I grew up on the ocean in Miami Beach, Florida. As a kid I traveled the entire eastern seaboard from Key West to Maine numerous times. I’ve slept on boats for months at a time, even surviving a hurricane in the middle of the Atlantic Gulf Stream. I was only thirteen at the time, yet I’m still unable to express that level of fear in mere words. I’ve been hospitalized by Man-O-War, bumped by sharks surfing, and can’t count the number of times I’ve nearly drowned. I’ve even witnessed the town I lived in completely wiped off the maps from the power of the tsunami that occurred on 3.11.11. Despite all that, the ocean continues to mean everything to me.
Prior to Japan’s triple disaster I witnessed the Gulf of Mexico get turned into a massive dead zone due to irresponsible corporate mismanagement on the part of British Petroleum. After that, Tepco’s unconscionable recklessness turned the Pacific Ocean into a toxic dumping ground, and continues to release high levels of radiation into the ocean and atmosphere. I’ve seen corporations treat the oceans of this world like it’s there personal trash bin, capable of taking anything, and everything they can throw in it, and at it. I’ve also seen the collapse of the fisheries, an industry that my entire family treasured for generations.
Multinationals are destroying everything at an alarming rate. They’re doing so in order to report quarterly profits to greedy shareholders that want more, more, more, to satisfy their endless and insatiable gluttony. Sadly, this abhorrent mindset is wreaking havoc to the world’s ecosystem. There is nothing sacred or holy to those cows that hold stakes in globalized schemes for profit. In the not so distant future, those pieces of paper that they hoard will bring no satisfaction whatsoever, as those notes reveal just how valueless they really are, and all of this will be the result of the economic catastrophe they themselves will be directly responsible for. A failed scheme that will finally collapse the entire world’s economic, and environmental ecosystems, simultaneously, which is regrettably already well on its way.
The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (2009) credits this statement as a “Native American saying.” H. Wasserman labeled it an “Osage saying.”
My father, uncles, grandfather, and great grandfather were all fishermen. They earned a hard living off of the ocean. My father was the youngest man to ever receive a captain’s license. He became famous for winning so many sports fishing tournaments that in his prime, nobody came close to his numerous achievements. He also served in the U.S. Coast Guard at seventeen years old, and today still holds several sport fishing world records.
I was there at my father’s side when he received a life-long honorary fishing permit to freshwater fish in the Everglades on Seminole Indian reservation land. I even won a Miami Metropolitan Fishing Tournament for a pickerel that I caught on that land.
Today there are two historical markers located on Miami Beach that honor my family’s contribution to the fishing industry. But, with all this history, fanfare, and hoopla, I wonder what the true impact of that legacy really means, as nearly the entire fish stocks along the Florida coast has been all but wiped out by commercial fisherman, poachers, and sports fishing enthusiasts.
Miami Beach. A historical markers honoring my family as pioneers of the fishing industry. Photo credit Stack Jones.
Grouper, snapper, codfish, and numerous other moratoriums abound along the east coast of the U.S. I can recall a time when all one had to do was drop a line in the water and it wouldn’t be long before dinner was nibbling at the other end. Yet, today the federal government, with all the scientific data available has caved in to commercial fisheries lobbying efforts, and blocked a much needed moratorium on bottom fishing in both the Florida, and Georgia waters. Simply, the once abundant supply of fish doesn’t exist any longer, and politicians who challenge the fisheries would be committing political suicide if they took the necessary action to prevent the inevitable collapse. This, while the insatiable demand for seafood continues to outweigh the fish’s ability to produce offspring as human populations soar.
The oceans are fished out, as commercial fishing, long lines, and trawlers leave nothing in their wake but the total destruction of habitats, and depleted stocks that are on the brink of exhaustion, or near extinction. Everything from Alaska’s king crabs, northeastern cod, southern grouper, billfish, snapper, and Atlantic, and Pacific blue tuna are experiencing dangerously low numbers. Collapse is imminent!
I’ve spent my entire life surfing, swimming, fishing, and diving from Miami to Main, and from Baha, to California, Hawaii and beyond. Today I surf, and dive the waters of Japan, which is a land of people that are not educated about this crisis, and as a result have no regard, empathy or understanding for anything that lives in the vast deep blue. We are running out of ocean life, and we are running out of time. This madness has to end.
