A Matter Of Survival

We are entering an increasingly dangerous period in the history of mankind. Our world, our oceans are so precariously close to causing unimaginable, catastrophic disaster for all life on planet Earth. Ever since the dawn of man all of humanity has survived on various sources of food. But, the one source of food that has dictated the rise of all the others came from the worlds oceans. Today, our oceans, our food, and man’s own existence depends on the vitality of life and the sustainability of our oceans to maintain and support that vitality of life. So catastrophic the demise of the vitality of life in all the worlds oceans caused by mans selfish and aggressive instincts all life on this planet is indeed in jeopardy. The depletion of the vitality of life in our oceans has been sharply increasing every year with no apparent reversal in sight. Just within the past 50 years mankind has wrought humanities own survival into question.

This crisis announces itself on the bare tables of families all over the world. The breath and scope of what is fast becoming the largest man induced cataclysmic carnage against humanity of biblical proportions millions are now facing the harsh realities of trying just to survive. From the endless slaughter of the majestic Blue fin Tuna, the slow strangulation of a fishing village in Newfoundland in which the collapse of cod has destroyed the livelihoods and a way of life that had existed for generations, to nations that continue to ignore international laws in trawling with nets held open by heavy bulldozers dragging along seabed’s where they indiscriminately catch any and every form of sea life only to disposed over 95% of what they catch.

Not only is the world faced with depleting seafood mankind has only exasperated that growing global threat of mass starvation by continued ignorance, and a blatant refusal to acknowledge what global warming has and continues to do to the worlds food supply, mainly life in and around our oceans. The effects of global warming are now more apparent than ever in Canada’s Hudson Bay. Representing the Polar Bears southern limit habitat. Hudson Bay has been increasingly experiencing shorter winters which leads to earlier ice melts and forcing the bears on shore before they have a chance to fully replenish their fat reserves by feeding on the seals which live on the ice. A delicate balance of nature is through off balance, by man.

Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth have been growing exponentially. But it just maybe it’s in our human nature or some would venture to say our genetic code that drives man to ignore or dismiss what we have and are still doing to the worlds food supply. Greed, and selfish aggressive instincts still manage to rule over prudent and humane policies where the balance of nature can regain it’s balance.

The sad irony of all this takes place in countries all over the world; but it is so apparent in Africa where much of the world’s exportation of their food primarily the Nile Perch continues to only grow the rate of poverty and starvation The fish that are caught there remain unaffordable for most of the African population. The exportation of food and the other resources of the African Continent is hastening the rate of poverty in every African nation. The Nile Perch that are harvested and caught are filleted for export. All that remains for the population are the carcasses which does nothing but continue the plight of starvation of millions of native Africans. With years of over fishing fish stocks have fallen drastically imperiling the livelihoods of over 100,000 fishermen and depriving millions of Africans food.

In a span of just 50 years the volume of Global fishing has risen from in 1950 under 20 million metric tons to today over 100 million metric tons of fish are caught each year now. An example of just how bad things really are today; to supply the worlds sushi markets the giant Blue fin Tuna are harvested at four times the sustainable rate. At the present time the rate of harvesting of Blue fin Tuna it is inevitable that this species will soon become extinct. The balance of nature is sure to be again, uprooted.

Not only is the species of tuna faced with probable extinction but all marine life is threatened by man’s lack of empathy for all life on this planet. What international laws are in place to protect marine life still countries blatantly ignore proper protocol in keeping the letter of the laws that are in place to protect and preserve all of the worlds natural food sources. If all fishing is done with the hook and line method spawning grounds would still be intact, fish would be plentiful, and our oceans would no longer be threatened with mass extinctions.

Compounding the existence of over fishing the worlds oceans are facing the most extreme dangerous conditions the world has seen. The pollution that is spreading and threatening every species of marine life continues unabated. It’s as though the oceans and waterways of the earth are now mankind’s dumping grounds. Without remorse or concern for living organisms that inhabit our water mankind continues to ignore their plight. With the rate man continues to burn fossil fuels with ever increasing ferocity there continues to be more pollution as a result pouring into our waterways and ending up in our oceans. With the onslaught of more non biodegradable refuge ending up in the oceans it also has a most adverse catastrophic effect on all marine life.

What must be done to preserve, protect and maintain the worlds food supply? Most scientists and known environmentalists agree that the worlds oceans must be managed as ecosystems. The management councils that oversee fisheries such as the ICCAT which by the way, have been long dominated by the commercial fishing interests, must share authority with scientists and conservationists. Governments must cut back half of the 4 million fishing vessels now in service to keep pace with the sustainability of fish in the worlds oceans, along with slashing the 25 million dollars in government subsidies bestowed annually on the fishing industry.

These are just some of the most important reforms that must take place to protect and preserve the delicate balance in our worlds oceans. Aliening with these reforms and to reverse the effects caused by man’s reluctance to openly embrace the energy of the third industrial revolution there has to be a real consorted effort by every nation to discard the energy of the second industrial revolution. Only then will the world begin to regain the balance of nature that will ensure mans survival. It is a multi level facet of programs, policies, and laws that must be initiated and enforced first to stop the eradication of vital sources of food, second, to regain the balance of nature, and finally to dramatically reduce the effect of global warming. All of these contingencies without direct action now mankind is on the proverbial path toward self destruction.

Rebecca R. Ammons

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