Wu: The feeling of being underwater, seeing a reef full of life; there's nothing like it.

American Way: What is it about our oceans that gives you greatest cause for sadness?
Wu: It's not the oceans that give me sadness. It's the people who are around the oceans, and their hypocrisy. I am astonished and saddened by the hypocrisy. The governments' policies and the fishing industry in particular, but scientists, too. There needs to be more cooperation and less self-serving interest if we're going to solve these problems.

American Way: What have the oceans taught you?
Wu: Working on the ocean teaches you nearly everything you need to know. It teaches you patience. It reveals mystery, awe for life. It teaches you respect.       AW

Ken McAlpine, a two-time Lowell Thomas award winner, is currently writing a book about a five-month discovery of the U.S.' best winter beaches for Three Rivers Press/Random House.

Norbert Wu has just been named "Outstanding Photographer of the Year" by the North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA), the highest honor an American nature photographer can be given by his peers. His newest book, Diving the World</>, will be out this fall.

(good fish, bad fish)
One thing we can all do to help the oceans' ecosystems is to make sure that we're supporting wise, conservation-oriented fishing practices. And it's as easy as your buying and ordering choices. The National Audubon Society has its own guide to seafood at www.audubon.org; type "Audubon Guide to Seafood" in the site's search engine or call (888) 397-6649. The Monterey Bay Aquar-ium has a list of wise seafood choices at www.montereyaquarium.org. Go to the site, then click on the icon "Choice for Healthy Oceans." Ecofish.com (www.ecofish.com or 603-430-0101) offers sustainably produced wild and farmed seafood for sale over the Web, and the company donates part of its profits to conservation groups.