Oceans: Environmental victim or savior?

Story highlights

  • It's time to recapture our sense of wonder about the oceans, says Philippe Cousteau
  • Environmental advocate asks people to think hard about all the services it provides humankind
  • Having a healthy ocean is an "environmental imperative" that will "dictate future of planet"
  • Measures to protect fish stocks and eco-systems can have huge impact on ocean health

Explorer, social entrepreneur and environmental advocate, Philippe Cousteau is a special correspondent for CNN International. He is also the co-founder and president of the leading environmental education nonprofit EarthEcho International.

(CNN)My grandfather Jacques Cousteau and my father Philippe dedicated their lives to revealing the ocean's wonders and helping us understand our connection to this vast expanse of water. Their work inspired generations and filled people with awe.

Times have changed and so have circumstances and perceptions about the ocean. In recent years, the focus has been on the very serious challenges the ocean faces and the impact these challenges are already having on our daily lives.
The effects of climate change, pollution and overfishing should be making headlines because the ocean and all of us -- and I literally mean all humankind -- who depend on its resources are facing the very real prospect of the catastrophic collapse of ocean ecosystems if we continue on our current course.