LONDON – Each year, fisheries are annihilating as many as one hundred trillion creatures. Additionally, fisheries’ bottom-trawlers are destroying the ocean floor, accelerating the man-driven Sixth Mass Extinction and unlocking the largest planetary carbon storehouse to cook everything alive.
This terrible hatred of marine life must come to an end otherwise all life is doomed. Thankfully, there is a salubrious alternative.
Allow me to remind you that we need the two million other known earthly species in order to survive, they do not need us!
The time has come for the world’s largest fishing fleet, the Chinese armada of 800,000 fisheries vessels, including 18,000 long-haul trawlers and super trawlers, to exchange their petroleum-based curtains of death, or, nets, and barbarous hooks for regenerative trowels and spades. Off they go, regenerative no-till planting, tending, vermiculturing (growing earthworms and nurturing soil microbes), composting, fostering fungi, building soils and carbon storehouses, and harvesting food. Every maritime nation can easily switch to regenerative farming by redirecting their massive fisheries subsidies.
In my book Shepherding the Sea, the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Captain Paul Watson, told me that: “Fish act as the natural glue that keeps marine ecosystems in place. They ensure that the oceans continue to function. If the fish disappear the oceans die. If the oceans die, we die.”
Moreover, there is also a salient biological reason to protect all remaining fish stocks to heal the oceans and combat the man-made climate crisis.
The most abundant vertebrates on the globe are fish living between 600 and 3300 feet below the surface. When these brethren and sistren digest their food in their alkaline stomachs, they defecate calcite crystals of carbonate that rise up to the surface and counteract ocean acidity. The fish are effective alkaline biological pumps, a nature-based solution to fight some of the effects of global heating.
Currently, fisheries (trawlers, super trawlers, longlines) are wiping out these fish stocks, krill and everything else in their way, as well as the Gen Z (under 26s) chance of survival. Incidentally, Antarctic krill remove about 12 billion metric tons of atmospheric carbon annually. Their presence is indispensable in the fight to save the planet. No-brainer. End fisheries, yesterday!
Did you know that:
- Fish feel. When fish are exposed to toxins their heart rates increase and they take longer to resume feeding.
- Fish are intelligent. Their perception and cognition match or exceed other vertebrates. Some fish use tools!
- Fish are sensitive. They enjoy physical connections with other fish including rubbing up against one another.
- Fish have good memories. Goldfish can remember an obstacle course one month later.
- Fish feel pain. They have free nerve-endings that register pain and produce pain-reducing substances like endorphins.
- Fish like to talk. They speak to one another with low frequency squeaks detectable with state-of-the-art technology. Fascinatingly, some fish also communicate with sign language.
We are at the crossroads of human civilisation. We have the money, technology, people power, knowledge and imagination to carefully and quickly eschew deadly eighteenth century combustion (fossil fuels, wood pellets, palm oil) and protect all remaining wildlife within their inestimable carbon storehouses (old-growth forests, grasslands, wetlands, peatlands, mangroves, sea grass meadows, cold coral gardens and the ocean floor).
Quite simply, saving our only home entails relentlessly demanding a zero-combustion economy, ending our profligate consumptive habits, and reconnecting and loving Mother Earth and all our kith and kin, the animals.
- Consume way less.
- Walk and ride a bicycle more.
- Refuse Plastics.
- Have more picnics.
- Laugh more!
- Help animals.
- Grow food-bearing trees.
- Love is the Solution.
Agitate. Disrupt. Defend.
Reese Halter is a bees/trees/seas defender.
His latest book is GenZ Emergency.
Email: HalterBooks@gmail.com for your autographed copy.
In Australia, order from the Bob Brown Foundation by emailing: Contact@BobBrown.org.au