Saturday, September 29, 2012

Reading List: Oceana (2011)

 Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them

Most people know Ted Danson as the loveable Sam Malone from Cheers, but what isn’t as public is his support for environmental conservancy, specifically the sea. This is hands down one of the best environmental books of the last few years…not only is it aesthetically beautiful, what’s written inside is both awesome and thoroughly frightening. It was a shock to learn that probably because of their vast size, oceans don’t have the same protections that other bodies of water do. Many think that the oceans are the environmental equivalent of “too big to fail”, when reality shows they are just as vulnerable as everything else. I’ll let the quotes speak for themselves:

p. 69 “The current rate of destruction and death among the world’s coral reefs due to a multitude of threats including trawling and bleaching is—there’s no better word for it—horrifying. Close to 30% of the world’s tropical reefs have vanished since 1980, including half of the reefs in the Caribbean.”

p. 89 “Experts say we’re within a century—possibly even less—of inhabiting a world where the only viable seafood left in the oceans will be jellyfish.”

p. 130 “Calculations show that the total area of seabed trawled by the worlds fishing fleet each year is 150 times the area of the forests cut.”

p. 182 “You show me a polluter, and I’ll show you a subsidy.” Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

p. 186 “Factor in the destruction caused by that deep-sea fishing and you’ve got a triple whammy: The public is paying to help catch those fish, we’re paying to eat them, and we’re paying to help destroy our oceans in the process. I don’t think many of us would support fishing subsidies if we were fully aware of these facts.

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