You Are Killing Them

Divers who share this will always see more fish in their dives

    It was a shiny day and I was riding my bike. I was listening to Eddie Wedder‘s ‘Society‘ song with headphones when I saw a very large group of people. They were applauding, smiling and screaming in front of a big building.

    I stopped, got off my bike. Removed my headphones and tried to understand what is going on.

    Shortly, I got that this is a new hotel opening.

    I moved forward splitting the crowd. One man in black was talking about the construction process of their hotel and how difficult it was. He was very proud of the job.

    As a business administration graduate, I know it is really hard to start a business. I am sure this guy in black had stressful days and nights, couldn’t sleep some nights, redo the budget planning, changed the swot analysis couple of times and etc.

    “Image courtesy of rattigon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

    However, I was looking at him from a different perspective.

    There were old trees over here, birds singing on them. This was the spot where I was giving a break to my bike trips to take nature photos, listen to the songs of the colorful birds and rest in the shade. Now, it was gone.

    No trees to rest under, no birds… I will not even be able to reach this area anymore; fences won’t let me.

    Dilemma

    I know that people should go on their lives. To be able to do that, they need money. To earn money, they should work.

    Somebody was the owner of this land and built this hotel to be able to live.

    On the other hand, the very same person killed the birds (indirectly) and cut the trees that produce oxygen for me and my neighbor to breath.

    Some part of mine is agreed with industry, imagining how hard it is to survive.

    By this opening, lot of people were able to find jobs (employment increased) and this hotel is going to pay the taxes that will (hopefully) in return, increase prosperity of the citizens.

    Other part of mine, however, tells me that this is a crime. Somebody is stealing the oxygen I need, killing the birds and cutting (killing) the trees.

    Oceans are Dying

    I have shared a photo on Dive With Seaman Facebook Page couple of days ago. I am very glad that Dive With Seaman readers are very conscious about the environment and not only scuba divers who dive to see something and return to the surface without questioning.

    It was a grey whale lying on the sand. It was dead.

    Image Credit: Geograph / Richard Humphrey

    Scientists performed autopsy and reported that this death was due to pollution. They found plastic in grey whale’s stomach.

    You, me, men and women you see in your home town is responsible. Plastic in that whale’s stomach delivered to the oceans by us: No one else.

    What about the shark finning?

    100 millions of sharks are killed each year just for their fins. Why?

    Because we love to drink the “shark fin soap” as if there are no other types of soaps we can cook without killing sharks: Important players of the food chain.

    In addition to this, shark fins are sold as a souvenir.

    Maybe buyers don’t know or question how these shark fins are obtained: Some killers are jumping their boats, catch sharks, take them to deck, cut their fins with a knife and ‘throw‘ these sharks back to the sea when the shark is still alive.

    Please watch the video below. It is a very informative documentary about shark finning. Winner Best Environmental Film, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Awards 2007.


     
    Shark cannot move underwater. %90 of the shark species cannot breath (use the dissolved oxygen in sea-water) if they don’t move. Yes, majority of the shark species never sleep.

    So, the sharks without fins drown in the water.

    Species who can breathe without moving is much more unlucky. They die of hunger and/or bleed to death. A much more slow and biting death.

    Imagine… The rest of the shark fin you just bought is dying somewhere on the ocean floor slowly.

    Let’s assume that 3 fins of a shark are being sold. Two pectoral fins (on both sides) and the dorsal fin (famous shark fin on their back).

    This means that you and two other of us have left that shark die.

    I Don’t Care

    I was on a ferry years ago, on my way home after a tiring day at the university.

    One of my class-mates was also with me. He asked me:

    “I heard you are a scuba diver. Tell me what do you see underwater?”

    It all started like this and the subject came to consciousness and naturalism.

    He said “why should I be caring about the death of dolphins? They eat fish in the nets of fishermen!

    I know there are millions of people who think in the very same way. Oceans would have been better if there weren’t.

    Let’s go on with the same example my class-mate asked.

    “Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

    What Would Happen If Dolphins Extinct?

    Dolphins are at the top of the food chain with sharks. It means something like a small fish eats a plankton, a bigger fish eats that small fish, a small squid eats that bigger fish, a bigger squid eats that small squid, a dolphin eats that bigger squid.

    If dolphins extinct, number of that bigger squid will increase, causing the others to decrease in number and even extinct. At the end, that bigger squid will also extinct due to starvation.

    This will affect the income of the fishermen. Because there will be no-fish in the oceans in the long run.

    There are millions of people who are bounded to the oceans to survive. This will kill them.

    Washington State Department of Health writes:

    “Fish is a low-fat high quality protein. Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week as part of a healthy diet. Fish is packed with protein, vitamins, and nutrients that can lower blood pressure and help reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.”

    I think we now know the results of extinction of the dolphins.

    What We Should Do?

    I want to write about couple of things I apply in my life to give you an idea.

    • help to recycle plastic by placing them recycle containers
    • give back plastic bags to the market if you only bought stuff you can carry easily
    • don’t drop litter to nature
    • raise your children in a conscious way. Teach them to defend their right of living
    • learn more about ecologic terms like ecological footprint
    • share your knowledge with other people just like I do right now
    • Don’t buy shark fins and drink shark fin soap. No demand, no supply

    We can help ourselves for a change.

    Resources:

    http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Food/Fish/HealthBenefits.aspx

    http://www.stopsharkfinning.net/what-is-shark-finning/

    http://www.realnews24.com/gray-whale-dies-bringing-us-a-message-with-stomach-full-of-plastic-trash/

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/01/100-million-sharks-killed-each-year

    Divers who share this will always see more fish in their dives

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