Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why the Oceans?

Many people do not understand why our Oceans are important. They don't understand that every single creature in the ocean plays a key role in our lives. Not just for food, not just to be able to enjoy a nice swim.
Its our world, our very lives. If they die, we die. That's pretty simple, don't you think!

Dolphins, Pilot whales, Beluga's and Orca's are not covered under the laws of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). There is also no laws that protect Sharks. Which means that countries make up there own laws where these animals are concerned. Normally there are no regulations or the regulations are ignored or not enforced. So countries can kill or take as many as they want, and no one can do anything to stop them.

 The problem is, that its not just the countries problem. Killing these animals do not just effect the country killing them. More times then not, when dolphins or whales are killed, they are migrating. Dolphins and  whales could, and do, visit many countries in any given year. They follow the fish and plankton. But what happens when on the way from point A to point B, X country kills thousands of them? This is what is happening. Every year in Japan alone, more than 20,000 Dolphins, porpoise's and whales are killed  That's just one country!! Then look at the staggering fact that OVER 300,000 Whales, dolphins, and porpoises are killed  world wide, every year, due to being caught in nets and other fishing gear. The figures are adding up.
It is estimated that 73 MILLION sharks are killed every single year, that's more then 10,000 an hour! Sounds crazy huh. Well, its true. Most of the sharks are caught in nets or are caught for fining. It is believed 90% of the worlds large sharks have been wiped out. There comes a time when a species can not recover. Do we really want to wait till that time comes? We have been there, done that, and it doesn't always work.

 Small cetaceans  and sharks are apex predators, this means they are the top of the food chain. As every link in the chain they have a job. Their job is to control populations of the food they eat. Without them being around to do their job, there will be a complete imbalance in the ecosystem. It will effect every other link in the chain, from top to bottom. Fish will become over abundant, disease will spread, and they will die. Then what? Well, for one, countries that turn to the oceans for its main source of protein will no longer have food. That will suck, but it goes deeper. What happens when there is no fish?

This is a video from Strange Days Cause. It takes place in Africa and it proves that without fish and the proper food chain, human life is in a world of trouble. The video explains what is happening of the coast of
Namibia, in Southwest Africa. Bronwen Currie, with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Swakopmud, Namibia, moved  to the area she started smelling foul oder. She says it smelt of rotting eggs. The color of the oceans changed and then countless fish washed up dead on the shores. After examining the fish she knew that the cause for the death of the fish was Hydrogen Sulfide, a poison gas. The cause of the gas was Phyto Plankton. The plankton was dying and fallowing to the ocean floor in decay. This decay caused the Hydrogen Sulfide gas. After collecting samples from the ocean floor she found another toxic gas...Methane. The ocean floor was erupting and the sulfur was being set free. This was changing the waters color and killing the fish. Currie contacted Scarla Weeks, an oceanographer who uses satellite to study the earth, and Oceanographer Andrew Bakun. They wanted to use the satellites to locate eruptions. A few months later, they noticed a change in the ocean color. A series of eruptions accrued up and down the coast, covering 1000 sq. miles.  Bakun became obsessed with figuring out the cause. He learned that the eruptions coincided with Dessert rain. As the storms rolled in, low pressure cells would lower the pressure of both the ocean surface and its floor. The low pressure would uncork the methane, releasing the sulfur. So what does this have to do with fish? It goes on to explain that Namibia's Sardinestock is disappearing. What once was a very rich stock, has been over fished. Sardines were one of the only fish that could handle the rough currents off Namibia's coast. They eat the Phyto Plankton, which decreased the source of the settlement gases. With the sardine numbers down the eruptions will increase. The government is trying to restock the sardine population, but the eruptions are spreading into the sardine nurseries, killing young fish and larva. To make things worse, Bakun fears that the Methane being released is adding to global warming. Its a very real issue!

And over fishing does not just effect the oceans. It effects the creature that walk earths land as well. In this video, from the same people as the above one. It explains how, again in Africa, when the fishing is bad, people turn to the animals of the land to hunt. The populations of all animals where effected. And there was a very serous side effect as a result to the major imbalance.

The problem is not just in the top of the food chain. Every link in the chain has to be protected. If we worry about the larger animals but leave out the much smaller life, like plankton, we are not doing any good. There is a reason for every single living creature in our oceans, lakes, a streams. It does not matter if we understand why they are important. It is our job to learn about them, understand them, respect them, and protect them all. This is what we, as humans, are responsible for. Being at the every top of the food chain, this is our job. Not to deplete and kill everything around us. But to preserve and protect them. We must protect our oceans. Without them, we will not survive. Its up to us.
Peace to you and yours!


  1. Unfortunately I am not able to translate this blog into Japanese. If I could I most certainly would. Every person in Japan needs to read your brilliant and thorough research.
    Thank you

  2. Kim and Kame~ Thank you for your kind words. I do not know why the blogs can not be translated into Japanese. But if there is away that you think it can be done, let me know,I will do whatever I can to help.

  3. You are welcome. I think you can add some html that will link to a program/ button that people can use and it translates, like google translate, to other languages.
    The problem is that google translate is very far from correct and can cause huge miscommunication. I guess the best way is to find a Japanese speaker capable of translating for you. I imagine if you knew someone who would have done it already. My Japanese is not good enough and my husbands English is not good enough:-( sorry.

  4. I was thinking about a translate program, but not knowing Japanese, I was worried how well it translates. Now that you have confirmed my fears, I am glad I didn't do it. Maybe one day I will figure something out.

  5. As soon as I hear of one that is accurate, I will let you know