Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What's On Your Plate? An Eco-system's Destruction, Perhaps.

We've all heard about how the fish on our plates may not be the fish we think they are.

To be honest, this didn't concern me much.  The Cajun salmon spread that I enjoy on my crackers is actually pollock?  No worries.  It still tastes good, so who really cares?  Well, my mind has just been changed.


See, I just finished watching the trailer for a documentary from New Zealand called The Last Ocean, directed by Peter Young:

Wow, right?

Ok, so what exactly did you just see a teaser for?

Well, in a nutshell, you're seeing the process of an eco-system's quiet destruction.  It's that simple.  How can destruction be quiet, you ask?

Because people don't know about it.  

Heck, most people don't even know that the Ross Sea even exists.  Don't be embarrassed if you're one of those people.  The fact of the matter is that most of us have never heard about it.  Why would we?  It's just a small section of sea off the coast of Antarctica, south of New Zealand.

Image via NIWA
So, why do I mention it, then?

Because commercial fishing is being done there.  Overfishing, to be specific.

But it gets worse.

This overfishing is destroying an entire eco-system, and it's being done to send Antarctic Toothfish to the tables of high end restaurants... many of them here in the United States.

Still not upsetting enough?  Ok, I'll turn it up another notch.

The fish is being sold as Chilean Sea Bass!!!

That's right.  An eco-system is being destroyed to feed the wealthy... and the wealthy, for the most part, don't even realize it.  Heck, they're not even eating what they think they are!

Can things get much worse?  Destruction, pollution, and lies... and they're all focused around an eco-system that is pristine and perfect.

Or was, at any rate.

Fishing at this rate in the waters of the Ross Sea will bring about the destruction of an eco-system.  The ships will pollute the waters, the loss of a species of fish will change the water's dynamics, and who knows how far the consequences could stretch?


There is something we can do about it.  There's a campaign set up on Indiegogo for the Last Ocean Road Trip which collects contributions for the cause.
"The Last Ocean road trip will allow our team to continue the campaign to protect the Ross Sea by sending Peter to film screenings at the festivals listed below to give Q & A‘s and generate media interest. If funds allow, we'd like to hire a campaign camper van, sticker it up with hi-vis Last Ocean imagery, and bring other members of our team to join Peter at points along the way. The camper will create a natural focal point for people to gather and receive information about the Ross Sea issue. Between screenings the team will lobby supermarkets to stop selling Antarctic Toothfish caught in the Ross Sea and ask consumers to stop eating it. (Antarctic Toothfish is marketed as Chilean Sea bass throughout North America).  Then, if our second stretch goal is reached, Peter will head to Germany to hold special screenings ahead of the talks in Bremerhaven."
 Wait?  Bremerhaven?  Where in the heck is that?

It's in Germany.  

See, Bremerhaven is where the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources will be held in July.  It is hoped that the Ross Sea will become a Marine Protected Area.

Any contributions made on Indiegogo will help support this cause.

We have a chance to save an entire eco-system.  The question now, though, is

"Will we?"

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