The epidemic of humanity as an unbridled and unchecked life form struggling to break all natural laws for their own gain is reaching an all time high as our population exceeds 7.14 Billion globally. In our extensive growth we have a higher and higher survivability rate among the elderly in our society. We have an expanded sense of entitlement and a growing need for instant gratification.
What this translates into is a sort of consumerism and focus on humanity to the exclusion of the world around us and the geological and biodiversity that our planet has to offer. We have become the “me” society.
In our greed and lack of control we have brought numerous other species to extinction, depleted fossil fuels and geological resources,deforested vast tracts of land, mine vast regions creating scarred and dead pits and land fields, killed immense sections of topsoil, polluted our oceans and land in massive garbage dumps, and land fills, poisoned and depleted our aquifers, and fueled global warming on such a massive level that desertification has increased everywhere and glacial ice is melting. Ocean levels are rising, tsunamis and mega storms on the rise, and we are rapidly fishing down the food chain. Major species vanishing one after another.Scientists predict a full depletion of our ocean stocks by the year 2050.
So this brings one to consider some of the challenges that not only our planet, but our species face in the next few decades. Maybe it has not occurred to the general public, but in case you had not noticed, we are on our way out as a species. It’s not fatalism, nor mysticism or religion. It’s not some pessimistic prophecy, nor a sense of misanthropy.
Worldwide 18% of land mass is set aside in the form of sanctuaries, parks, and preserves. While there is a need to see more wild places protected on land the need is even more crucial in the oceans and yet our oceans are treated entirely differently than land. The fact of the matter is that 72% of our planet’s surface is covered in water, and this is increasing as polar and glacial ice melts raise sea levels. Yet less than 1% of our marine environments are set aside as protected regions or parks and marine preserves.
We have seen already a gross mismanagement of ocean stocks and a ready willingness of fisheries, industry, and corporations to exploit poor regulations, weak or non-existent law enforcement, and any unguarded fishing ground by any means needed to maximize profits.
In Somalia we have a huge ocean piracy issue that affects all commercial ocean traffic passing through the region. However the real story doesn’t start with piracy. It starts with industrial nations dumping industrial waste off of Somalia coastal waters because this poor nation has no real navy or coast guard to protect its Economic Exclusion Zone.
Followed by Italian, Taiwanese, Chinese, and Japanese fishing fleets aggressively and ILLEGALLY fishing out these coastal waters to the point that local fishermen who relied on fish for subsistence began starving or getting run down by criminal fishing fleets that they seemed powerless to stop.When these angered and outraged poor fishermen at last had enough, they armed themselves and attacked some smaller Japanese fishing boats, taking the catch in full.
In response the criminal fisheries brought along armed escorts.Now understand, this is the Japanese Government that supplied armed escort for their raiding fleet. Knowing full well that Somalia lacked the resources to repel their forces. Japan wouldn’t dare do this to a nation that could defend its coastal waters. But screw Somalia. They were easy targets!
What happened next was the obvious progression for the fishermen. They upped their armament and attacked these invaders. Now they were no longer content to take only the fish catch. Why not take the vessel itself?Sell it, use it, etc. Capturing ships and cargo led to better resources, more weapons, food, and a healthy fear of the Somalia coastal waters.
Later, as warlords and greedier elements of this nation caught on to the coastal wealth that passed through their waters piracy swung into a full-fledged enterprise. But it began with greedy fisheries! We have the Italians, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Chinese to thank for this situation. But this is just a political example of where ocean harvesting creates conflict and problems.
It’s nothing compared to the climate change, species depletion,pollution issues, and marine resource issues that we now face. We are starting to harvest krill to produce krill oil as a medical aid through beneficial fatty acids to help with heart disease, maintain the levels of certain blood fats(triglycerides), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer,osteoarthritis, depression, premenstrual syndrome, and menstrual pain.
If you look up side affects you will see things such as blood coagulation issues, shellfish allergies, diarrhea, fishy breath, nausea, and hemorrhaging. You will also see warnings about combining krill oil with blood thinners and other similar medications.
What you will not see as a “side affect” is what the harvesting means to rorqual/baleen whales, manta rays, basking sharks, and whale sharks that rely on krill for survival. What good is placing an international moratorium on commercial whaling if we are just going to starve out the animals as their populations are starting to recover a bit?
More to the point krill oil is not essential to us. It’s another new thing to add to our growing arsenal of medications, remedies, and natural cures for ailments. And to what end? Have you ever stopped to consider that while everyone wants to live a longer and healthier life, the question becomes one of balance and logic? SHOULD WE?
This is the single question we hate to answer honestly. We hate to face reality. Should we, is asked far too infrequently. It’s a simple question and usually the answer is simple as well. The answer is more often than not “NO” we shouldn’t.
Should we live longer? Not with such a large overpopulation problem. Our sustainable population level without depleting natural resources is 2.54 Billion humans at the most! We have not been at that level since the early 1970s.
Should we continue to treat our finite resources as infinite? No!
Should we harvest our oceans under regulated or unregulated until we deplete everything? No!
Should we be fighting to expand our population when we are already way over the sustainability level? No!
Should we start thinking about the big picture? YES!
If we stop doing what we are doing for 3 years you would be amazed how massive a rebound the ocean would make. If we cut all fishing down even by 50% the recovery would astonish the world. Nature is set up to regenerate and renew itself if it is given a chance. But unceasing pressure on that system and unchecked harvesting will ultimately kill this vital resource, and when our oceans die, we die!
This is the source of our oxygen, 70% of our annual supply in fact. 80% of our carbon dioxide waste gas is absorbed by phytoplankton in the sea. The world’s oceans control climate, gas exchange, temperature, humidity,rainfall, storms, etc. They provide us with food, transport, shipping, natural resources, and so many other vital elements to our survival. Can we afford to kill this ecosystem? To destroy our lifeline? To push nature to the brink?
The answer is obvious. NO! Sustainability is an illusion as long as we are unwilling to curb our greed and growth. Without developing a “should we” consciousness, we will continue down the rapid slope to extinction until there are none of us left. And if you think that this is something that is a distant concern for several generations in the future to have to deal with you’re wrong. This is a crisis we must face full force and soon, or the next one or two generations will be the last.
#globalwarming #sustainability #savetheoceans