Did a “God” really state these bold assertions? Or were they merely self-serving justifications made by a select group who benefitted from them? Religious sects can’t even explain the plurality in these statements, as most religions claim there is only one God. Yet, in this passage, the “God writer” uses the word us, and our two different times! It’s quite apparent that the errors of interpretation in this passage are numerous, both grammatically, and in the steadfast interpretation that there is only one God. If the theologians got this much wrong, in such a short span of text, isn’t it possible that Earth was never meant to be exploited to the point of collapse, while this God being sat in the clouds and idly winked and nodded in approval?
Whatever the “not so good book” said, there is no way Earth was supposed to be used up, abused, exploited and destroyed to the point of total collapse and extinction. The ecosystem is fragile. Simply, if humanity cannot exist in balance with nature, there will be no humanity. One thing is certain, the writers of the Torah got it wrong!
The Christians “new testaments”, and the Catholics “bible” have erred greatly as well. The followers of these various sects believe humans are to “go forth and multiply” without considering that the net result has lead to poverty, great suffering, overpopulation, and the total destruction of resources as a result of this antiquated dogma. I’m certain it was never “God’s” plan for man to recklessly multiply, and ransack the Earth of all it has. Where is the “moderation in all things” in this ill-conceived doctrine?
If ever the world needed Jesus to feed the multitudes with one fish, or turn poisoned water into drinkable wine it would be today. If there were ever to be an amendment to “God’s dubious acts”, it would be the 11th Commandment, “Protect and honor every creature that lives on earth, and ensure their sustainability for without them, there is no you.”
It was apparent to me even as a child that something was wrong with the way mankind managed things. After a long day of fishing in the south Florida sun, the fishing boats would return to the docks. The day’s catch would be displayed in front of each boat. The parties that returned from the fishing trip would take turns posing for photos as they stood near dead fish that had been hooked, gaffed, and then bludgeoned to death, while other tourists roamed the docks to see what the excitement was all about.
Sailfish and Marlin were usually mounted at Al Pflueger Taxidermy. But, the billfish that weren’t mounted would become treasured smoked fish. The other fish such as Wahoo, Kingfish or Mahi Mahi was fileted, and sold off to markets, restaurants, or locals that sought fish for their family’s dinner that evening. While all of this bustling and bartering was going on, the captains were busy booking parties for the next days trip.
Eventually the excitement would wind down, and as the sun set over the western bay, and darkness fell over the city, and the sunburned northerners returned to their hotels, and toddies, the docks transformed in a way that always profound me. It was then, when no one was around to witness it, the city garbage trucks would arrive. The dead carcasses of the fish, with their wide eyes and jaws gaping, would be hooked yet again, and tossed into heaps in the back of the trucks. Hundreds and hundreds of fish every evening were treated in this manner. Creatures that only a few hours earlier, that had been swimming freely in vast blue waters, and had been part of an ancient and well ordered biosystem were now mere garbage. This occurred day after day, year after year, and continues to this day as commercial fishermen dump an estimated 40% of their kill back into the ocean as unwanted spoils because they don’t have the necessary license for that particular fish, or the market price is so low that it isn’t worth holding them in the boat’s cargo area.
Bonita, barracuda, sunfish, sharks, even perfectly edible fish such as jewfish, grouper, and snapper were hauled off to the landfills in this manner. Is it any wonder that the oceans have become vast desserts today? Between the trawlers, commercial fishermen, poachers, and irresponsible sports fishermen there remains no place in the ocean for sea life to regenerate, so as to sustain itself.
On top of overfishing, the oceans are filled with massive amounts of plastic that swiftly kills seabirds, microorganisms, turtles, reefs, and fish that eat it, believing it to be plankton. Add storm drain runoff, which scientist say is causing more harm to aquatic life than overfishing, and plastic, and throw in the dioxins, methyl mercury, PCBs, arsenic, CO2, and thousands of other chemicals, and know well that the ocean doesn’t have much longer to cope with all this stress.
CO2 is causing ocean acidity as never seen since the last great extinction. This pH imbalance is killing off the world’s reef systems, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reefs at an alarming rate. It’s said that they’ll be dead within 80 years if CO2 continues to be deposited into the world’s oceans. The seas give Earth 70% of its oxygen. Without a living, and viable ocean mankind cannot, and will not survive. With all this writing on the wall, human’s are failing to read it. Ironically, the planet will suffer great damage, but the world will heal itself, and eventually creatures will abound, and life will renew. But, without us!
