Archive for the 'ocean' Category

A Stinky Little Fish, the Menhaden, is Being Decimated

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

This New York Times story tackles the plight of an east coast bait fish, the Menhaden. The story is hits my family’s way of life so hard, I’m to dusting this blog off to launch into one of those rants I used to enjoy so much.

The situation boils down to this: one company, Omega Protein, is raping your ocean for profits.

This stinky little fish props up the entire east coast fishery and affects the abundance the food you eat and the health of the entire Atlantic ocean. The Menhaden filters algae from our water (1 adult filters 6 gallons of water a minute) and supplies every food fish from the piranha like bluefish to the massive Bluefin tuna with nutrition. The numbers of these valuable food fish have fallen dramatically from both overfishing and lack of a food supply – the Menhaden.

Source: Wikipedia article on Menhaden.

From the article…

For the last decade, one company, Omega Protein of Houston, has been catching 90 percent of the nation’s menhaden. The perniciousness of menhaden removals has been widely enough recognized that 13 of the 15 Atlantic states have banned Omega Protein’s boats from their waters. But the company’s toehold in North Carolina and Virginia (where it has its largest processing plant), and its continued right to fish in federal waters, means a half-billion menhaden are still taken from the ecosystem every year.

The author goes on to describe Omega Protein’s actions as an “egregious privatization of what is essentially a public resource”, and he’s right. I’ve seen their massive, brooding, battleship grey ships and netting practices first hand. Any fishermen on the east cast can tell you about the dwindling numbers of Menhaden in the water over the last 15 years.

The solution? Ban Menhaden fishing in federal waters. Ban netting for it in the last two east coast states that allow it. North Carolina and Virginia. Allow the Menhaden to return, water quality to improve and the vast array of food fish species that rely on the smelly little bugger to grow in population, fueling the recreational fishing industry which would more than make up for the loss of a single company in Houston.

A more immediately attainable solution? Stop buying omega 3 fish oil pills.

Sharing The Fish

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

This guest column in the New York Times ranks as the best article I’ve read in that publication in 10 years of near daily perusal. A quote:

It is the last evening of the marine ecology course my wife and I teach each year at a field station in Bahía de Los Ángeles, a small fishing village on the Gulf of California. We’ve invited four local fishermen to join us for dinner, and they sit now in plastic chairs on our patio — the guests of honor, with a dozen college kids gathered before them like disciples.

The eldest of the fishermen, Memo, rubs his grizzled chin in somber recollection, for one of our students has just asked a pointed and painful question: Which species have disappeared in his lifetime?

Solemnly, as though he’s reciting the names of his own deceased ancestors, Memo begins: the sea cucumbers, the fan clam, the lion’s paw scallop . . . . He’s working his way back in time, I think, moving from the most recently vanished toward the creatures that disappeared when he was a child.

The ocean, managed properly could have been a resource for all. It still can to some extent, but not without proper management. That management can start with you, if you make the choice to eat less seafood:

  • Go to the sushi bar one less time a month, (that shouldn’t be hard to do in this economy.)
  • Be careful about the fish you order.
  • Don’t eat shrimp unless they are farm raised
  • Eat only vegetables and grains two nights a week or more.
  • Try to make those vegetables organic, they create less pesticide run-off into the streams, into the ocean.

It’s not difficult, it saves you money, and it could save many species for Memo for you and for me.

Ten Over - Links for Flat Spells
  • Hey wow, check out this video of GH I found on Mollusk's site.

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  • I want one of these surfboard slings for those long walks to trestles.

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  • A three six zero preformed on nothing more than a belly button. (How's the commentary brah!?!) Here's an erBB thread with more video from this contest at Sandy's Beach in Hawaii.

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  • Ryan Heywood releases Bodysurf v3. Spot-Fucking-On and not a logo to be found. Makes me want to go get some with just my skin on.

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  • Remember the press release, email and social media campaign quk put out when Julian Wilson pulled that sushi rollshit? O'niel and redbull have a clone of that machine rolling for Jordy's rodeo flip. Here's the video on Yahoo sports.

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  • A new episode of Hi Shredability with Chris Christenson and Brad Gerlach riding Harleys and looking for waves in New York.

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  • Awesome spot logos! Just don't ask where they are.

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  • Reminds me of byrne, the heads, arcade fire... etc. You can get their album for a buck through July 4th.

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  • Why couldn't these guys take the Cardiff reef sup crew with them? We could have all chipped in to make it possible.

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  • The End Of The Road. Why we'll have no seafood left in 50 years. I ate my entire seafood quota for the year the other week in North Carolina.

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