Jeremy Jackson: How we wrecked the ocean #TED : http://on.ted.com/q0g4M
I heard that here in Philippines blue swimming crab picking plants are losing, closing because of low demand and supply from the US. Yet news like this ( http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/920450/China-overtakes-Indonesia-as-largest-US-crabmeat-supplier-as-prices-reach-record-highs-on-shortage) do not seem to support it. It does not seem right. Is there other reasons for that, like price manipulation by the big group? Its just a question by the seeking minds.
Food security has been the mission, vision, goal, objective of most entities, from an individual person to small group of advocates to local national international global universal and planetary organizations from time immemorial up to the present and for sure until the future.
Is it just a goal, vision, mission, objective? Its actually a problem that needs solving.
Its an omnipresent problem burdening the highly sentient beings in a planetary scale.
Is it really that hard? Great innovations, high falutin complex equations, well-dressed and glib politicians are still groping for the answers. Why? Because most of the solutions are too complex that the simple basic foundations are missed.
As simple example. In one small bay, the fishes caught are getting smaller, rarer and worst polluted with heavy metals and carcinogenic compounds. Great famous high esteemed scientists, money-laden organizations are pouring in. Solutions given: ban and prosecute the commercial fishers, give guns and patrol boats to drive away the blasters, poachers, illegal fishers, put up market sheds in the community, stock enhancement and other high-falutin solutions. Still the problem remains. In my solitudes, this simpleton mind keeps bugging me, why complicate things when the problem is simple. Look and count the number of good municipal fisherfolks operating in the bay, too many of them really. Look at the household and personal waste thrown in the bay, even the pigs refuse to swim on them. I look down and my knees drop to the last remaining patch of soil (lucky not to have covered with concrete yet), burdened with the thought that no one might see it.
In these jungles of concretes
I walk purposely
Unmindful of the loud cars, big advertising screens and classy worldly wares of this age.
I walk and gaze at the faces I meet
Are they as disturb as I my spirit?
I look at their body forms, gait and aura
Are they carrying heavy loads just like me?
Weighing heavily on my shoulders
Dried baby Trichiurus species (100g)
Bought from a trade show I love to visit
And the memories of the happy marketer’s faces
In all of the places I visited and will visit, the traditional markets are one of my fave places. It always a place of wonderful discoveries and sources of fabulous collections.
Just recently, having nothing to do, I hitched ride with a friend on his way to the province and asked to be dropped in one of the major fish landing centers of the country. Using my old reliable tablet as camera, I went around in search of a good dig. And WHOA this is what I found, bunches of same sizes Panuping (Lethrinus lentjan). Suspecting it was caught from a spawning aggregation, I bought some few kilos, have them iced and proceed to the bus station through a tricycle and rode the first bus out.
Arriving, though tired, I immediately proceeded into disecting my loot fishes. And YES ALL OF THEM ARE GRAVID AND READY TO SPAWN, my suspect that they were caught in the frenzy of their spawning aggregration is validated. I hope I could further validate them by diving in the area but alas, I was not able to extract the exact site where the fishes are caught. Getting such information needs time and entails gaining the trust of the fishers. I hope the Universe will soon guide me again in the place.
Its midnight. I’m tired but my mind seemed not to want to rest. Thoughts keep on darting in and out.
One thought is particularly lingering, the thoughts by a good person I just talked with. Am I not tired advocating for realistic policies in the field of fisheries resources sustainability and environmental protection? Yes I had my moments of darkness and will have them again, when all hopes and sanity seemed out of place, when being alone and ridiculed is the norm. Yet I could not stay there, living means hope, hope means faith, faith means intelligence and intelligence create action.
Mindfulness, pushing to stay at the moment despite the heavy cloud of lethargy, is the secret. Most of the time I forget but the flittering moments of awareness are always my friends.
Refmagnets arranged by artistic big hands
The Philippines was once a major contributor to the world total fisheries production. Since about 2 decades ago, the annual landings have consistently been decreasing. Ironically, Paper Policy-wise, the Philippines almost look good and competent in managing its natural resources. The commonly given reason for the stark inconsistency is, policies and laws are not strictly enforced or enforcement is weak.
Yet, I have some reservations with the word ‘enforcement’ anyway. Is that not where the weakness is coming from? We are supposed to be at the age of information, and knowledge is empowering. Yet our mindset is still on the use of force. We need a radical paradigm shift, from creating our policies to be enforced into creating policies that encourages compliance. With the opening of market opportunities, knowledge and abundant information, incentives is the name of the game. Policies that were strategically created on the framework that following it will benefit more the resource users at a certain time in a language they understand is much better than laws and regulations that are imposed through the barrels of guns and chasing boats.
Having no deadline to work on, no skype calls to wait for and no radio program to look forward listening to, I went offline from the world wide web, picked up a great book, laid my back on the bed and read. I am aslept in a matter of minutes.
I am now fully awake and its midnight. As usual, my mind is in its most active moment at these hours. I dreamed of a dead palace underwater. Most of its very diverse big inhabitants are gone aside from bacteria, fungi, and maybe viruses around. The place is just a mess of plastics in various forms, kinds and shapes. Nets of different mesh sizes and forms are also prominent. Taking a close look at the net I am stepping on, its definitely one of the gillnet types. It must have been newly washed into the deep from ashore as it has different epiphytes from the definitely settled ones. I stayed longer hoping to see at least one bigger organism to dart by, but my stillness is met by deep silence. Its scary for somebody like me who used to love the beauty and diversity of the underwater world.
While writing this, the feeling of emptiness still pervades. Its a very lonely ugly world in there. Is that the future of the underwater world humanity will soon create? Its midnight.