Ocean Armageddon In Full Force
By: Tom Chatham
As much as we worry about weather conditions and how they affect the annual grain harvest, a silent war is in effect against another primary food source. Our oceans are under assault by the very technology and industries we depend on for energy. As we focus on the daily news propaganda and divert our eyes elsewhere, our planets life giving ability is being destroyed beyond our ability to repair it. The crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant is still unfolding.
Every day we find out more that we have not been told. It is now estimated that the nuclear plant is spewing 300 or more tons of radioactively contaminated water into the ocean every day. At this point the facility is to a large degree out of the control of its human operators. They can now only mitigate, not prevent. As the radioactive contaminants continue unabated into the ocean, the damage being done to sealife is still being accessed but will no doubt be devastating for centuries to come. The contamination will rise through the food chain until nothing is unaffected.
There are some distressing things happening in the pacific these days.
– Pacific herring in Canada bleeding from eyeballs, faces, fins and tails.
– Sockeye salmon at dire historic low on Canada Pacific coast.
– Contaminated Alaskan halibut.
– EPA and FDA only testing imported fish not wild caught.
– Researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology reported in early 2012 that they detected radioactive cesium from Fukushima reactor 1 in plankton collected from all 10 points in the Pacific that they checked.
– Highest levels of Fukushima contamination in plankton already east of Hawaii.
As if the Fukushima tragedy was not bad enough for the Pacific another danger lurks out there. University of Michigan researchers and University of Hawaii colleagues have confirmed that mercury found in Pacific fish near Hawaii likely traveled thousands of miles through the air before being deposited in the ocean by rainfall. The pacific fisheries are downwind of rapidly industrializing countries such as China and India that are increasingly reliant on coal burning power plants, a major source of mercury pollution.
Another tragedy is playing out in the Gulf of Mexico. The aftermath of the BP oil spill is still being felt and will continue. Corexit dispersant is toxic in itself but when mixed with crude oil that contains chemicals such as Ethylbenzene, m,p-Xlene and Hexane, a toxic cocktail is formed that becomes hazardous to everything it touches. The combination of crude oil and corexit dispersant dumped into the Gulf will continue to cause illness and death for many years to come.
To make matters worse, permanent biological contamination may now exist in the gulf where synthetic genes are crossing species barriers due to the contaminants present and the end result is yet to be determined. Anyone who lives near the gulf or eats from its’ contaminated waters will pay a heavy price as evidenced by the illnesses now plaguing gulf coast residents. Deformities have been discovered in seafood in the gulf and studies reveal that the FDA seriously underestimated cancer risks from contaminants that can accumulate in seafood.
Few people realize how dependent humans are on the oceans for our survival.
Fisheries and aquaculture produce 140 million tons of aquatic plants and animals consumed by humans annually. Cod, Hake and Haddock commonly sold as fish fillets and fish sticks and are also used to make artificial crabmeat and shrimp. The cod fishery of the U.S., once the largest in the world, collapsed in the 1990’s because of over fishing.
U.S. seafood consumption is about 15 lbs per year per person.
The Japanese rely heavily on seafood for animal protein and consume about 5 times U.S. consumption.
Alaska accounts for 50% of U.S. seafood production.
Over 90% of the worlds living biomass is located in the oceans.
Marine sources provide about 20% of the animal protein eaten by humans and another 5% is provided indirectly via livestock fed with fish.
In Asia, about 1 billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein.
Estimates suggest seafood production will be insufficient to meet demand in the next century.
The fishing enterprise employs 200 million people worldwide.
Humans rely on this planet for life and if our ecosystems are not guarded carefully it will spell the end of humans on this planet. Many people don’t want to think about that and go about their daily routine as if everything will always be just fine. We are now capable of causing damage to those systems that is beyond our ability to repair. If it continues we will pay the price for our complacency. At this point we cannot repair much of the damage already done but we may be able to mitigate it enough to ensure life goes on. In the end it is up to each of us to do our part to protect the resources we require to survive.