Fish for Thought

Fishing has been closed indefinitely along a 23-mile stretch of coastline in Florida.  The commercial harvest of saltwater fish, shrimp, and crab in this area is effectively over.   Thousands of families along the Gulf of Mexico rely on fishing for their livelihoods, and slowly but surely we are seeing those livelihoods lost as a result of this oil spill.

Oysters, mussels, and clams are not included in this ban, but in my opinion the coming weeks will see them also added to the banned list.  Shellfish have the incredible ability to accumulate any toxins that they filter out of the water, and with all that crude and dispersant running around out there, it is only a matter of time.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission [FWCC] Chairman Rodney Barreto said in a press release that “The oil spill in the Gulf is still far from most of Florida’s vast coastlines, and while the FWCC continues to carefully track oil spill developments and prepare for possible impacts, Florida’s abundant saltwater fisheries remain in good health and the fish you buy in a commercial outlet or restaurant are safe and wholesome to eat”.  That is the official position of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, but I fear that is not what the public’s opinion is.  Consumers have been bombarded by photos of birds drenched in black for the past several weeks…people don’t know EXACTLY where the spill is, all they know is that it is in the ‘Gulf of Mexico’.  When they ask the guy at the fish counter where the fish is from (and believe me, as time goes on people are gonna ask more frequently!), and the guy behind the counter says, “The Gulf of Mexico”, people are going to turn up their noses and walk away.

The bigger issue here is our consistent refusal to relieve our dependence on oil.  Incidents like this need to be used as a catalyst for change: instead of spending money developing better ways to drill for crude, let’s realize that the days of oil are over and spend that money to develop realistic, sustainable alternatives to oil.  It will not be easy, and the first thing that change encounters is resistance, but if and when enough people get pissed off enough, that is when there will be hope for lasting improvements.

2 Responses to “Fish for Thought”

  1. Welcome aboard Brian. I couldn’t agree more on the idea that this catastrophe is an opportunity to pivot away from our dependence on oil.

    By the way, I received a message from Organizing for America asking to sign up in support of the President on clean energy. I am on board and if you or anyone reading this is interested here is astroturf…

    +++++++++

    The oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a tragedy — one we can only hope never happens again.

    But the solution is about more than just addressing this crisis. As President Obama said, “An America run solely on fossil fuels should not be the vision we have for our children and our grandchildren.”

    The House has already passed comprehensive energy legislation — and the Senate is ready to take up the issue.

    That’s why I added my name today to show I stand with President Obama for a clean-energy future.

    Will you join me?

    http://my.barackobama.com/CleanEnergy-auto

    Thank you.

  2. The oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a tragedy — one we can only hope never happens again.

    But the solution is about more than just addressing this crisis. As President Obama said, “An America run solely on fossil fuels should not be the vision we have for our children and our grandchildren.”

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