The Ocean Is an Orphan
Sun Myung Moon
June 24, 1983
Why did I start Ocean Church in the first place? What is Ocean Church? Why do I involve myself in this activity, which I place such importance upon?
You may have heard me say many times. “There is no master or owner of the ocean. The ocean is like an orphan.”
You can wonder how many more centuries man will be able to continue to live prosperously on the continents. What if the world population increases tenfold, to 40 billion people on earth? It will be crowded and there wouldn’t be enough food, since so much of the land would be occupied. And it is questionable whether it is God’s will to limit the offspring of man through birth control.
The population problem is an old question, but to me it is critical along with the problem of pollution. This means the problem of bad air. Maybe man in the future will have to live without fire; we will have to live without so much cooking, so that means eating raw foods.
We might say that mankind in live in space. But can we build a house up there? People will try that for a few years, but they’ll decide to come right back to earth and then their choice will be the ocean.
Fish as Human Diet
Can fish be a good source of food for human life? The answer is yes. I learned that American white people have been going to Japanese restaurants to eat sushi only within the last ten years or so. Before that they didn’t even dream about eating raw fish, and now they like it very much.
If fish becomes the common human diet, then what kind can supply such a huge quantity of food? Small fish or huge fish? Actually tuna and shark represent the two tastiest fish. You may not have tasted these, but I have, so I know. For dried fish you need a fish that doesn’t have so much fat, so shark is best. Among the oily fish, tuna is best. These two will become the main source of protein in the future.
The Qualities of Tuna
It is a fact that one tuna lays between one and a half and three million eggs per season. Naturally the majority do not grow to maturity; only a few ever become as large as the mother tuna. But fish farming can be most valuable; if you take the eggs, isolate them and raise the fish to a substantial size and then return them to the ocean, there will be millions more adult tuna.
Tuna is the fastest moving fish, sometimes reaching about a hundred miles an hour. When they cruise, they go about 35 miles an hour. If you study the anatomy of a tuna you will see that it is a very striking creature. Like the shark, it doesn’t have any bone, just two spines. There are no small bones. It’s absolutely amazing when you see one.
How much food do you eat every day? You probably need about three pounds or 3.000 calories on the average, so if you catch a thousand pound tuna, there will he protein for so many days. One day tuna will be in such demand that the skin may be used for jackets — the most fashionable jackets — and the skin is very durable.
If you take one tuna and catch even 50 percent of its eggs, and raise them to full size, that would be enough to feed over a million people. If you raised the eggs of 100 tuna, the results would feed over 100 million people. By this calculation, it would take the eggs of 3,000 tuna to provide food enough to feed four billion people. That’s the potential.
Where do we find such a big farm? Well, the whole ocean is a farm and belongs to mankind. We can also plant some vegetables in the ocean and harvest them.
I feel that the world problems such as the human food problem of the future can be worked out using the enormous resources of the ocean. I am now investigating other species so that we can fish all throughout the year without interruption. Every season has its own kind of fish.
Americans and Fishing
Ironically, American young people have no desire to go to the ocean to fish. Look at Gloucester, for instance — it is the harbor of America. Today you see it so desolate; only a few ships. It isn’t because the fishermen ran away from here, but because the young people ran away.
Historically, America’s trade tradition is based on the merchant marine. America and the Atlantic Ocean have an inseparable tie in history. Your ancestors were so serious — much more than you are now. They suffered from religious persecution in their countries, so they came to the New World for new hope. America’s biggest city isn’t out in the Midwestern plains, but right here where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. And the other great cities. Los Angeles, and San Francisco on the Pacific coast, and even Chicago on the shore of Lake Michigan; it’s evident that mankind has a tradition of dwelling next to the great bodies of water.
Only during the last 30 years during the age of the jet plane has this tradition begun to change. It is evident in the declining shipbuilding industry. For example, nearly all the American boat-builders have closed, even in Alabama, except our Master Marine company. When the industry is declining, the world’s common sense is to flee the industry, but not us; it’s the time when we just get started to bring it up again.
