Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What Are You Prepared to Do About It?


Why do we call this planet Earth when 71% is Ocean…That this is not known as Planet Ocean speaks only to the Ego of man because it has nothing to do with reality…

We humans are a rapacious species, seemingly incapable of taking good care of any place; over the past five centuries or so…my lifetime…we have done a very good job of taking from the ocean without pause to consider it’s fragility and the damage we’ve done to it by our indifference.

There was a time not so long ago when most thought that the ocean was so vast that it could absorb, magically, whatever we dumped into it and replenish whatever was taken from it. Today we know more how wrong those assumptions were. Many fisheries have reached maximum capacity, and many important ones, historically, have collapsed. Nearly one quarter of the fish caught worldwide are discarded as unusable; and aquaculture is continuing to expand rapidly to try to keep up with the need for fish but still remains in a regulatory vacuum…mostly to the detriment of the coastal environment…worldwide. We now need fish farms to supply more than half of the seafood consumed worldwide.
Although it has long seemed limitless, its resources infinite, there are myriad signs that we’ve now abused the ocean to the point of almost no return. The list of harms is long. Acidification, global warming’s evil twin, threatens to make all life in the ocean impossible for many species. Plastic waste is now so pervasive that on many beaches around the world, washed-up flip-flops and bottles are more prevalent than seashells; remote parts of the ocean of the ocean are choking on it, and it is so dense that invaded the very pores and guts of many fishes and seabirds. I see this all the time. Warming air and sea temperatures have put the planets ice at risk, threatening an unprecedented sea level rise, with severe implications for the 145 million of us who live just a few feet above sea level…run for the hills! Various pollutions, especially fertilizers and runoff from industry and development, threaten our estuaries and gulfs, creating dead zones that kill everything. We don’t need enemies…we are our own.

The reefs that circle the globe, the oceans proverbial canaries in a coal mine, are dying from a menu of ills. Eat Fish??? If so…you have to be concerned…I am! Experts predict that by 2048, all of the fish species that we presently survive on will be gone.

Do you like tuna sashimi? Get it now because all of the world’s bluefin is anticipated to be gone by 2012! FOREVER…GONE…get it? Yet Japan still fishes for it like it will remain forever.

Freshwater supplies are endangered globally; new reports suggest that even in the wealthiest nation…that would still be the US…20 million people drink polluted water…EVERYDAY!!!

There is some hope for optimism, with marine reserves and both national and international laws in the works that help make a difference. Lets support and make this a reality and quickly! Soon enough so that it has an effect rather than just preceding an inevitable demise. Now is not a time for complacency regarding the environment; it is not a time for modest steps. Now is a time for action…What are you prepared to do about it?

If you ever feel a disconnect with the ocean………..taste your tears.

I love you all…this is taken from the book Oceans: Official Companion to the Disney Feature Film with my voice added…help!
Here's another voice from The Nature Conservancy if you care to listen...

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  1. Awesome meeting you last night, Chef! Love what you are doing, and really appreciated what you had to say. Wish more chefs would think and be more like you!

  2. Thank you so much for the blog. I too hate the fact that my grandchildren are going to have to live in this yuckie environment we are leaving them. Seafood will be a fairy tale by the time they and their children are grown. By catch will be one of the things that their generation can't begin to imagine a definition for.

  3. Thanks so much for the constant reminder about the need for being smart when it comes to what we use. It would be nice to think that it will all be here for our childrens children's children, but it won't unless we start taking that into account now.

  4. Thank you! I do appreciate all your support, but my words are just air if they're not passed along.

    On a lighter note, can you name the movie my Title was quoted from?
    What are you prepared to do about it?