A postcard sent from Mexico when I was months old. At the time my father was the captain behind the wheel of the marlin scenes being shot for the film adaptation of Hemingway’s, The Old Man And The Sea.
Around four billion years ago the oceans of this world began to form. Without the oceans Earth would be as lifeless as every other planet in the solar system. The oceans are critical for the survival of many species, even humans. There are billions of people that rely on the oceans for their main protein source. The oceans have never been under a greater threat than the kind that man is responsible for today.
As the human race reaches 7 billion, and continues to grow, the oceans are struggling as a result of our relentless desire to take everything they produce. Regardless of the outcome. As dire as the current situation is, don’t believe for a minute that it can’t get a whole lot worse.
The ocean is 360,000,000 million square kilometers, and covers more than 70% of our planet. What’s living in the ocean is hidden from sight. Equally as astonishing is the fact that the oceans are becoming massive toxic dumping grounds, that, and the results of overfishing are fast turning them into vast toxic wastelands.
The Census of Marine Life is a global network of two thousand researchers from nearly ninety nations that engaged in a ten-year scientific initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans. The first comprehensive study was released in 2010. The results were alarming. Without finding a way to sustain life in the oceans, and allow them to replenish, there will be no future for life on land. These studies have found thousands of new species. Yet, as all of these unknown life forms are being discovered, time is already running out for them. The main culprit is commercial fishing.
As the human population continues to increase, the demand for food from the ocean increases as well. Like many coastal communities throughout the world, fishing has been an important part of life. Yet, giant factory ships, sonar technology, and nets as long as 100 kilometers has caused fish numbers to plummet dramatically, and in a short span of time.
Air travel, and Styrofoam containers have made it possible to ship millions of tons of any kind of fish around the globe, from ocean to plate in less than 24 hours. Those kinds of numbers are not sustainable and as a result many species are collapsing. In 2003 researchers from the consensus published a paper in the science journal Nature. The article compared fish numbers with those of the 1950s, and concluded that in a little more than fifty years, top ocean predators such as tuna, sharks and swordfish have declined by 90%. Fish that reproduce slowly are fast becoming extinct. This pattern has consequences for all life. As a result of these declines, the ocean ecosystem itself is in peril.
The Census of Marine Life asked the question, how much longer could the ocean tolerate the present levels of commercial overfishing? If present trends continue unabated, commercial fishing as we know it would collapse by the year 2050. Today, ocean scientists and researchers are at the forefront of attempting to manage the remaining stocks before several species are lost forever. Legislatures must act now, and enact mandatory fishing moratoriums to prevent commercial fishing from causing total collapse. Act now, and we can prevent this from occurring. Do nothing, and the outcome is obvious.
Capt. Jack Stone, (far left), and Capt. Elsworth Stone (far right) sport fishing pioneers of Miami, Florida. Photo credit Doris Barnes.
In Australia there are habitats that are facing threats with implications that scientists are only now beginning to understand. The Great Barrier Reef has had tourists visiting the waters for around eighty years now. Sadly, by the time the next eighty years pass, the reef’s ecosystem will have changed beyond all recognition.
Climate change is impacting the temperature of coral reefs. Rising ocean temperature are causing corals to bleach out, and die off at an alarming rate. When water is too warm, corals expel algae (zooxanthellae) that is living in their tissues causing the coral to turn white. Corals can survive bleaching, but they are under enormous stress. In 2005, in only one year, the U.S. lost half its reefs in the Caribbean Sea. Half!
Ocean acidification is also causing coral to die off at an alarming rate. Ocean acidification is the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth’s oceans, and is caused by the uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Approximately 30–40% of the carbon dioxide released by humans into the atmosphere dissolves into the oceans, rivers and lakes. By the 1960s carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere has risen by roughly 20%, and by 30% since the rise of industrialization. As a result of all this carbon dioxide being absorbed by the ocean, they are becoming more acidic. Without limiting further increases of CO2, the world’s coral reefs don’t have a chance of surviving into the next century. Even if we stop CO2 contamination today it would take many centuries before they would return to full health.
The sea represents the last major scientific frontier on planet Earth. Scientific expeditions continue to discover not only new species, but also even new phyla. The role of these species in the ecosystem, where they sit in the tree of life, and how they respond to environmental changes really do constitute mysteries of the deep. Despite technological advances that now allow people to access, exploit or affect nearly all parts of the ocean, we understand very little of their biodiversity, and how they are changing under our influence.
