Changing seasons


Sorry guys. I did say I was going to get back in the saddle this week after a slight break. I was hoping to write and motivate you into taking some action towards saving our oceans. Don’t worry, I still want to do that. And next week I’ll give you some ideas as to how to be proactive. ‘Thankyou’ Paul who asked how he could make a difference!

BUT at this juncture I’ve been inspired to try to give you some more information to get you thinking. All I’ve heard today, on the cable news, is about how bad the effects of global warming are. The fact that we, as a global nation, are not listening or understanding. The fact that we need to reduce temperatures substantially. Global warming is happening, although certain entities refuse to accept that. What is negotiable is whether global warming is due to the earth’s natural growth and temporal development, or whether it is due to us making a mess of things. I would suggest it is both. But my goodness, we are certainly exacerbating the situation. And to what extent?

Our friends at the BBC aired a programe this week detailing the extent of the present drought in Zimbabwe. The ramifications? There is only 25% of the usual water mass over the Victoria falls, especially the area where Dr. Livingston said he “Gazed upon angels in their flight”. Awesome. The locals around that area also referred to the falls as “smoke that thunders”. Again awesome. And now they are dry, So, dry that the Manna Pools park has animals dying from thirst and hunger. The hunger is driving elephants to forage further, and people are being killed protecting their crops. In Harare, Zimbabwe, the drought has left more than two million people unable to access clean water. Now, because off the reduction of water supply, the hydro facilities aren’t working so the poorer areas of Harare are without power. Do these dramatic incidents have an effect in you? What will make you listen and act.

So, where does this lead us on the seafood front. Well how about whole crops of oysters on the Pacific coast dying of herpes. A deadly herpes virus, Ostreid herpesvirus 1 (OsHV-1), is threatening Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas), the world’s most popular and valuable oyster species. And, it is almost certain to spread more widely in our globally connected world.

I know what you’re thinking: “Oysters get herpes??” Yes, and they can also get sick from other types of pathogens and stresses. But don’t worry, you won’t contract this virus from eating an oyster, whether you enjoy them on the half-shell or cooked. OsHV-1 can infect other bivalve species, like some animal herpes viruses that can cross species barriers, but it is genetically distinct from other animal herpes viruses and does not infect humans. But the issue here is how is this becoming prevalent. Well it’s been ignited by a slight increase in water temperature and it is decimating crops. That’s pretty serious.

Another situation is the movement of fish populations. I wrote about this earlier this year. To summarize, there is an actual depletion of Atlantic cod stocks on the east coast of the United States. As the more southern waters become warmer, the cod, which prefer colder waters to spawn are heading north. Trouble is, the food they require is not in such good supply. On the west coast, the contrary is happening. Salmon are moving south as they prefer warmer waters to spawn and because of the warner waters the food which they require is more abundant. These are facts.

Hopefully these two fishy facts will give you food for thought. Next week I’ll give you some ideas of how you can make a difference. However, in the interim, please mull over the stories above. Thing about Harare and its people. Is your move going to be against global warming or on more direct sustainability initiatives? Let’s share some thoughts next week.


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