Worried about the oceans – about the water, the creatures who live in it, the lands lying around it – saying that may not be the right way to express my fear.
I am terrified for the oceans, for their very life, and the many lives in and around them. We are acting as though there is lots of time. I definitely do not feel there is a lot of time.
We may have run out of time for some species and for some parts of the fishing industry. Our greed and our wastefulness are just unconscionable. The salmon run on the West Coast collapsed this year – no real warning, just collapsed – and restaurants full of people are simply eating salmon from other places. That seems truly insane to me.
There is evidence that 90% of the big fish – the mature fish who produce many eggs each year, and allow us to go fishing – are gone. Of all species. And our practices do not allow young fish to grow big and old.
And yet I just read a review in CityBeat of the new always-packed seafood restaurant downtown, called Oceanaire – which brags about the size of its portions – and which must, therefore, produce an incredible amount of waste. If we even took that waste food and put it in a compost heap to return to the earth, I perhaps wouldn’t be in so much pain about this. But it goes into the garbage in plastic bags, to degrade in millenia, or down the disposer and into our water system, where it has to be cleaned out.
And then there’s the question of the melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels. Where are the impoverished millions in Bangladesh to live? Would that we could provide them the wasted meals from American tables.
Terror and nearly hysteria – that’s what I receive from the oceans and what I’m feeling every day. How shall we live when the oceans do not live?