Plastic Pollution Good Reason to Stop Industrial Fishing: Fish with Ingested Plastic on Dinner Plates Around the World

The most compelling argument to stop industrial fishing, because overfishing is wiping out species, is followed in a close second by the fact that seafood products around the world are polluted by plastic microfibers, which absorb chemical pollutants, that have entered the fish via their act of having them in their stomachs and intestines.

Recent studies have shown that fish all over world are in bad health from plastic pollution and they all too often end up being consumed by humans. If this puts you off your favorite weekly sushi dinner, that is good because other studies show about half of the sushi eaten is not what the patron ordered and often can have adverse physical effects on consumers, temporary in the form of diarrhea and long term, who knows?

Turtle ensnared in fishing nets drown all over the world.

Since the 1950s plastic has been dumped in the oceans and now massive amounts of the degraded and broken down polymers can be found all over the oceans, from top to bottom. Huge gyres gather in the middle of the oceans from currents and heavy plastic sinks to the bottom and degrades slowly over time. Photo degradation, from sunlight, is how we get the microfibers of plastic that populates the waves.  

This gives the world two amazingly good reasons to ban industrial fishing on the high seas for decades if not permanently. Protein replacements for fish can easily be found and this will give us humans a chance to clean up the oceans while fish stocks recover in sufficient numbers for further study and possible fishing on a limited basis. And plastic pollution might be the least of the dangerous chemicals found in the flesh of a food source so highly for prized “health benefits,” think mercury and other heavy metals dispensed by offending nations such as China and India.

Logo of Global High Seas Marine Preserve. The Global High Seas Marine Preserve, founded by Danny Quintana, author of Space and Ocean Exploration: The Alternative to the Military-Industrial Complex, advocates establishment of the preserve to ban industrial and commercial fishing in international waters. His mission came from the research done during the writing of Space and Ocean Exploration and was motivated mainly from the plight of overfished species.  

Here is a short list of effects of plastic:

  1. Plastic is so durable that the EPA reports “every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” 
  2. Fish in the North Pacific ingest 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic each year, which can cause intestinal injury and death and transfers plastic up the food chain to bigger fish and marine mammals. A recent study found that a quarter of fish at markets in California contained plastic in their guts, mostly in the form of plastic microfibers.
  3. In the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments — like grocery bags, straws and soda bottles — are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.
  4. Seabirds that feed on the ocean surface tend to ingest plastic debris that floats. The adults then feed these items to their chicks, who then fail to thrive — and very often die. One study found that 98 percent of Laysan Albatross chicks had been fed plastic in some form.
  5. Multiple whales and dolphins have been found washed up on shores, their stomachs full of plastic bags and other debris.
  6. A startling amount of dead sea turtles — 50 to 80 percent — have been found to have ingested plastic debris.
  7. About 640,000 tons of abandoned fishing nets are responsible for snaring and drowning thousands of marine animals per year, including seals, sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, dugongs, crocodiles, seabirds, crabs and other creatures.

China’s coastal waters are not only fished out but an environmental disaster, which is why their massive fleet of fishing trawlers set out to violate the territorial waters of countries with little or no ability to fight the incursions. Shark finning, which kills upwards of 100-millions sharks annually, is because of demand in China for Shark Fin Soup while Japan is also a major contributor to the disappearance of major predator species like tuna and whales.

Beaches all over the world have become the end point of plastic travels and it is a most depressing site indeed.

Help the Global High Seas Marine Preserve ban industrial fishing so that the oceans might be saved from total destruction by going to www.SavingOceans.org.

 

Killing Industrial Fishing a Charitable Gift to the World: Point of No Return Brings Urgency to Halting Barbarism on the High Seas

Reports of progress in scaling back large-scale industrial fishing on the high seas is a band-aid on a sliced aorta in the neck, the patient, and the oceans, are still moving rapidly towards extremis. Major fisheries throughout the world are under severe pressure and half-measures just won’t do it anymore. Industrial and commercial fishing in international waters must be halted, the industry must be stabbed in the heart, if the oceans are to heal and fish stocks are given a reprieve to recover in sufficient numbers to even consider limited fishing.

