By Dee McLachlan
My late Dad was a keen fisherman — and, as a nine-year old, I’d be dragged out of bed at 4.00 am, to then walk in the dark to some distant rocky point. Then, at dawn, lines would be cast out. Within an hour, enough fish had been caught for almost the entire holiday. You couldn’t catch too much, as you had to carry it all back.
It only took about a decade for all that to change. In my twenties and thirties, when holidaying at the same place on that southern coast in South Africa, I’d notice fisherman on all the same rocky points. They would be fishing for hours with hardly a bite.
Declines seem to happen very quickly.
Along Canada’s eastern coast, people fished cod — generally found between 200 and 360 feet — for 500 years. It shaped those communities, and the iconic species was Canada’s largest fishery. It was even referred to as the “Newfoundland currency.” Then cod suddenly collapsed around 1992. (See graph.)
Over 35,000 fishers and plant workers from over 400 coastal communities became unemployed at that time.
The Pacific Cod
On the West coast of Canada, and the US (including Alaska), another cod variety, is now in trouble.
A bottom dweller, found mainly along the continental shelf and upper slopes, the Pacific cod is found down to the depths of 900 metres (3,000 ft) — and is found in huge schools. Wikipedia, says the Northwest Pacific catches of Pacific cod by the United States trawl fishery and joint-venture fisheries increased from less than 1,000 tonnes in 1979 to nearly 91,000 tonnes in 1984 and reached 430,196 tonnes in 1995. (See diagram below.)
Nose-dive in 2017
But now the Parcific Cod, on the West side of the US and Canada, are diving in numbers. Zerohedge reported:
“The Gulf of Alaska cod populations appears to have taken a nose-dive. Scientists are shocked at the collapse and at the starving fish, making this the ‘worst they’ve ever seen.’ The 2017 trawl net survey found the lowest numbers of cod on record forcing scientists to try to unravel what happened. A lot of the cod hatched in 2012 appeared to survive, but by 2017, those fish were largely gone for the surveys, which also found scant evidence of fish born in subsequent years. Many of the cod that have come on board trawlers are “long skinny fish” according to Brent Paine, executive director of United Catcher Boats.
“Barbeaux [Steve Barbeaux, a fisheries biologist for the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle] says the warm water, which has spread to depths of more than 1,000 feet, hit the cod like a kind of a double-whammy. Higher temperatures sped up the rate at which young cod burned calories while reducing the food available for the cod to consume.”
The Blob I am referring to is not the growing, alien amoeboidal entity that crashes to Earth inside a meteorite, that starts devouring a small community. That’s the 1958 movie. I am referring to a “hot spot” in the oceans.
The Blob began to develop in 2014, and allegedly raised the surface temperatures of the waters of the Gulf of Alaska by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. In the deep waters, where the Cod feed, the temperatures allegedly rose by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit. This is about the dangers of the oceans warming.
ENENEWS: published an article entitled” “Scientists shocked” as fisheries collapse along West Coast — “It’s the worst we’ve seen… they’re starving” — Death rates skyrocket, no babies being born — Fish stocks at all-time record lows.
The article also refers to Salmon.
Vancouver Sun, Nov 2, 2017: Salmon returns just keep getting worse on the Fraser River… Mike Lapointe, chief biologist with the Pacific Salmon Commission, said… “no one really knows why ocean survival has been so poor… “All we know is they didn’t come back“…
KTVZ, Nov 1, 2017: Scientists shocked: Where did ocean salmon go?…
The Gulf of Mexico dead zone is an area of hypoxic (less than 2 ppm dissolved oxygen) waters at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Its area varies in size, but can cover up to 7,000 square miles, and mainly caused by excessive nutrient pollution. The zone begins at the Mississippi River delta and extends westward to the upper Texas coast. The largest dead zone ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico was reported in August 2017. Hypoxic water supports fewer organisms and has been linked to fish die-offs.
Most people have sort of forgotten about this disaster. But radiation from Fukushima continues to seep into the Pacific Ocean. The radioactivity is swept up by the Kuroshio current, and carried out to sea into the North Pacific. Primarily two isotopes of cesium have recently appeared in the eastern Pacific along the coast near British Columbia and California. But authorities claim this contamination is very very low.
But, The Telegraph reports (14/7/2017) that:
“Local residents and environmental groups have condemned a plan to release radioactive tritium from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, say tritium poses little risk to human health and is quickly diluted by the ocean… ‘authorities should have been able to devise a way to remove the tritium instead of simply announcing that they are going to dump it into the ocean’, said Aileen Mioko-Smith, an anti-nuclear campaigner with Kyoto-based Green Action Japan.”
The problem is not only off Japan. Lobsters recovered off Sellafield, in the Irish Sea, had radiation levels almost 29 times the EU limit.
Like our bodies, as we age, our tissues generally become more acidic. Most of our health challenges are caused by dehydration, inflammation, oxidation, and acidification.
These are some quotes about aciditification in humans:
“Cancerous tissues are acidic, whereas healthy tissues are alkaline.” Dr Otto Warburg, Chemist, Nobel Prize Winner.
“The amount of antioxidants in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live.” Dr Richard Cutler, former Director National Institute of Aging, at the National Institute of Health.
“All disease is caused by auto-toxification (self-poisoning) due to acid accumulation in the body.” Dr William Howard Hay, Surgeon, Developer of Hay Diet.
“Just about every condition I can think of, from arthritis to diabetes to cancer, is associated with acidity.” Dr. Robert C. Atkins, Physician, Cardiologist
And like us, I am sure life in the sea will suffer, as the oceans become more acidic.
The carbon dioxide that has been released into the atmosphere over the last hundred years has been absorbed by the oceans — making them more acidic. And many scientists believe this acidification is irreversible.
Carol Turley, head of science at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, has warned of a “potentially gigantic” problem for the world. She says:
“Many of the species we rely on to eat, like cod, will disappear… people should prepare to change their tastes and switch from cod and chips to jellyfish and chips. The whole composition of life in the oceans will change.“