KOCHI: It was a formal conference, but not one of their routine black-suit affairs. To start with, the five CEOs sat around a table underwater, communicating through hand signals and placards. And they were there for a cause - a campaign to stop underwater pollution.
“It was a great experience taking the pledge to protect marine life while feeling the ocean all around,” says Dr Shyam Kumar, one of the participants of world’s first underwater CEO conference.
The other CEOs who dived into the deep waters of Arabian Sea include Hema Menon, the Centre Head of UST Global, Dinesh P Thambi, Vice President and Delivery Centre Head, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Rony Thomas Zacaria, CEO of Avon Mobility Solution Pvt Ltd, Chennai, and Rajagopal Iyer, CEO UDS group of Hotels.
The unique event was held at held at Grove Beach, Kovalam, jointly organised by Bond Safari and Udaya Samudra.“More than three billion people in the world are dependent on marine bio-diversity for their livelihood. And it’s everyone’s duty to prevent anything that affects the equilibrium, says Dinesh P Thampi.
Subin, chief dive instructor at Bond Safari, Kovalam, trained all the participants of the conference who spent more than 30 minutes under ocean.
Chairs and table, specially designed to the specifications of marine architecture, were first transported. “People should be made aware of how oceans are getting polluted in various ways,” adds Dr Shyam Kumar.
The conference was held as part of Ocean Love campaign, an initiative conceived to stop marine pollution and generate awareness.
“Though extensive underwater cleaning is on for a couple of years, the presence of plastic is increasing. It’s a material unknown to marine life and the micro form of plastic is consumed by various water species.
Ultimately it ends up in our food, creating too many health hazards for seafood lovers,” says Jackson of Bond Safari, the organisers. Every year tonnes of plastic waste end up in the sea killing seabirds, turtles, seals and other marine mammals that ingest the plastic debris.
“As the effects of marine pollution are not visible to us, awareness about the ocean is the need of the hour,” says Rajagopal Iyer.
Most are not aware of the fact that a huge per cent of the oxygen we consume comes from ocean, a much greater amount compared to what we get from rainforests.
“It’s the planktons that absorb the carbon dioxide we produce and their extinction can wreck the whole ecological system,” adds Jackson. The Ocean Love campaign is planning to execute a number of long-term plan programmes to protect the ocean and marine life in coming days.