Contemplating the cascading tide of events from the total collapse of major fisheries is beyond the ability of every human brain or computer model to predict with any certainty, and anyone who postulates events based on this eventuality is running a fool’s errand. Only one thing can be said with certainty, billions of humans will die. The Global High Seas Marine Preserve, a non-profit dedicated to saving the oceans, believes a two-pronged campaign must be mounted; strongly encouraging consumption of sustainable seafood and a complete halt to industrial harvesting of marine life in international waters.

The following article by Danny Quintana, founder of Global High Seas Marine Preserve, goes into detail the issue of halting industrial fishing.   

Each day massive trawlers are out in international waters with nets that are so large they can fit two 747s. These killing machines are not “fishing.” They are emptying out the oceans of all life. If the trawlers capture non-targeted species called “by-catch,” these fish are just killed and thrown back into the waters. These destructive practices have resulted in smaller fish, and the collapse of fisheries worldwide. Since 1970 have of the wildlife in the oceans has been killed off.

These destructive practices of industrial fishing are going to end. Either nations will join together like was done at the turn of the last century and international laws were passed to save whales; or the wildlife in the oceans will be killed off. We can volunteer and stop the destruction of the fisheries by banning industrial fishing. The alternative is let a tiny handful of rich companies from ten countries kill off all of the wildlife in the oceans.

Who are these companies? Where are they from and how much damage are these massive trawlers doing to the oceans? The European Union, the United States, China, Japan and Russia are the biggest fish killers. Without tax subsidies from their governments these ships would not be profitable. The only question is will humans step up and save our brothers and sisters in the oceans? Or are we going to allow a handful of very greedy individuals to kill off the oceans’ creatures?

It is a Moral Question:

Chinese fishing trawlers take to the seas en masse to rape the oceans of marine life.

Chinese fishing trawlers

Clearly not all humans have the same value for life. In some Asian nations there are people but few animals. Japan is modern beyond belief. The cities are clean, their computers, autos and bright lights remind us they are an economic superpower. But they are one giant city with people who work from sunrise to sunset chasing money and not finding happiness.

The Japanese are a sea power and would kill whales in their small wooden boats near their shores. Today, they claim a cultural right to kill whales. Now that is all well and good but if that is the reality then only hunt whales in small wooden boats next to their shores using ancient technology. This “cultural right” that the Japanese claim to travel anywhere on this tiny planet in their huge fishing vessels to slaughter fish and whales has to change.

Europe has people, cars, trains, fine wine and great food. Their wildlife is gone. Their great forests were cut for housing, ships in a bygone era and other purposes. The wild herds of antiquity have been killed off or fenced in to tiny areas. The Europeans once fished off their shores but have so completely decimated their fisheries, they now travel to the shores of developing nations and are killing off their source of protein, their fish.

The Bluefin Tuna is at the edge of extinction.

Endangered Bluefin Tuna

Less than one percent of the world’s fisherman from ten nations, using massive ships with nets and long lines that go out for miles and miles, are killing all life in the oceans. This is going to end. It is going to end because very soon these ten nations, all rich industrial powers are going to kill off the wild fish. Very soon Bluefin tuna will be extinct. Today 90 percent of the predators in the oceans have been killed. Sharks are being killed faster than they can reproduce and their slaughter is destroying the food chains- all for the Chinese delicacy of “shark fin soup”.

When the last shark is killed, when the last Bluefin tuna is slaughtered so a rich Japanese businessman can enjoy his last tasted of sushi, when the last whale dies from plastic poison or a harpoon or a net, when the last sea turtle and dolphin and sea bird dies- we will be bringing about our own extinction.

We need to hold an international conference on saving the wildlife in the oceans by banning industrial commercial fishing. These creatures are being killed so people in rich countries can have a food choice. These creatures are not being killed because we are hungry. People in rich countries have many sources of protein. We don’t need to kill off our water creatures just because we can.