The world has four fishing grounds. Three of them are here off the shores of the United States, but Americans are not catching the fish. Japanese, Germans, the Russians — these are the people who need so much fish and they want to catch America’s fish. Eventually other countries too will go to the American government and ask, “Why don’t you catch fish to supply the whole world?”
The American government knows it must do something but what can the government do when the young people run away from fishing? This is a serious dilemma, they should develop the industry, but they can’t do it without young people to work at it. America needs someone to work the fishing industry or this will become a national political problem.
People in Gloucester may say, “Rev. Moon, we don’t like you; go back to Korea,” but the American government knows that Rev. Moon is doing a great service to this country, and there’s nobody else doing it.
Manipulated Fishing Industry
When we speak about the fishing industry, we can generalize that it has been manipulated by a very small number of people who have money. For instance, you can hardly call tuna fishing an industry: the market had deteriorated so much and there was hardly any money going to the fisherman for his efforts. But between him and the Japanese restaurants selling sushi, there are middlemen, buyers and distributors who are the real money makers; they have no other motive than making a lot of money in the shortest time. They don’t think seriously about creating a lasting industry for the sake of the country and the sake of the world.
Once they accumulate their wealth, they retire and sell their venture to someone else, and the fisherman suffers even more. We can see the result of this today — nobody wants to fish.
It is our mission to provide a motive through which many people can see the apparent injustice. All fishermen and boat captains must get together and realize they must protect themselves from this system and they will fight the economic war against the middlemen and those higher investors.
You may have noticed that all the food prices have been going up except the fish index. Who sets the price of fish? Only a few people actually decide the prices among themselves, and this is what is happening right now; they are lowering the price of tuna fish. The market price is manipulated. Right now it is 51.25 per pound. But we are buying tuna at $3.00 per pound. Since tuna has a relatively short season, running only in July and August, there is a limited quantity of tuna to buy since there is a limited number allowed to be caught.
Recently, the men of a tuna fishing fleet who had been opposing us for seven years, calling us names and such heard that I am offering $3.00 per pound, but they were suspicious. However, they wanted to find out, so they came to the New Hope and asked if this were true. Suddenly it dawned on them; and they really started to welcome us. Before, when we caught tuna, they would try to cut the lines here, or cross the line there to interfere with us; but this time they opened up a way where we could more freely catch our tuna. There is now a drastic change in atmosphere.
Three years ago they never entertained the thought of selling to us; today they are running to us to be number one to sell, before it’s too late. Who would sell for $1.25 when he can sell for $3.00?
There are four major competitors in the business in Gloucester alone, which is the main port for tuna dealing. When all the fishermen sold to us the first day, and nobody went to the other three docks; they were really afraid. If they don’t have tuna, they cannot supply their customers, and that means all their customers will drop away and find a new supplier. Once they fall away, they don’t come back. This puts our competitors into a crisis situation.
Until now the town of Gloucester has been persecuting us. We wanted to establish our own gasoline station because our fleet is so large, but the town never granted us permission.
But now there are all these fishing boat people who sell their catch to us; if the Moonies leave, they may no longer get $3.00 per pound, so it’s in their interest to do some lobbying with the town, saying, “Why don’t you give the Moonies the license for the filling station?”
Actually there is a total limit of 2000 tuna that can be caught each season. If each fish weighed 1000 pounds, and we paid an average $3.00 per pound and bought every single tuna, the cost would be $6 million.
Many years ago we bought quick-freezing equipment. It is a freezer that freezes a fish within a matter of seconds; not taking two or three hours in the conventional manner. With that kind of freezing, the tuna is almost like fresh tuna — it keeps a high quality, and brings a higher price. This extends the tuna eating season to autumn, winter and spring.
The Japanese say that the Boston tuna are the most famous of all the world for the best tuna sushi. Soon people will accept the fact that the Boston Bluefin tuna will cost 53.00 and they will be glad to pay for it.
