Saturday, September 17, 2011

Supplement to the Last Post

I just have to add a few addenda to my last post, on the lecture recap. Yes, there are worrisome trends regarding the health of marine life (to tell the truth, I actually rushed that post due to laptop battery issues). The main threat to marine life is extraction, as Dr. Ausubel put it (can't believe I left this quote out), "Marine life is too delicious for its own good." While he indicated that the fisheries workers with whom he worked were, in general, interested in sustainability (the long-term survival of their industry depends on it), there are, as fish (and Dr Ausubel) noted bad actors. The next big problem facing marine life is pollution- one horrifying slide Dr Ausubel showed featured a plethora of plastic pieces taken from the stomach of a dead petrel.

Dr Ausubel suggested that we refer to comestible marine life as sealife, rather than seafood, in an awareness campaign. In a discussion of aquaculture, he mentioned that many prized food fishes are carnivorous, and raising such fish as salmon involves feeding them other fish. If such fish could be tricked into eating vegetable matter, farming them would be more sustainable. Certain fish, such as tilapia and catfish, are vegetarians, so they are more sustainably farmed.

While there is some cause for pessimism, the Census of Marine Life is a real awareness-raiser. The lecture began on a light note, with music inspired by the project, and ended on an optimistic note, with a video clip of humpback whales from the movie Oceans (N.B. the English version has gotten the "Disney" treatment, the French and German versions are more rigorous):

It's hard to be optimistic these days, but let's hope that the young folks will learn from their forebears' mistakes and work to reverse the damage that's been done.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

It's hard to be optimistic these days...

You said a mouthful.

Laura said...

Well, I'm not a big seafood person so, the fish are safe with me.
Christmas Eve with my big Italian family though is a different matter. Those gino's are probably half the marine life problem. :)

But on a serious note. I think that tricking them into eating a vegetarian diet is a smart idea. Hopefully, the fish aren't as stubborn as I am in making that change. :P