The Whisker Chronicles

Whiskers are also known as vibrissa, from the latin vibrare "to vibrate". Vibrissa are the specialized hairs on mammals and the bristlelike feathers near the mouths of many birds. Their resonant design is symbolic of the energies, good and bad, that are reverberating throughout the natural world. Every living thing is connected and, by birthright, deserves to exist.

Bycatch and Bygones: Ocean Biodiversity in Peril

398px-Sea_turtle_entangled_in_a_ghost_net

When humans use several strategies at once in order to improve the odds of reaching a singular goal, we often characterize the approach as “casting a wide net.” While this may work out well in the metaphorical sense, in the literal sense casting a wide net is destructive. Indeed, it is an unwise strategy towards the ultimate goal that the oceans continue to provide life sustaining nourishment and support biodiversity.

Commercial fishing operations can include use of several methods to insure large catches from wild fisheries. Some of these methods result in bycatch. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), bycatch is the incidental catch or mortality of fish and protected species, such as marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, and sharks. Bycatch is the discarded catch of any living marine resource, plus unobserved mortality due to a direct encounter with fishing gear.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, nearly 85% of the world’s fisheries are fished to capacity, or overfished. Bycatch adversely affects nearly every ocean dwelling species.

Drift_net_with_bird,_2_(8080506763)

So what can you do?

  1. Use and share the Seafood Watch pocket guide. Or if you prefer, there’s an APP for that.
  2. Support sustainable seafood companies and restaurants.
  3. Spread the word by sharing this blog.
  4. Keep up with issues in your region and let your representatives know that you support sustainable practices in commercial fishing.

Here’s an example of an issue in my own home state of North Carolina, where inshore shrimp trawling is very destructive.

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One comment on “Bycatch and Bygones: Ocean Biodiversity in Peril

  1. Pingback: Sustainable Seafood is the Answer to the Oceans’ Limited Fish Supply | The Whisker Chronicles

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