Massive die-offs of sea life are not normal occurrences. They point to something seriously wrong with our environment, and it’s time for everyone–not just scientists and environmentalists–to wake up, pay attention, and do something.
Blue Ocean Environmental issued a 4-Stage Threat Proclamation concerning the state of our oceans and the dire consequences for inaction, including famine and starvation for millions of humans. We are currently experiencing Stage 2 of the threat, evidenced by recent events you may have seen in the media:
- Atlantic and Pacific Starfish are dying from a mysterious disease linked to warming ocean waters. Scientists estimate the phenomenon has wiped out 90 percent of some populations between Mexico and Alaska between 2013 and 2014.
See Massive Starfish Die-Off Linked to Warming Oceans
EcoWatch.com, February 24, 2016
- Officials may ban salmon fishing off Washington’s coast this year. State, federal and tribal officials are considering options in anticipation of another bad year of returning coho salmon. The 2015 season was particularly bad, blamed on low levels of snowmelt, intense summer drought, and “The Blob” of warm ocean water in the Pacific that disrupted natural rhythms of the marine ecosystem.
See Drastic year could lead to ban on coastal salmon fishing
Heraldnet.com, March 15, 2015
- Seabird biologist David Irons discovers approximately 8,000 common murres dead on a beach in Whittier, Alaska. “It is an order of magnitude larger than any records that I’m aware of,” he said. Heather Renner, a supervisory biologist at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge said the Whittier die-off is part of a much larger event that started in August (2015), and estimates that 100,000 of the species have died. The majority of the deaths are due to starvation from low food supply. The fish that the murres typically eat cannot survive in waters that are too warm or too cold, and the waters off Alaska’s coast are registering at 2 to 7 degrees above average.
See Thousands of birds found dead along Alaskan shoreline
CNN.com, January 22, 2016
- A summer-long ban on clamming was instituted in 2015 for the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska due to razor clam populations more than 80 percent below average.
See Kenai Peninsula razor clamming ban expected to be extended into 2016
ADN.com, September 30, 2015
- Health officials were forced to close the Dungeness crab season for commercial and recreational fishing along the Central and Northern California coast due to high levels of domoic acid. Domoic acid can cause seizures, coma and death when consumed by marine mammals or humans. This follows a one-third-of-average harvest for the salmon fishery, and closure of the anchovy fishery.
See Hopes for crab season run low; slight prospect for late January
San Francisco Chronicle, January 5, 2016
Nature’s stern wake-up call
There is no denying that irreparable damage to our oceans and sea life has already occurred, and continues to happen due to abnormal temperatures and other unusual environmental phenomena. This is nature’s way of issuing a stern wake-up call. Are you listening?
Be part of the solution
Blue Ocean Environmental promotes responsible progress with solutions that respect the environment. Learn more about what we’re doing and why it’s important, then sign up to stay informed and get involved. Are you going to be part of the solution?
Blue Ocean Environmental