We once came together to save the whales from certain destruction as it was obvious that the hunting practices of whaling ships of the 1800s were going to bring about extinction. The whaling commissions and international standards, the rule of law saved the whales. We now need to do the same thing with the fisheries. The data is out there for all to see. The small handful of companies and very rich individuals know exactly what they are doing. There is no mystery or controversy on whether or not the fisheries are collapsing, the whales are dying, the sharks are being killed off. We know it is happening.

For media interviews with Danny Quintana contact E.B. GO Vision Media at c@EBGOinc.com.

Cheap Sushi, Fake Sushi and Time to Boycott All Sushi: Overpriced Grub Fleeces Naïve Consumers Who Need to Revolt

Not only are the oceans being emptied of fish stocks at an irreplaceable rate, but naïve consumers are getting fleeced in the process by fake and overpriced sushi products all over the United States. Decades ago small operators figured out that the profit margin for sushi was fantastic, thus ushering in all kinds of restaurants to include it on their menus. At the same time consumers, who think of themselves as savvy, were getting fleeced for billions of dollars by purveyors of mislabeled products and substandard fare containing parasites or chemicals. Seems the savvy consumers have been getting snookered for decades. Now the time has come to reverse the sushi revolution with a consumer backlash worthy enough to save the money and health of millions and strong enough for the industrial fishing companies cease operations.

The Global High Seas Marine Preserve, a non-profit dedicated to saving the oceans, could solve the sushi fraud problem in one stroke; ban industrial fishing in international waters and unleash a major international maritime military force to enforce the ban worldwide. It would save oceans  and save consumers from wasting money and their health on fake sushi. Read on for more info on fake sushi in your life.

Recent studies of sushi restaurants in Los Angeles and New York City concluded that at least 40% of the menu items were mislabeled. So Spicy Tuna Handrolls, which cost at least $5.00 a crack, are probably not tuna, which would frankly be a good thing considering tuna are almost extinct. But what must be noted is that all those upscale patrons, laughing and thinking themselves so hip, are getting ripped off at these establishments and probably have been for decades. One is better off getting a steak with all the trimmings than being taken to the cleaners with fake sushi, and even if it is real it is way overpriced and, in the midst of the current ocean crisis, a morally tenuous purchase at best.

Oceana released a new report detailing the global scale of seafood fraud, finding that on average, one in five of more than 25,000 samples of seafood tested worldwide was mislabeled. In the report, Oceana reviewed more than 200 published studies from 55 countries, on every continent except for Antarctica. The studies found seafood fraud present in each investigation with only one exception. The studies reviewed also found seafood mislabeling in every sector of the seafood supply chain: retail, wholesale, distribution, import/export, packaging/processing and landing. An interactive map of the global seafood fraud review compiled by Oceana can be found at www.oceana.org/seafoodfraudmap.

I was one of those consumers and feel ashamed at the naivety of my continued patronage of these “clip joints.” Larry Olmstead’s book, Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It, According to Real Food/Fake Food, is a must read for all restaurant going consumers and he skewers sushi purveyors by noting that ordering white tuna get one a “different animal” 94% percent of the time. What do you get? Well, according to Olmstead it is escolar, known as “Ex-Lax fish” in the seafood industry, and a diarrhea inducing time-bomb banned and then unbanned by the FDA.

“So when people think they are sick because their tuna has gone bad, it’s way more likely they never even had tuna in the first place,” Olmsted said. Tilefish, on the FDA do-not-eat list for children and pregnant women, is switched for red snapper or halibut and tilapia, less adverse but really bad, is substituted for swapped for tuna as well.

Olmstead says the sushi should be “treated like fast food.”

It is time to kill the low-end sushi industry and put a major dent in the high-end versions by banning industrial fishing on the high seas. To help the Global High Seas Marine Preserve achieve this goal go to www.SavingOceans.org.