Uncle John Hardwick (far left), fishing with Doris Day. Circa 1962.
The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis analysis published in Science, February 15th, 2008 shows that over 40% of the world’s oceans are heavily affected by human activities and few if any areas remain untouched.
Looming largely is the most catastrophic disaster to face the planet since the last great extinction. No, it’s not an asteroid, or a microorganism that threatens to wipe out mankind. It’s not big brother, or even the threat of nuclear annihilation. It’s the fact that human greed, and the lack of sustainable sensibility is already resulting in the extinction of millions, and millions of creatures. Many that have yet to be discovered.
Approximately 90% of all top predatory fish are gone. Commercially fished species are 80% gone as well. The ocean ecosystems are being destroyed at an alarming rate. According to top marine scientists, if we continue, the oceans will be nearly empty in a mere thirty years. By 2050 there will be no edible fish left.
What are the causes of these dire circumstances?
Dr. Jeremy Jackson is one of the most prominent marine ecologists in the world and he has a message regarding the world’s oceans. Sadly, his message documents the declines in coral reefs, decreasing numbers of large marine fish, and losses of coastal and marine ecosystems. More than just an academic researcher, Dr. Jackson has actively searched for innovative ways to reach the public, applying his skills as a communicator with his scientific knowledge to inspire action. Dr. Jackson desires to reach a broader audience and affect change into the future with tomorrow’s generation on this topic of interest.
Dr. Jackson is the William E. and Mary B. Ritter Professor and Director of the Geosciences Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In addition, he is a Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Dr. Jackson was featured in a Scientists at Work article, saying that firm attention must be paid immediately.
Prof. Daniel Pauly of the University of British Colombia, who is one of the world’s top experts on the declining state of the ocean stated that the process of the destruction of the ocean has already been long underway with too little being done, way too late.
Fish Biomass 1900.
Fish Biomass 2000.
The first whaling quota was set in 1946. This was the first international commitment to restricting the catch of a sea animal. The problems that arose from quotas were that shipping fleets were expanded, and equipment such as sonar meant that it was relatively easy to locate schools of fish. It also meant that there was no place on Earth that fish could steer clear of commercial fishing, and no way for their dwindling numbers to recuperate. The harsh fact is that annual fish hauls greatly exceed the oceans ability to reproduce, or even sustain itself.
The EU quotas are nearly 50% higher than most scientists and researchers recommend. The truth is that the ministry of fishing in most countries is acting on behalf of commercial fleet owners of the fisheries. Since the 1950s, global fish catches have quadrupled. There are nearly 100 million tons of fish taken from the ocean each year. Ironically, most fisheries in the world only continue because they are greatly subsidized. Overfishing is so out of control that fisheries are paid to fish because fishing itself is not economically sustainable. Subsidizing commercial fishing only encourages the destruction of ocean biosystems.
For centuries Newfoundland was a haven for cod fishing. In 1992 the Canadian government declared a moratorium on the northern Cod fishery, which had sustained the community for the previous 500 years. In that year the Cod biomass dropped to 1% of earlier levels recorded. Overfishing pushed the Codfish of the northern Cod biomass to near extinction. Considering the importance of the Cod fishery to the livelihood of Canada’s coastal communities, and the northern Cod’s initial abundance in the region, the fishery being mismanaged until it collapsed is inexcusable. To this day the northern Cod has not recovered. Just as then, biologists continue to issue warnings to governments. But, none of them are listening.
Capt. Jack and Capt. Slim Caroway. Circa 1950s. Photo credit Doris Barnes.
2. Destructive fisheries.
In the 1950s, and 60s fishing began to take place on a huge scale. Bottom trawlers with enormous nets, and steal chains scraped the ocean sea floors. It was an efficient way to catch large amounts of fish in a short time. However, this method of fishing was destroying the entire ecosystem they operated in, and continue to operate in. Trawl fishing destroys the ocean bed, which is where young fish hide, and had always been able to survive, and grow to adulthood. The destruction of the seabeds is analagous to cutting down entire forests. Without a forest, wildlife such as birds and deer have no place to live.
It also took hundreds of years for the sea floors to develop. A trawl can eliminate hundreds of years of natural processes in one single passage. Surprisingly, even trawl fisheries are able to obtain sustainable fishing licenses. How can a trawl fishery, which modifies an ocean ecosystem to the point of collapse be considered a sustainable form of fishing?
