Tuesday, March 9, 2010

6. Start making it a habit to read the paper daily watching the Discovery Channel, PBS etc., and surfing the web.

I have not necessarily made it a habit to watch the Discovery Channel daily, but I did watch a few episodes of Shark Week online. For whatever reason, I have always been into sharks. This started when I was young and my mom bought me all these shark toys to play with. Now that I have gotten older I am no longer fascinated by the cool toys or Jaw’s movies out there, instead I have become almost a fan of sharks if you will.

I saw two specials on the Discovery Channel. One does not directly relate to any current environmental issues, it was a show called “Air Jaws” and it showed a ton of video footage of these massive great white sharks jumping out of the water. It was amazing to see how agile and athletic these huge mammals are. The sharks swim in the deeper waters and when they see a seal or something they want to eat above them they sneak up on them from underneath and then sky out of the water, grabbing the poor seals in the process. This was interesting and exciting to me simply because I am a big shark fan, but I can see how other people could be bothered by that sight.

The other show I saw had more of a correlation with the environment. It was about these massive fishing boats that go out all over the world. It showed how they use their nets to catch fish, shrimp, crab, or whatever their target is. It illustrated the concept of “bycatch.” I uploaded a picture on the blog that gives you a better idea of what I am talking about. What these fisherman do is throw massive nets out into the water and when they bring them in they take the target catch out of the net, and kill whatever is left. This wouldn’t be as frowned upon if they were actually using the extra catch for something, but they are simply wasting it. Take for instance a shrimp boat goes out in the Atlantic hoping to bring in a ton of shrimp. They cast the nets out and when they bring them in with a few dozen shrimp and a ton of other fish, they take the shrimp and just waste whatever else is left. To me that is pretty disgusting. We are overfishing the oceans already by trying to catch enough fish to meet the increasing demand for seafood. The world is growing so rapidly in population that we are not giving the fish enough time to reproduce. Eventually we will overfish our oceans so much that it will become difficult to find many of the different types of seafood that are readily available to us today.

This was an interesting but sad show, I hope that they will implement some type of laws against bycatch because it seems like such a waste of resources to me!

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