Good News and a Lot of Bad News

Amidst all the awful information Callum Roberts imparts about the state of our oceans in his book The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea, there is some good news:

"Great tits in cities sing shorter, faster songs at a higher pitch than those in the countryside,"

and while this doesn't override the problems discussed in the latter half of the book, which I will list in a moment, I'm always pleased when I hear about singing tits in the city, especially if they are great tits, especially a mated pair . . . but a pair of great tits, singing or not, isn't enough to undo what mankind has wrought: the undersea noise pollution that interrupts aquatic communication; the invasive species making their way across the globe; the sheets of sea lettuce, fertilized by pig-farm run-off, that that piled in sheets on the surface of the water and trapped poisonous gasses created by the very run-off that fertilized the sea lettuce; the rampant destruction of wetland and mangrove forest-- the coastline's safety system-- in order to create aquaculture pens and ponds; the hundreds of thousands of tons of krill and other small fish made into fishmeal to feed the aquaculture fish, thus eliminating food for the wild stock; the threat of genetically mutated fish breeding with wild fish; the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria within the densely populated fish pens; the bays and river mouths that lack circulation because of warming currents, and so contain incredible amounts of toxins, heavy metals, and effluvium; the dredgers that destroy habitats and churn the polluted sediment back into the water; the loss of habitat and groundwater and storm protection because of the destruction of mangrove, salt marsh and wetlands; the utter devastation wrought by fishermen catching predatory fish high on the food chain-- the reported collateral damage of catching 211 mahi-mahi on a long line in Costa Rica is beyond abysmal (here is the death toll: 468 olive ridley turtles, 20 green turtles, 408 stingrays, 47 devil rays, 413 silky sharks, 24 thresher sharks, 13 smooth hammerhead sharks, 6 crocodile sharks, 4 whitetip sharks, 68 Pacific sailfish, 34 striped marlin32 yellowfin tuna, 22 blue marlin, 11 wahoo, 8 swordfish, and 4 ocean sunfish . . . and I though line-caught was something positive) and the difficulty of convincing politicians to mandate sustainable fishing practices-- despite scientifically proven paradox that if the fishermen fish a bit less, then there will soon be more fish . . . but though there are some bright spots, and a number of organizations and nations are getting wise as we approach the brink, we're going to need to change our ways sooner rather than later, or we're going to lose some of our greatest megafauna-- which would be tragic-- and destroy an incredible source of food . . . and delicious food at that, and we're going to destroy the wildest, most alien and possibly most resilient place on the planet.

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