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“The Ocean Is Broken”

October 21, 2013
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Ivan Macfadyen: “I’ve done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I’m used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen.”

An Australian sailor’s dispiriting voyage across a barren, Fukushima-inundated, Pacific Ocean. Sometimes anecdotal reports are the most heartbreaking and infuriating:

But they weren’t pirates, not in the conventional sense, at least. The speedboat came alongside and the Melanesian men aboard offered gifts of fruit and jars of jam and preserves.

“And they gave us five big sugar-bags full of fish,” he said.

“They were good, big fish, of all kinds. Some were fresh, but others had obviously been in the sun for a while.

“We told them there was no way we could possibly use all those fish. There were just two of us, with no real place to store or keep them. They just shrugged and told us to tip them overboard. That’s what they would have done with them anyway, they said.

“They told us that his was just a small fraction of one day’s by-catch. That they were only interested in tuna and to them, everything else was rubbish. It was all killed, all dumped. They just trawled that reef day and night and stripped it of every living thing.”

Macfadyen felt sick to his heart. That was one fishing boat among countless more working unseen beyond the horizon, many of them doing exactly the same thing.

No wonder the sea was dead. No wonder his baited lines caught nothing. There was nothing to catch.

From there, if you can believe it, the voyage only gets worse. Read the whole thing.

To me, it is a reminder of how potentially grave and profound the threats to the oceans are, and how ill-equipped and ill-prepared the global community is when it comes to confronting the problems. Our global mindset and our global institutions are simply nowhere close to coming to grips with the sorts of lifestyle changes and costs that would be involved in reversing the trends. It is a complete mismatch of reality versus awareness and will.

One Comment leave one →
  1. dj Blair permalink
    October 22, 2013 11:18 am

    Fact of the matter is….after everyone’s input is….he did not write about this 10 years ago! I don’t care what anyone else thinks….wake up!

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