The joy of being in the ocean / by Francisco Blaha

I grow up in the swamps and farms near the Argentina-Paraguay border, so the ocean was a late but vital addition into my life. 

I owe to the ocean and its fisheries everything I have, and most importantly, it defined who I am.

I don't know if my kids would be in fisheries, but I would love for them to have the opportunity to do so if they are keen... However I'm painfully aware that it would be for them much harder, than it was for me, to make a living out of it. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that motivate my work, I don't want fisheries to collapse and thus, do not allow them (and others like me) to build their lives in a positive way.

In any case, I'm pleased that my kids love the ocean, are not afraid of it, while are always respectful of its dangers and wonders.

This picture taken last week in Okopu Bay - Aotea/Great Barrier Island (100 kilometres / 62 mi north-east of Auckland) really pleases me as it resumes that feeling of bewildering and joy my kids seems to share with me in regards the ocean... (plus the laughs when I explained the playfulness around the dolphin's belly to belly "frisky" behaviour!)

No matter what they will become, I know that the ocean will be a part of their lives, and that makes me proud and happy.