SELFLESS LOVE & DEDICATION FOR THE OCEAN – ARTIFICIAL SQUID NEST

Due to the continuous pollution of the ocean such as undersea garbage, ocean acidification, and overfishing, more and more people care about and pay a lot of attention to marine environment protection and would like to do something or try their best to protect and conserve it.

In recent years, numbers of squids have continued to decrease enormously due to the environmental deterioration. If this situation goes on and on for years without conservation, squids will face extinction for sure.

Mr. Wang, the diving instructor, loves this ocean too much and is exactly one of these enthusiastic people who work behind the scenes.

One day, a fisherman said to him: “Now we can hardly catch squids. Can we cut bamboo and pull it to the bottom of the sea together? Can you help me save them?” He promised that fisherman without hesitation and volunteered to help squid restoration in spite of being called “fool.” He would never know that in the beginning, it was just for fun without knowing anything at all.

Starting from scratch, he learned the ropes step by step on his own. He used the bamboo baskets and palm leaves to build squid nests, but the effect was not good. Through trial and error, he found out the perfect material – Makino bamboo in the end. Because the bamboo grows like gorgonians and is private and safe enough to successfully “cheat” squids to lay eggs.

Even though Mr. Wang put a lot of efforts to cut bamboo on the mountain in the morning and then pull it to the bottom of the sea in the afternoon which was very hard and labor-intensive. However, for the first year, the government officials did not agree with such an idea. They believed that it was an artificial reef that would destroy the environment. Mr. Wang deeply believed that he should stick to what’s right and whatever is worth doing is worth doing well. He ignored them and thought that even if the government fined him, he would not stop doing it. After the good effects for the second year, the city officials finally realized and turned back to him to cooperate.

Mr. Wang said: “I am like an architect. I pull the bamboo to the bottom of the water and build their “nest”. The whole area is almost like the size of a car. Until squids feel that this is a safe place and would start to lay eggs.

After the “nest” was built, he also worried about the impact of the undersea garbage. He wanted to give squids a clean, healthy and beautiful home rather than laying eggs in the garbage dump. Therefore, he started collecting rubbish from the bottom of the ocean. His friends laughed at him and said: “Everyone is catching fish and lobsters at the bottom of the sea, but you bring a pile of rubbish ashore.” Mr. Wang did not mind and continued to do what he thought was right. All these years, he has been injured and even his wound of a finger was infected with germs and become inflamed so that he had to take antibiotics for a year to avoid more complications such as infection or amputation.

Mr. Wang devotes himself to build artificial nests (nearly one million dollars for the expenses). At the craziest time, he went for a dip in the sea 4 days a week to accompany squids. All these efforts have yielded rich fruits with a string of squid eggs hung on the bamboo. He said: “The first time I see, full of egg, I am almost about to burst into tears. How could it be possible that squids are such lovely creatures?” After a successful restoration of tens of millions of squids, once he was surrounded by more than 100 squids after diving in the sea, just like showing their appreciation and love. Now, other divers or diving enthusiasts call him from “Squid Daddy” to “Squid Grandfather”.

Mr. Wang said: “I love this ocean too much to get out of it.” I often tell my daughter: “I do not want you to have too much burden. When I am really gone someday, I would like to choose cremation. My ashes will be scattered over the ocean, as I wish to return to the sea. I can be accompanied by the little squids, their children, and grandchildren. This is my biggest wish and the happiest thing.”

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