PROBLEM - From 2000 to 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service reported an average of 11 large whales entangled in ghost nets every year along the US west coast. From 2002 to 2010, 870 nets were recovered in Washington (state) with over 32,000 marine animals trapped inside. Ghost gear is estimated to account for 10% of all marine litter.
Sharks are some of the most beautiful and dangerous of all marine animals as they glide through the ocean in search of prey. They are millions of years old and extremely well adapted to swim thousands of miles in the search for food. But at the end of the day they are just very large fish. Large and powerful fish with big teeth that can swim very fast.
Unsurprisingly then humans are both terrified of and facinated by sharks even where humans are not really on the main menu as daily fish food. Because of their image, sharks star in many films, the most famous of which is Jaws, based on a best seller by Peter Benchley, and directed by Steven Spielberg. No wonder it was such a huge success, even when their mechanical shark props called "Bruce" failed to work very well.
In an effort to feed a growing population we should look at alternatives lower down the food chain to increase the ratio at which protein is harvested from the ocean, so bypassing the conventional food chain where at each stage of consumption there are significant losses in the conversion process. Jellyfish, squid, krill and filter feeders such a mussels could play a part in filling the widening gap between falling fish stocks and higher demand to feed humans - so relieving the pressure on tuna, salmon and other popular white fish. The problem being that plastic in the ocean is poisoning all marine life, making seafood potentially toxic and a health risk in years to come.
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MARINE LIFE - This humpback whale is one example of a magnificent animal that is at the mercy of human activity. Humans are for the most part unaware of the harm their fast-lane lifestyles are causing. We aim to change that by doing all we can to promote ocean literacy.
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