If Fish Could
was once said that the only man-created structure you could see
from space was the Great Wall of China. Now all that has changed.
Today, from the International Space Station, you will be able
to spot at least two man-made disasters. A shrunken, dry Aral
Sea full of toxins. And thousands of square miles of dead coral
across The Great Barrier Reef.
In the last 40 years of earths history,
humankind has managed to destroy more ocean life than in the last
300,000 years combined. Technology has created the means to be
able to fish the oceans at massively increased levels, leaving
whole seas almost empty of species, which have existed for millions
of years. Each day reports pile up on the desks of environmentalists
and news rooms about a new human generated disaster somewhere
on or off the shores of the world's oceans. Recently it has been
discovered that species of whales are the longest living creatures
on earth... some over two hundred years old. But these wizened
mammals continue to be hunted and killed now almost to extinction.
Seventy percent of the major fish
species world-wide are being removed from the sea above the rate
that they can reproduce. In the Indo-Pacific region of the planet,
20% of life enriching coral reefs have disappeared in just 20
years ... and globally, 60% of all coral reefs are expected to
have disappeared completely by 2030, according to a UN report.
People on dry land, in towns, cities,
offices and cosy homes have no concept or show no apparent care
about what lives or dies within the inner space that covers two
thirds of the Earth's surface. But this overwhelming body of water
is a force that dictates the future of all life... including yours
on dry land.
Here are some
Looking-Glass Global News articles.
- World reports are increasing as
quantities of fish and sea mammals continue to decline at an alarming
rate. In the North Sea cod are disappearing. They are not growing
to full size and are being netted before they can breed. Pollutants
are also blamed for the dissipating numbers.
- Off the American west coast starved
gray whales are washing up dead on beaches in the highest numbers
in a quarter-century. Some scientists believe the shrinking ocean
food supply may be the cause.
The Aral Sea
Within just 20 years the fourth
largest inland sea on earth turned into a dry, contaminated, toxic
The Aral Sea, which crossed between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan,
was once a thriving environment until the 1960's when extensive
irrigation schemes were put in place. River water which normally
flowed into the Aral from the Tian Shan Mountains was diverted
to irrigate cotton and rice fields. Now, huge amounts of this
diverted water lay as stagnant pools across the vast, badly managed
cotton and rice fields.
As a result the Aral has now lost more than 60% of its water.
Over 27,000 square kilometers of former sea bottom is now a dry,
toxic wasteland. Salt and chemical fertilisers blow across these
dry plains spreading the effects of the disaster far and wide.
The fish have all died (since what is left of the sea is a toxic
soup) and the health of the people, animal and plant life around
what is left of the Aral are suffering. Any river water that still
reaches the sea is highly contaminated with pesticides that seep
from the rice and cotton fields. For the people around the Aral
Sea, diseases like Typhoid fever, viral hepatitis, TB, throat
cancer, anaemia, and tuberculosis are rife. Many children are
born with defects.
A footnote about the Aral Sea Disaster: The locals around the
Aral sea joke that if everyone who'd come to study this
disaster had brought a bucket of water, the sea would be full
The Black Sea
The Black Sea looks as if it is
following the way of the Aral in terms of concentrated pollution.
Many regions around its northern shores are using the sea as a
dumping ground for chemical toxins. The fish are disappearing
at an alarming rate. Unprincipled fishermen catch whatever they
can, which means younger fish are caught prematurely, not giving
them enough time to spawn a next generation. The results are obvious.
As with the Aral, the level of the
Dead Sea is sinking rapidly due to extraction of water from rivers
which supply it. Water from the Jordan and Yarmuk rivers is being
extracted by Syria, Jordan and Israel. Any remaining water left
is mostly evaporating before it can reach the sea. The Dead Sea
is the lowest place on earth, lying in a deep valley way below
normal sea levels and presents a unique environment. Environmental
experts are calling for the revival of a canal project to ensure
that it survives. This would draw water in from the Red Sea.
Corals of the Great Barrier Reef...
dying off at an alarming rate. Corals are delicate living creatures
which provide a balanced ecosystem for millions of other interdependent
sea creatures stretching thousands of kilometers along Australia's
east coast. A change in sea temperature due to global warming,
as well as pollution are known to be the primary reasons for this
by Invisible Pollution
microscopic litter is also to blame for the decline in ocean life.
Plastic based litter is polluting the world's sea and shorelines
according to research carried out by Plymouth University. The
report says that human debris in the ocean has up till now been
underestimated. Tiny particles of plastics are ingested by barnacles,
lugworms, crustaceans and plankton, which filter water for food.
In turn, seabirds feed off these creatures. All the species in
this chain are currently declining. Pollutive effects of millions
of tons of the microscopic plastic waste from humans is thought
to be a primary cause.
on Depleting Numbers of Fish
Quantities of fish
and sea mammals continue to decline at an alarming rate across
all the oceans of the world. This is mainly due to overfishing
on a massive scale. Nearly every country in the world is to blame
In the North Sea cod are disappearing. They are not growing to
full size and are being netted before they can breed.
Pollutants are also blamed for the dissipating numbers. This is
also affecting seabirds along the UK coastline as numbers are
rapidly declining. The number of Kittiwakes has said to have fallen
by 50% in the last five years.
Fishing for sandeels in the North Sea has now been banned. Many
seabirds who fed on the sandeel have declined in numbers and overfishing
of sandeels was blamed for the worst breeding season on record
in 2004. However the RSPB say that even in 2005 seabirds had delayed
breeding due to a mass shortage of food. Climate change is also
a major cause of sandeel decline. In addition to this, scientists
say that many other species of fish may completely dissapear from
the North Sea by 2050.
fish numbers now believed to be much lower than previously thought.
China has been named as the culprit for distorted figures on world
Analysts say that Chinese officials
have been lying about the number of fish being caught in their
regions in an attempt to cover up over fishing practices. It turns
out that China are catching far fewer fish than they claim, simply
because they have over fished their regions. Researchers say this
has led the Food and Agriculture Organisation to believe that
global fish catches had increased, but in fact they have actually
been dwindling due to depleting sea life, caused by overfishing.
you are voting for...
The GGL proposes a placement of
a United Oceans. An international monitoring organization with
powers to regulate fishing, minimize sea pollution and regulate
water re-channeling across every country around the planet.
Here for this GGL#8
more about the Global Green Laws concept here