Home Earth/ Climate Humanity In Crisis, Part 8: Missing Shoals, and the Blob

Humanity In Crisis, Part 8: Missing Shoals, and the Blob

Huge Herring catches are unloaded from a fishing boat in Rockland. New England, 2015. Conservation groups are worried that huge catches change the entire food chain in those areas

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.

The Atlantic Cod

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

Skinny 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

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?…

Dead Zones

Dead zones

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.

Future food?

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.



  1. Many having the thought that where profiteering is the only guide to what is called successful business, human nature having little to no regard than instant cash and tomorrow never comes, as can be seen by the fishing out of our rivers, seas and oceans the history of impoverishment and reckless nature of man left to self regulation.
    Strange today we celebrate the gay success of religious ceremony,now we having to teach children in schools the change of what this means, whether such energy devoted to a cause such as this having high priority as opposed to the implication of water and our loss of our fish as a cause being of greater significance is debatable?
    Have we lost our integrity? so many significant issues such as the First World reevaluating the cost of war to all of us and cost of destruction having in today’s world what may be considered taboo, the title of crises what crises? some may well remember this title of a pop group album called Super Tramp, mid 70s.
    Today on ABC, radio 16th November, a debate on whether our planet is going down hill or not? I suggest if you do earn two hundred and fifty thousand dollars pa, and upwards the planet looks pretty good, for many who do not have such resources the planet looks very different, unfortunately many that have a platform, so all so subjective.
    The elite now giving individual permission choices such as tattoo’s, up to your neck and beyond, body piecing, breast implants, such individual freedoms, why should we have concerns as fish? we remember the greyhound politician who backed down to bow to the fisherman’s party who got him to back down with a threat he would not get their vote, only to find after he backed off of the greyhound investigation to be dumped, how can you live with your self when your conscience waivers for fear of losing your job? only to cave in to the thugs of money and cruelty? and Shorten to back greyhound racing as a workings mans sport? this is what we have leading our country, two fizzler’s leading the lost and will take a long time if ever to find our way out of the wilderness.

  2. Thank you, Don (and Dee)

    “if you do earn two hundred and fifty thousand dollars pa, and upwards the planet looks pretty good, for many who do not have such resources the planet looks very different, unfortunately many that have a platform, so all so subjective.”


  3. The Silencing of Whistleblowers by those who have their platform at the top of the pyramid.

    A couple of excerpts from my copious files on whistleblowing–related to this article

    Whistleblowers at CSIRO forced out and ‘bullying rife’

    TWO of three CSIRO employees who blew the whistle on alleged ”criminal or civil breaches of the law” by the scientific organisation were later made redundant, it has been revealed.
    But those officials who were the subject of the complaints remain employed, the CSIRO has confirmed.”

    “What happens when scientists stand up for science”
    “Decades of attacks on scientists
    Science, an effective system for generating knowledge, is inextricably linked with economic, military and political activity.
    For decades, scientific research has been shaped by the agendas of the most powerful groups in society, primarily governments and corporations. The period following World War II has been described as the era of “big science” with generous funding for research.
    Periodically though, research findings connect with emerging social movements.
    In the early 1970s, CSIRO scientist Peter Springell reported that he was blocked from publishing articles on environmental topics using his CSIRO affiliation, after he criticised CSIRO’s lack of environmental research.
    According to Springell, he was targeted with a punitive transfer and recommended for dismissal. To my knowledge, there has been no public response from CSIRO to this claim.
    Claims have also been made regarding repercussions after scientists spoke up about hazards from nuclear power, genetic modification, electromagnetic fields or using treated sewage sludge on agricultural land.”

    The film The Whistleblower–devastating but sadly so true.

    Never ever give up.

  4. The fate of the oceans was decreed by “developments” such as the Highland clearances: Dependence on fishing as a livelihood was a direct consequence of being pushed off the land:

  5. About 4 years ago there were dead and dieing mutton birds from Hervery Bay to Hobart. The number, no idea but they where thick on the Northern NSW beaches. I have seen many dead shearwaters over 40 years of beaching but could see more looking up one beach than in all those years.
    Lucky the abc news had a expert from the parks department explaining they could not find any pathergens in the birds and therefore a normal event and not to worry.
    Why they colude and lie, even, about these things is baffling .

  6. Normally I follow the money, but a dead ocean would be less than a zero end game.
    I would expect msn to connect mass die offs to climate change to us, then the money maker and more, carbon tax.
    But instead nothing to see here all systems normal.
    Hope im not been a dill, read Don and Berry except the link.

  7. I believe one of the biggest causes of all Earth’s environmental problems can be connected to radiation poisoning. Many scientists since 1942 onwards keep reporting the lie that man produced radiation is no big deal.

    That ridiculous thinking then gives the military powers around the World the attitude, to go whole hog with anything producing this, the most toxic of all poisons. Once it is released, there is no control of where it will finish up, and even worse there is no antidote, except a time frame of millions of years, in most cases.

    I have mentioned one industry that is at fault. The other, although not as large in size, is the production of electricity by nuclear power.

    Does man know, or even has he researched whether radiation added to the environment can increase the temperature of the air or sea? I have never seen this subject mentioned.

    I do know that after the radiation from Fukashima arrived at the west coast of the US, the shellfish, corals and sea vegetation died off in massive areas. And fish stocks reduced rapidly. Many large aquatic animals, such as whales, dolphins and orcas have been reported dead, while scientists say that the cause of death, can not be determined. Bunkum!

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