Ultimately we will not even have to sacrifice money to bring the standard of fish prices up for the benefit of the fishermen. We can expect that the Gloucester tuna fishermen, and other fishermen too, will begin to cooperate with our new strategy, because they will directly benefit from it. The trade secret will be how to preserve the freshness of the fish.
When we catch tuna and sell it for a high price, we still can make money. I will bring many young fishermen to America and they’ll say that our way is the best way to catch fish. Thousands of people will have a chance to share this experience, and you members in Ocean Church will be the teachers for all of them.
American economy can blossom through this prosperity but someone must sacrifice himself. The need is there, and people understand it, but they don’t want to do it themselves. Even though I am in my 60s, I don’t mind. “If I go to the ocean and leave a good tradition, then millions of people will live by that; and that is my desire.”
I started fishing way ahead of you; a month ago when the tuna season hadn’t even begun. I do that because if you work harder than I do, then my conscience will bother me.
Experience with Tuna
Once young men have the taste of catching tuna, you cannot forget it for the rest of your life. It’s so exciting. Every occasion that reminds you of the ocean reminds you of catching tuna. In their earlier years maybe someone thought it was very difficult and they try to escape it, but now they are waiting for me to call them. Like those members who have never met me before — they want to come here so badly.
Suppose you lose the tuna after he bites, and that evening when you return home, you don’t even want to look at those other tuna. Even that kind of experience is very precious.
When you cut fish, you can say to them, “Since you are a small fish, I will cut you up and throw you to the bottom to be eaten up by the big fish, for the sake of mankind. If you believe and pray like that, and then you catch one: that can really make a difference.
When you see me harpooning a tuna, and you see all that blood coming out you might think, “Why does Father as a religious leader, do things like that, since life is so precious?”
It’s not that I don’t know that life is so precious, but that the life of mankind is much more precious than that of fish. It is a sacrifice. The tuna will be happy, and we will be happy, for that matter, if we keep this awareness within ourselves. If our activity of fishing will help bring complete salvation to all mankind, it will bring joy to God who is the Creator.
In a way the boat is our altar: it’s a holy place. We don’t joke around, we don’t sleep once we get on the boat. We are serious.
We should dedicate our hearts to the sea. And we must endure hardships.
By no means is it easy to catch a tuna. We have to be very quiet while waiting: they are very sensitive. The tuna is very clever: he goes around the boat with his slanted eyes so he can see who is on the boat.
Learn about the tuna’s psychology. By the time he reaches you, the tuna has already gone through all kinds of experiences. Tuna never bite nice bait, but take the small unexpected bait. Very clever! The cleanest and most organized boat will catch more tuna.
If you get near the ocean, then you come to love the ocean: if you don’t ever get near it, then you can’t come to love it. You and the ocean remain strangers. I come to the conclusion that the real Moonie is the one who really loves the ocean. Why? Because the head of the Unification Church loves the ocean, and the son is inheriting this love from the Father.
In the very beginning, I never caught any tuna for many days. But I kept working at the tradition, and when that was set, I became very knowledgeable. Then, indeed, I became an expert. I’ve worked the ocean for almost ten years already, and that’s why I can really catch tuna now.
One Who Loves the Ocean
Ocean Church was created by me for the sake of mankind. That tradition has to be established by someone, so I halve been emphasizing Ocean Church at every opportunity.
For the sake of mankind, it’s righteous to go to the ocean. Who is that righteous American who wants to follow this tradition? I have been searching for that person for over ten years now in this country. Because the initiative is being taken by all other nationalities, America is losing the chance for using all these resources.
The ones who love the ocean most will be the owner or master of the ocean. I developed my business tradition based on what? Based on love. If you really put your heart into a business do you think that business can fail? No, the universe and also God would stand behind it. You might ask. “What is the limit of this Ocean Church business?”
And I will say, “Limitless. Ocean resources are limitless.”