In the heart of the seas


We French are funny people. Too busy to cultivate our garden, too inhabited by Peguy poems, too convinced that only the hills are inspired, too shaped by parochialism, we have forgotten that we live in the second maritime country in the world with 11 million kilometers squares exploitable area and 7 000 miles of coastline! If we were entering more of this reality, we tirerions a little optimism and could correct our endless analysis on the “French decline”. The future of the planet will indeed play in the seas. Exploitation (exploration) of marine resources can only provide answers to the economic, food, energy that formidable demographic pressure (9 billion people by 2030) poses to nations.

Already, without us realizing it, the sea is invited in every field of our lives. Do we know for example that 80% of the movement of goods by sea, 80% of the world’s population live within 100 kilometers of coastline? France has a crucial role to play in this new international situation where the board will be liquid. In July 2012, the Senate has also produced a report under explicit (albeit ugly): “maritimisation”, France against the new geopolitics of oceans. And the Centre for Marine Studies has published an album, “The Earth is blue”, to go on about the need to open the minds of our citizens to the urgency of turning to the sea, the question of protect, study, operate reasonably. This is the message expressed by Erik Orsenna in the preface given in this book: “Something tells me that the growth we so desperately need and wanted to bring some with teeth, is at sea, along it is our shores”. At Dunkirk, the Festival “Les Ecrans de la mer”, organized by La Guilde has no other ambition than to put the sea to the place it deserves: in the heart of all the issues.

Sylvain Tesson – President of La Guilde

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