The first underwater climate protest in history took place in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Activists are trying to draw attention to the United Nations goal of the world working to protect at least 30 percent of the planet Earth and its oceans by 2030.
With banners reading “We demand climate justice” and “Youth climate strike”, marine biologist and climate activist Shaama Sandooyea expressed outrage at how the world is coping with underwater climate change and joined large protests on Fridays for Future which was held all around the world.
“I decided on this beautiful, remote place in the Indian Ocean to convey a simple message – we need climate action, and we need it right away,” Shaama Sandooyea said. “Being from an island country has allowed me to see first hand how important healthy oceans are, not only to the climate, but also to the billions of people on the planet who depend on them,” she added.
The place where she decided to express her protest is near her home in Mauritius. She says she felt the need to become an activist at a young age after seeing how vulnerable that part of the ocean was to climate change and witnessing an oil spill in waters near her home country.
She organized this protest through the Greenpeace expedition. They use their ship Arctic Sunrise to observe the Saya de Mala region, a little explored area between Mauritius and the Seychelles. That part of the ocean is home to endangered green turtles and sea urchin fish. This plant is crucial to preserve because it absorbs huge levels of carbon dioxide. They make up only 0.2 percent of the seabed, but represent one-tenth of the ocean’s carbon storage capacity.