Every Monday and Thursday in the museum during lunch time, we watch documentaries. Today was the last episode of South Pacific, a BBC documentary which looks at the islands in the South Pacific, Fragile Paradise. As the name suggests, it’s talking about conservation.
Over-fishing is one of the biggest threats facing the wildlife found in the Pacific Ocean. And the loss of a species in the ecosystem brings about greater problems, because of the interconnectedness of all organisms.
1) Long-lines which are hundreds of miles long are used by certain fishing boats. These attract Albatrosses, who snap up the bait, only to be snared by the hook and die eventually.
2) SHARKS FIN SOUP. The demand for this “delicacy” is driving commercial fishing fleets to sweep up all the sharks in the waters, chop off their fins, then throw them back, finless and dead.
3) Commercial fishing. Demand for seafood is increasing, with the middle class growing in most countries. Commercial fishing made seafood CHEAP, which drives the demand even more. There are commercial fleets which catches tunas by the tonnes, using purse-seining techniques. The BBC documentary made it very very real, they sent the camera crew into the net itself to film. The worse thing must be watching the ENTIRE SCHOOL of fish die, but not being able to do anything.
This video clip isn’t half as good as the one from BBC (naturally), but it’s the best I can find. To give you an idea of how terrible the impact is.
After watching it, I feel like I should never eat seafood again. Then I thought about it a little more, and realised what I should be doing, is to ensure that I am only eating sustainably-caught fish. Of course, this is easier said than done
Then Andy shared this short clip about mangrove conservation in Ecuador on Facebook. And I feel like these people are really enlightened individuals, who know the importance and more importantly, the benefits of conserving our natural resources.
Really. Conservation isn’t about saving the planet, or saving the world, or saving whatever other wildlife that shares our living space. Conservation will help us save ourselves. Perhaps we’re just too short-sighted to see that.