The world nation ministries of environment have all agreed to preserve 20% of the oceans by 2020. The target of 10% for 2010 has already passed. That 10% mark doesn’t exist. There is a huge disconnection between what is said, what needs to be done, and what is actually being done.
Of the seven species of ocean turtles, six species are drawing near extinction. This is due to destructive fisheries. There are 22 million kilometers of long line fishing that exist in the oceans today. A long line can be one hundred kilometers long, with thousands and thousand of hooks on that line. These baited hooks attract all kinds of sea life including tuna, sharks, sea turtles and dolphin. Each fish dies a horrible death, as it takes 12-24 hours of fighting before they finally succumb. Shockingly, everything that is not tuna is thrown back overboard. Dead! This is known as by catch, a term used to describe fish that are caught unintentionally by fisheries. Between the long lines, the nets and the trawlers, nearly every kind of animal in the ocean is dragged up from the deep, onto the decks of large ocean vessels, and whatever that particular fleet in not licensed to catch, is thrown back. Forty percent of what is caught using these methods is thrown back overboard due to licensing restraints. Often fisheries discard fish that would bring a low price at the market regardless of licensing requirements.
Is fish healthy to eat? Today the oceans fish are contaminated with toxic compounds such as dioxin, and mercury contamination. Large fish contain more toxins than smaller fish. The further you go up the food chain, the more toxic the fish is. Fish that are located near coasts are more contaminated than fish that are caught out at sea.
Mercury pollution is a serious health threat, especially for children and pregnant women. Mercury is emitted into the air by power plants, cement plants, certain chemical manufacturers, and other industrial facilities. In addition, over the years, many companies have used mercury to manufacture a wide range of products including thermometers, thermostats and automotive light switches. These products release mercury, particularly at the end of their life during waste handling and disposal. Mercury pollution released into the environment is a serious threat when it settles into oceans and waterways, where it builds up in the fish that we eat. Children and women of childbearing age are most at risk.
Once mercury enters a waterway, naturally occurring bacteria absorb it, and convert it to a toxin known as methyl mercury. This transition is particularly significant for humans, who absorb methyl mercury easily, and are especially vulnerable to its effects.
Mercury works its way up the food chain as large fish consume contaminated smaller fish. Instead of dissolving or breaking down, mercury accumulates at ever-increasing levels. Predatory fish such as tuna, swordfish, shark and mackerel often have mercury concentrations in their bodies that are 10,000 times higher than those of their surrounding habitat.
Humans risk ingesting dangerous levels of mercury when they eat contaminated fish. Since mercury is odorless, invisible and accumulates in the meat of the fish, it is not easy to detect and can’t be avoided by trimming off the skin or other parts. Once in the human body, mercury acts as a neurotoxin, interfering with the brain, and nervous system.
Exposure to mercury can be particularly hazardous for pregnant women and small children. During the first several years of life, a child’s brain is still developing and rapidly absorbing nutrients. Even in low doses, mercury may affect a child’s development, delaying walking and talking, shortening attention span and causing learning disabilities. High dose prenatal, and infant exposures to mercury can cause mental retardation, cerebral palsy, deafness and blindness.
Mercury level contamination regarding seafood consumption.
In adults, mercury poisoning can adversely affect fertility, blood pressure regulation and cause memory loss, tremors, vision loss and numbness of the fingers and toes. A growing body of evidence suggests that exposure to mercury may also lead to heart disease.
A 2009 study of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data concluded that roughly one in forty women of childbearing age have mercury in their blood above 5.8 micrograms per liter of blood, a level that could pose a risk to a developing fetus. Newer science indicates, however, that mercury actually concentrates in the umbilical cord blood that goes to the fetus, so mercury levels as low as 3.4 micrograms per liter of a mother’s blood are now a concern. Nearly one in thirteen women of reproductive age in the U.S. has mercury in her blood at or above this level, according to the latest data.
Dr. Jane Hightower, a doctor of internal medicine at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco also linked fish consumption to elevated mercury levels when she tested her patients. Dr. Hightower’s 2003 study found that 89% of the participating patients, chosen because of their fish-heavy diets had elevated mercury levels. Many had levels as much as four times that which the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe.
High mercury levels are reversible when people cut consuming mercury-contaminated fish out of their diet. Blood mercury levels drop, a;though it can take six months or more to do so.
