Once Upon A Time There Were Healthy Oceans

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And those oceans were clean, blue and teeming with life. We swam in them, we splashed in them, we sailed, kayaked and cruised on them and we fished from them. We delighted in watching otters and sea lions play in them and stood breathless if we were blessed enough to actually see a magnificent whale breach. Dolphins and porpoises frolicked followed by squeals of delight from anyone lucky enough observe them. And those tide pools – colonies of life in their own little kingdoms, teaching all of us how to survive in a sustainable eco-system or simply delighting us regardless of our age.

Ready for the reality check?

Here goes:

  • Globally we have never consumed more seafood.
  • It is estimated that fish contributes to at least 50 percent of total animal protein intake in some developing states throughout the world.
  • According to Seafood Watch, fishing practices worldwide are damaging our oceans-depleting fish populations, destroying habitats and polluting the water.
  • Scientists estimate that we have removed as much as 90 percent of the large predatory fish such as shark, swordfish and cod from the world’s oceans. (Please re-read this one!)
  • As far back as 2003, the Pew Oceans Commission warned that the world’s oceans are in a state of “silent collapse,” threatening our food supply, marine economies, recreation and the natural legacy we leave our children.
  • Today billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences making up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces.
  • In the Los Angeles area alone, 20 tons of plastic fragments – like grocery bags, straws and soda bottles – are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.

You get the picture. I am going to stop with the bad news here but I encourage you to learn as much as you can about the state of our oceans and figure out your call to action.

Thanks to the Monterey Bay Aquarium  staff and the wonderful folks at Seafood Watch for raising my consciousness forever.

And thanks to Ted Danson & Andy Sharples for leading the charge at Oceana.  They did a great show with me on the shape and future of our oceans.  Here’s a link to listen & learn.