**This blog entry orginally appeared on the website oceanspaces.org.**/p>

The Ocean Sanctuaries’ phrase ‘our oceans reflect the consciousness of humanity’ might sound a bit ‘new age-y’ to some, especially to scientists, so allow me to explain exactly what we mean by that. 

Right now, we have gyres of trash the size of Texas rotating slowly out in the Pacific ocean, and the population of sardines and other big  fish, such as Blue Fin Tuna are  collapsing due to over-fishing. Coral reefs are succumbing and climate change and ocean acidification are affecting even how small mollusks make their shells. The list goes on and on. 

As long as we view the ocean as a trash dump to be exploited for our ever-growing food supply, rather than something to treasure and maintain through wise ecological awareness,  then exploitation is our state of mind–another word for  our state of consciousness.

So this is what is meant when we say the oceans ‘reflect the consciousness of humanity.’ As long as humanity’s consciousness or state of mind is one of exploitation and disrepect, then, the state of the ocean will reflect that. 

Humanity must learn to turn our consciousness  around from that of exploitation to that of being enlightened good stewards of the planet and the oceans–so, that they may return to the state of abundance and thriving that they once enjoyed–long ago.