Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sea Of Heartbreak Cont.

Last entry I described a little bit about the book Sea of Heartbreak. I told you about the cruelty of the fisherman toward animals and the general bad attitude they have towards the sea that they make their living from. They shoot at polar bears, they shoot at whales, they torture birds and garbage is just thrown overboard in plastic bags.

What I didn’t get to in the last entry was the fishing nets. The fishing nets used in this expedition are called gill nets. Basically the fish swims into the net, gets stuck, and can’t swim back out because its gills are trapped in the net. The nets used today are made with polypropylene monofilament webbing which doesn’t tangle as easy, is more durable, is much lighter and cheaper but will not breakdown if lost or discarded at sea. Author Michael Dwyer does a great job of describing how “deadly efficient” these nets are.

“The fishing gear is designed, made and set in a deadly efficient way. Set like a fence across the bottom, the webbing eventually fills with sea creatures and “lies down.” Crabs, the scrubbing action from contact with the seafloor and time serve eventually to consume and breakdown the sea creatures. When this happens the nets rise up again and fish indiscriminately. They fill up and lie down, over and over, forever. Stories have been told of draggers finding old, lost gear and the nets are filled with skeletons of every kind. As horrible as it is, it’s legal and it’s a common form of commercial fishing.”

So I’m just learning about all of this now as I’m guessing you are (which is why I am writing this). Is there no one who checks with the captain before he sets sail to find out how many nets he’s bringing out? Then when he comes back, checks to see how many he left at sea? Is this more complicated than I am making it? Surely there is something that can be done.

Like I talked about in previous posts, I believe that everything we have here on Earth is a gift. We need to be stewards of these gifts and look after them as responsibly as we can. So now that I’ve been made aware of this issue, my eyes have been opened and I cannot just sit here and claim ignorance. I have to do something. And if you have read this far, then WE have to do something. I’m starting by just telling people about it. Breaking the ignorance. If you don’t know about an issue you have an excuse. Once you DO know about an issue there are no excuses. There needs to be some sort of action or in the very least an acknowledgment.

In trying to do my part I’m asking you to do at least one of two things.

1. Please help spread the information. You have a blog? Blog about it or link people to these posts. Email some close friends and family and tell them to check out these posts. Bring the topic up with friends or co-workers or members of your church. . . Spread the word!
2. Get more informed. Read Sea Of Heartbreak and anything else on the topic. If you have the means buy it, if not, check out your local library.

I’m also going to continue spreading the word and learning more. I know there are so many things in this world that we can contribute our time to. And there are so many problems that need our attention. I have trouble figuring where this fits in when there are children dying because they don’t have cheap medication to stop a simple sickness like diarrhea. I'll keep telling people about World Vision from stage which I know is having an impact and for now, it seems this whole issue is something God has placed in my path and I need to act on it.



Kathryn 8/15/2006 9:26 PM  

i would venture to say that there is a group in this country that is active for this cause? I'll do some surfing. . If so, it would be good to join the group, do some e-petitioning with it, etc. This is very disturbing. Perhaps "World Wildlife Federation" (do sea creatures fall under their umbrella, I wonder?) I'd say as an individual you may have limited success 'spreading the word' on your own, but would probably have more by joining an established national or international group, donating funds to the group, etc. Perhaps inquiring with our government, Fisheries, Natural Resources Ministry, whatever it's called? It would be good also be good to fundraise in one's city, write an editorial to the city paper to raise the city's awareness of the issue. That sure would be a change from the usual crud that passes for editorials these days.

I heard of tuna nets ensnaring dolphins, I've heard of plastic 6-pack holders floating around and trapping creatures, etc. I had not heard of these nets being loose in the sea and wreaking such havoc. .

Kathryn 8/15/2006 9:30 PM  

the whole torture thing and garbage dumping. . unconscionable. .Animal rights groups must know about this? Regarding pollution, I've heard that boats from all nations think that they can dump their bilge oil into canadian waters because they won't bear any consequence as a result. . they think that Canada is a great big passive patsy, that our coast guard is a joke and they do it cuz they have gotten away with it.

Anonymous,  8/17/2006 9:52 PM  

very interesting. I hadn't heard of this until now. Not sure what I should do...but i think i'll pick up a copy.

I'm glad you included your final paragraph. I too have difficulty understanding how we can put so much time and money in saving animals when there are still children dying. Though animals are important, I think other things should be a higher priority...or something...I don't know.

Thanks for informing us all.


Kathryn 10/22/2006 11:38 PM  

Glenn!!! maybe a photo or two? Perhaps a paragraph? even a little, tiny post would be good!!


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