SAMS staff get poetical for World Oceans Day

SAMS filmmaker Andy Crabb as he appears in the video.

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Scientists and staff from SAMS at Dunbeg explored their creative sides in recognition of World Oceans Day last week.

Sixteen members of the Scottish Association for Marine Science have featured in a short video to mark the annual event by reading a line of a specially-penned poem called ‘Why we love the ocean’.

And while the topic of marine sciences does not naturally lend itself to phrases which trip easily off the tongue, staff managed to flawlessly recite lines such as ‘tiny microscopic algae’ and ‘abundant modest copepods’.

Penned by communications officer Euan Paterson, staff self-filmed their segments and it was then seamlessly put together by SAMS filmmaker Andy Crabb, who briefly stars in the video as a shark.

Euan said: ‘We were keen to mark World Oceans Day, even from lockdown. Our staff and students are fortunate enough to live and work beside the ocean, so it was something we could organise while respecting the lockdown guidance.’

Within 24 hours, the video, running to one minute and 29 seconds, had attracted more than 5,500 views.

Euan added: ‘We’re delighted with the response we’ve had to the video from around the world. The ocean knows no borders, it’s everyone’s concern, so it’s great to be part of a global event that encourages people to assess their relationship with that environment.’

The video featured director Nicholas Owens and staff members Emily Venables, Anuschka Miller, Bhavani Narayanaswamy and Andy Crabb.

Also taking part were Ben Wilson, Michele Stanley, Jordan Grigor, Leslie Mabon, Marie Porter and John Howe.

Lines were also recited by Helen McNeill, Hannah Grist, Kim Last, Finlo Cottier and Liz Cottier.

On World Oceans Day, people are encouraged to ‘celebrate and honour’ the oceans which connect us all. Organisers said: ‘By working together, we can – and will – protect and restore our shared ocean.’

A petition has been launched calling for at least 30 per cent of the blue planet to be protected by 2030.

To watch the SAMS video, see below: