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Hi, my name is Jack. I am 13 and live in Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. Fiji is made up of 330 different islands, and has a massive marine ecosystem. And at the top of that ecosystem’s food chain are… sharks!
I really like sharks. They are amazing animals and are a vital part of our oceans and reefs. Sharks are important because they control the numbers organisms below them in the food chain. If there aren’t enough sharks then all the herbivorous fish will eat up the corals and everything gets out of balance. Our coral reefs are also under threat from climate change, pollution and over fishing.
I decided to make a LEGO set to raise awareness about the ocean, sharks and coral reefs. I think that if people everywhere see how majestic and beautiful marine creatures and reefs are while playing with models of them and know more about them, then it could make a major difference in making sure we have healthy oceans in the future.
2017 - The Year of the Ocean
2017 is the Pacific Year of the Ocean, so it would be a good time to do this. Fiji is hosting the first ever United Nations conference on Oceans in June to raise awareness about how important our oceans are for our climate and our survival. Many Pacific countries such as Fiji, Kiribati and Tuvalu depend on the ocean to survive and people rely on the ocean for their food and livelihoods. Many of the world’s tropical reefs, including the world’s largest marine protected areas (MPA), are in the Pacific, another reason to build this set (my coral reef model is an MPA).
The Pacific Island Development Forum has designed a special logo to celebrate 2017 as the Year of the Ocean and wrote me a letter of support for my LEGO idea and said that they would be honoured for their logo to be on the box and manuals. WWF South Pacific and the University of the South Pacific have offered to help by producing information on the animals and habitats, what state their populations are in, and what we can do to help look after them. This information could be placed on the LEGO boxes and manuals. They wrote me letters of support too and think my idea is a great one.
My set includes:
- A Pacific island coral reef, complete with sharks (Great White, Mako and a Nurse shark), some of the most common tropical fish (bat fish, angel fish, clown fish), crabs and lobsters, a sting ray, starfish, jellyfish, a green turtle, a sea snake, shells and a ship wreck.
- A coral farm (used for growing new corals for planting out on damaged reefs)
- Jacques, the leader of the dive crew, with a shark dart gun for tagging sharks so they can be traced.
- Cassie, a marine biology exchange student, she’s got an underwater camera.
- Joe, a local marine biologist. He is a friendly Fijian with a passion for tropical fish and has a tranquilizer gun and a magnifying glass
- Frank, a warden. His job is to make sure neither animals nor diver gets hurt, armed with a shark prod.
- Leo, a marine biologist who studies coral with coral harvesting tools.
- An inflatable boat and dive buoy and the equipment needed for marine conservation.
I hope you like my idea, and vote for me and share with others so that LEGO agree to produce my design and celebrate 2017 as the Year of the Ocean and support all our Pacific Island Countries in raising awareness of how beautiful and important our oceans are and what we can do to look after them better in the future.