giving marine life a chance to recover. Another part is tougher rules and more patrols that make it harder for pirates and other villains to plunder our seas. We also need to rethink our current economic model of consumption. Our grandparents grew up in a plastic-free world. Yet our grandchildren will still be finding the remains of our plastic when they take their own grandchildren to the beach. Many companies, big and small, are already looking into ways to achieve a more circular economic model, focused on recycling and reusing resources. These are the kind of innovative superheroes we need. And that is exactly


what the Our Ocean conferences are about: getting ocean advocates from all walks of life – policymakers and scientists, business owners and educators – into the same room and asking them what they can do to keep our oceans healthy. Our Ocean is a chance to review and track previous pledges we've made, measure our progress, and promote further action where needed. Together we can come up with bright new ideas, put them into practice, and spread the word, getting more and more people, companies and governments to join our ranks. I am proud that the European Union is hosting this year's conference, and of the part we are playing in creating a global alliance of superheroes for our oceans. Because it's not just the person sitting across the aisle. When it comes to our oceans, all of us can be a superhero. So why not lean back, gaze at the sea below and spend the rest of the flight asking yourself what you can do for our ocean?

Find out more at www.ourocean2017.org or contact us via email at MARE-OOC-2017_BUSINESS@ec.europa.eu #OurOcean

Profile for Air Malta

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Our location of choice this month is Frankfurt, a haven for travel bugs to visit year in year out. Make sure to read through our magazine wi...

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