Thursday, September 17, 2015

The failing oceans

It's tough being a realist.  But I am that.  And I am sadly realistic about the declining state of the world's ecosystems.  Climate change or not, the sheer numbers and dominance of humans everywhere in the world is wreaking a slow havoc with the ever-shrinking natural world.  We are deforesting, desertifying, urbanizing, industrializing, depopulating, destroying, and overconsuming.

The truth of this is everywhere, and over and over and over again there are reports that emphasize it.  We are on a slippery increasing slope, and we don't know where the edge is, over which we can fall with no hope of rescue.  It's a sad state for the world to be in.  I wish there was a world government that could make the decisions nations independently can't make.  I wish there were less people, without wanting harm to befall any of those now living.  I wish we could reverse course, much like the captain of the Titanic probably wished he would have take a more southerly route -- he likely wishing this after realizing that unsinkable in the case of his ship was unattainable.

The most recent reason for my soberment is the report on the state of the world's marine life, which simply stated is roughly half by numbers than what it was in 1970.  And that's an average -- some of the more popular and valuable denizens near the top of the food chain are down in population by 75%, or more.

What are we to do?  What is the clarion call to action?  I despair that anything can be done globally, due to the vested and commercial interests, from the sushi markets in Japan to the Catch of the Day at Red Lobster.

There are small islands of hope, like the nearly universal abandonment of shark finning, and the establishment recently of large marine reserves.  Enough?  No.  We need more, faster, and bigger, action on all fronts, universal global commitment to the health of the oceans.

I don't think it can happen.  I wish I could do more, myself, in the way of effective action.  I haven't eaten a "wild" fish in a long, long time.  But I'm only one person.

And eat more lionfish. Unfortunately, they AREN'T declining.

Failing fisheries and poor ocean health starving human food supply
"The updated study of marine mammals, birds, reptiles and fish shows that populations have been reduced on average by half globally in the last four decades, with some fish declining by close to 75 percent. The latest findings spell trouble for all nations, especially people in the developing world. ...

Adding to the crisis of falling fish populations, the report shows steep declines in coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses that support fish species and provide valuable services to people. Over one-third of fish tracked by the report rely on coral reefs, and these species show a dangerous decline of 34 per cent between 1979 and 2010. ...

The Living Blue Planet Report details opportunities for governments, businesses and communities to secure a living ocean. Important measures to preserve ocean resources include preserving and rebuilding natural marine capital, wiser consumption and prioritizing sustainability."

Living Blue Planet 2015 Report

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