blue-flag-thumb2_50x50Our side's flag is a thin, airlight blue, drifting almost unseen against the sky. Our military march is a meadowlark's song among the dandelions. --Ken Kesey, The Real War


From Sea To Overfished Sea… | Mickey Z.

Photo credit: Mickey Z.Photo credit: Mickey Z.

Mickey Z. -- World News Trust

Dec. 3, 2012

"The oceans of the earth are dying. This fact alone should send us reeling into the streets in displays of public grief."

- Phil Rockstroh

As if to sum up the violence and avarice that permeates every molecule of our dominant culture, GrindTV/Yahoo Sports recently delivered an article entitled: “Angler's 1,000-pound bluefin tuna worth its weight in sushi.”

From this article, I learned of a “1,000-pound tuna caught recently off Nova Scotia,” which “required only two hours to land,” but was “so massive,” it had to be towed to port, and “lifted onto the dock with the help of a crane.”

Some of what I didn’t learn from the GrindTV article: Tuna are migratory fish that travel many thousands of miles in their lifetimes -- swimming more than 100 miles in a day. They can accelerate faster than a Porsche and reach speeds as high as 50 miles per hour.

From the GrindTV article, I learned the “avid angler’s” name (Marc Towers), that he lives in Ghana, and how he “reeled in the behemoth during the recent expedition off Canso.” I even discovered that Canso “is on Nova Scotia's eastern tip.”

Some of what I didn’t learn from the GrindTV article: "Tuna is about as 'dolphin-friendly' as a boat propeller," say the folks at PETA. "Even if dolphins aren't 'accidentally' trapped in tuna nets, they are still killed intentionally by Japanese tuna anglers because they prey on tuna. Entire pods of whales and dolphins are rounded up and driven into shallow water where all but the youngest (who are captured and sold to aquariums) are slaughtered with knives and machetes."

From the GrindTV article, I learned that Neil Cooke, who was with Towers, explained: "All of a sudden it broke the surface and everyone said, 'It's a monster!'"

More of what I didn’t learn from the GrindTV article: The real “monsters” (us) pack the “monsters” we catch and kill into something that looks like a refrigerated coffin and fly them to auctions in places like Tokyo. If the slain fish isn’t to be consumed locally, their carbon footprint deepens when packed onto yet another flight and shipped to China or Europe or the United States.

From the GrindTV article, I learned that “Towers' tuna” will yield about “20,000 pieces of sushi and is expected to sell for more than $32,000 to a buyer in Japan.”

More of what I didn’t learn from the GrindTV article: Every year, there are roughly 75 million cases of food-borne illness reported in the United States (not including episodes mistakenly attributed to stomach flu or virus). This leads to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. The No. 1 cause of food poisoning in the United States is, of course, seafood.

The FDA sez: "Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of methylmercury. However, larger fish that have lived longer have the highest levels of methylmercury because they've had more time to accumulate it." What can methylmercury do to us humans? For starters: brain damage, memory loss, personality change, tremors, spontaneous abortion, and damage to a developing fetus. Fatigue and memory loss caused by mercury poisoning from eating fish is so common that doctors even have a name for it: fish fog.

From the GrindTV article, I learned how “not everybody will be a fan of this catch” because Atlantic bluefin tuna are an embattled species -- listed as endangered on the IUCN red list of threatened species.

More of what I didn’t learn from the GrindTV article: 90 percent of the large fish in the ocean are already gone and that without ocean biodiversity, well... lots more species will be lining up behind bluefin tuna in the increasingly crowded extinction parade.

I didn’t learn that over 40 percent of the world's oceans are heavily impacted by human activities with few areas -- if any -- left unaffected by anthropogenic factors.

I didn’t learn about ocean acidification, bottom trawling, oil spills and slicks, beach erosion, offshore drilling, or the fact that the world's largest landfill happens to be floating in the Pacific Ocean.

I didn’t learn that 80 percent of all life on earth is found in the oceans -- where over half our oxygen is created.

Four things I hope you can learn from my article:

  1. The mainstream media is the propaganda wing of Corporate America.
  2. The dominant culture has on the fast track to ecocide.
  3. It'd be great if corporations paid more taxes or if consumer debt were abolished, but such changes would ultimately fall into the proverbial Titanic/deck chair category if our eco-system is not restored and respected.
  4. Bluefin tuna (and other large fish) would not be in danger if: a) humans didn't kill and eat them; and b) humans didn’t actively destroy their habitat: the oceans.

P.S. Raw vegan mock tuna salad


Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

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