The theme: "Ocean Planet – Rise as Mainstream," a local translation of the 2023 World Oceans Day theme "Planet Ocean: Tides are changing."
On May 23rd, 2023, the Ocean Affairs Council unveiled the theme of the upcoming "4th National Oceans Day Celebration." Minister Kuan Bi-Ling announced that the event will be held from June 8th to 10 at the Hi-Ing Music Hall, within the Kaohsiung Music Center on the shore of the Kaohsiung Harbor.
Minister Kuan stated the inherent connection of Taiwan to the ocean, emphasizing that Taiwan is an Ocean State. She highlighted the significance of the ocean, which constitutes 72% of the Earth's surface, nurturing and sustaining life. Recognizing the ocean as the mother of all life on Earth, Minister Kuan stressed the importance of protecting and safeguarding the ocean as shared responsibility for beings.
Minister Kuan Bi-Ling explained June 8th was designated as "World Oceans Day" by the United Nations in 2009. In 2019, Taiwan enacted the "Ocean Basic Act," officially declaring June 8th as "National Oceans Day." This year's World Oceans Day theme is "Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing," which has two important meanings. First, the ocean is emerging as the leading role of our planet, reflecting a new trend. Second, it reminds us to acknowledge and respond to the changing tides. Thus, the Ocean Affairs Council set "Ocean Planet – Rise as Mainstream" as the theme for the 4th National Oceans Day, aligning and echoing with the global theme. The Ocean Affairs Council and its partners from local and central governments are committed to working collectively to safeguard the ocean and Taiwan's core values to address the evolving marine environment and ecological concerns.
"Magnificent Humpback Whale Breaching with a Rising Sun"
Minister Kuan Bi-Ling introduced this year's National Oceans Day key vision, an image of a "Magnificent Humpback Whale Breaching with a Rising Sun." She explained that humpback whales migrate through the waters in eastern Taiwan along the Kuroshio Current. The whale spectators often spot them during late winter and early spring. Their distinctively long pectoral fins, resembling wings, symbolize soaring through the blue inner space. Secondly, adult male whales produce intricate and melodic songs like the ocean's singers and poets. Kuan Bi-Ling highlighted the connection between the ket vision and the concert held as part of the celebration, in harmony with the captivating voice of indigenous singer Dai Xiaojun. Each note she sings reflects deep contemplation and emotions toward the enigmatic aspects of life.
The portrayal of the humpback whale leaping out of the ocean and crashing against the waves is striking. Enhanced by the backdrop of the rising sun, it's a symbol of the ocean's relentless vitality. This joyful and inspiring moment, frozen as the humpback whale propels itself from the ocean's surface, encapsulates the event's spirit.
A New Era of Ocean Governance
Kuan Bi-Ling stressed the profound relevance of this year's National Oceans Day theme, "Ocean Planet – Rise as Mainstream," and the visual of the humpback whale breaching. It signifies a breakthrough development in contemporary ocean governance. Through the Ocean Conservation Administration's dedicated efforts, the Parliament passed the Marine Pollution Control Act amendment. This amendment stands out for its stringent punitive measures, which impose substantial penalties and incorporate source tracing and pollution prevention. It represents a milestone in establishing comprehensive ocean protection. It symbolizes that this year is the kick-off year of a clean ocean. Yet, it requires a realization of intensified endeavor.
In the meantime, Kuan Bi-Ling emphasized the premise of the legislative passage of the "Marine Conservation Act," relying on the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders who hold diverse values and utilize the ocean for various purposes. All stakeholders must come together to protect and preserve the ocean. Amidst conflicts and ongoing deliberations, we can collectively forge a framework that fosters the sustainable development of Taiwan's marine realms. The process entails communicating with the scholarly community and acknowledging the potential infeasibility of swiftly attaining the ideal legal standards. Nonetheless, the focus persists on adopting an acceptable and pragmatic legislative version, thereby embracing a measured and realistic approach to marine conservation.
The Ocean Affairs Council dedicates to making incremental efforts and progress in communication with environmental groups. The goal is to develop a comprehensive marine conservation law that incorporates the current situation and considers the consensus from various sectors. The Council recognizes the importance of continuous engagement and collaboration to ensure the law's effectiveness and relevance to the evolving needs of marine conservation.
The 4th National Oceans Day event is full of inspiration!
During the press conference, the technological surveillance equipment from the Coast Guard Administration, marine waste recycling products from the Marine Conservation Administration, the Ocean Database, and the GoOcean platform from the National Academy of Marine Research showcase just a small part of the exhibition of the National Oceans Day event. The renowned singer Dai Xiaojun, as the ambassador of ocean music, graced the event with a captivating performance.
Kuan Bi-Ling announced an exhibition at the Hi-Ing Music Hall, Kaohsiung Music Center, from June 8th to 10. It features seven primary areas, "Family Fun," "Interactive Experience," "Convenient Services," "Environmental Protection," "Technological Governance," "Coast Guard Equipment," and "Marine Books and Publications," a total of fifty-four booths. The Council will offer 10,000 commemorative items to the attendees on June 10th, Saturday. Kuan Bi-Ling enthusiastically encouraged everyone to attend the event, emphasizing the importance of arriving early and actively participating.
The Ocean Affairs Council also announced excitingly the pop-music concert scheduled for June 10th. The show features an impressive lineup of performers, including the indigenous singer Dai Xiaojun, talented songwriter Wu Wenfang, Golden Melody Award-winning artist Sun Shengxi, popular band Ozone, and Bestards. (All the free tickets for the concert were claimed within 3 minutes after the system opened at noon on May 27th.)
On the water by the Hi-Ing Music Hall, the biennial "Maritime Exercise" is set to take place on June 10th at 10 am. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to tour the coast guard vessels following the exercise from June 10th to June 11th.
The Ocean Affairs Council stressed that this year's event presents a remarkable opportunity to get close to ocean affairs in all aspects, ensuring a delightful, educational, and visually stunning experience. They invite everyone to visit Kaohsiung and actively participate in the National Oceans Day activities. The Council encourages attendees to immerse themselves in firsthand encounters with the ocean, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the planet Ocean. For further details about the event, please visit the 4th National Ocean Day official website at https://nationaloceansday4th-oac.com/.