4. Ocean debris.
Everyday a vast amount manmade debris washes up on the shores of every beach in the world. What doesn’t ends up in the ocean, and becomes part of the fishes diet. Hazardous material that is often found includes dioxins, PCBs, mercury and other deadly chemicals. When the fish that consumed these toxins is caught it ends up on the table in someone’s home.
A lot of ocean debris, and I do mean a lot is plastic, and Styrofoam, as well as other material that is hazardous to fish and bird life. These products thought to be convenient for human purposes, break down, and when they do, fish eat them, believing them to be plankton, which is part of their natural diet. Scientists have discovered thousands of toxic chemical compounds in the ocean. The affects on the environment has scarcely been examined, or even discovered. The beaches can be cleared of the debris, but within a short time, the same amount ends up back on the shore. Untold amounts never make it to shore. The five world trash vortexes are so massive they could never be cleaned up. Millions of fish, and birds die as a result of all of this garbage. The oceans today have been turned into huge bowls of toxic plastic soup. These vortex’s are like giant manmade island that exists in all of the world’s oceans. The Atlantic vortex is about half the size of Europe. The Pacific is often said to be as large that the entire U.S.
Fish mistake waste for food. The plastic particles are harmful as toxins attach to those particles. So, the waste we dump into the ocean, or that is carried to the ocean by storm drains end up as part of the human diet. Eel, muscles and tuna should not be eaten because of all of the toxic compounds in their meat. The fish that are most contaminated are the top ocean predators. Especially, the fish that come from polluted areas near storm drains that run off into the oceans. Experts warn that storm drains are wreaking even more havoc on the ocean environmental systems than even overfishing. In fact, storm drains are the number one source of contamination in the world.
During the 1970s and 1980s waste was dumped into the rivers that run to the ocean, and in the ocean itself, at a massive and uncontrolled, or unregulated scale. Rivers and seas brimmed with toxins. Eels have been discovered to have cancerous tumors as a result of ocean pollution. Dioxins, PCBs and other contaminates poison fish meat, and can be discovered everywhere in the entire world’s oceans. If people eat a lot of the wrong kind of fish, like tuna and swordfish the health risks are great. Mercury is especially dangerous to the birth and development of unborn children.
Capt. Jack fishing with Johnny Unitas, and the Baltimore Colts front line the day before Superbowl III. 1968. Photo credit Doris Barnes.
Globally the ocean is depleted of 100 million tons of fish annually. The majority of that is used for human consumption. One third of that catch is ground into fishmeal. This means that over 30 million tons of fish are caught each year to feed farm fish. It takes about 3 kilos of anchovies to produce 1 kilo of salmon. Chickens and pigs are also fed ground fish. Despite the fact that feeding pulverized animals to other animals has been banned in the EU, this doesn’t apply to fish. Fish are also used to make pills. Fish oil consists of Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish are only made up of 3-5 percent oil. There are approximately 20 kilos of fish to get about 1 kilo of fish oil.
Manufacturers of fish oil claim their products are good for joints, enhanced learning in children, (good for their brain and the development of their nervous systems) as well as many other things. Are these claims accurate? Many scientists state that none of this has ever been proven. The EU has recently rejected all of these as false claims. Now manufacturers have to remove them from their labels.
Capt. Jack and angler holding several sport fishing trophies. Circa 1950s. Photo credit Doris Barnes.
6. Carbon dioxide.
Oceans absorb carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide emissions are causing another form of disaster to the oceans, that is the swift destruction of coral reefs. Oceans give the world 70% of the oxygen it needs to survive. Yet, humans are destroying the thing itself that helps sustain mankind.
Fishing is an industry that runs off of government subsidies. Every taxpayer is paying for the destruction of the oceans. Human’s are not blind, but are entirely ignorant to history’s lessons as we continue to fish the world’s oceans until they are empty.
Without life in the ocean there is no life on land. Unfortunately, this is one fish tale that doesn’t keep getting longer every time it’s told. In fact, the more it’s told the fewer fish remain, until one day there will be no more fish tales left to tell.
Capt. Jack as a kid on Miami Beach. Circa 1940s. Photo credit Doris Barnes.
Stack Jones is an award winning writer, photographer and musician. In contrast to his music, Stack’s social, religious and political commentaries are scathing. He simply tells it like it is, without allowing external influences to mar his perspective. For more information visit http://stackjones.com.