Once upon a time in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand there was a great tradition. Hopeful anglers would gather to face off in the annual Whakatane Tuna Tournament. I say ‘once upon a time’ because the Whakatane Tuna Tournament no longer exists.
Greenpeace has long been concerned about the bycatch caused by the use of Fish Aggregating Devices, or FADs, with purse seine nets. This fishing method is a deadly combination of a floating object, left adrift for weeks or months, and a huge encircling net that takes everything in the vicinity.
We Australians love a local link. When big news happens around the world, instinctively the first thing we check is whether an Aussie was involved. But, this time around, the story is coming to us in the form of the imminent arrival of the 142 metre long Margiris super trawler.
Imagine a world, not very far in the future, where families shun the idea of a seaside holiday because the sea is too unpleasant to visit, perhaps even dangerous. The beach is heaped with rotting green seaweed and bodies of jellyfish litter the strand. Getting in the water you risk illness; even the air might be poisonous. If this sounds unlikely, think again: it is all happening somewhere, right now.
For many people the Antarctic is little more than a far-away frozen region, literally at the edge of the world; with sterile glaciers, icebergs and colonies of not-so ‘Happy Feet’ penguins, buffeted for much of their lives in the extreme Antarctic wind.
It is without a doubt that our oceans are an integral part of human survival and crucial to how Mother Nature goes about her business on a day-to-day basis and maintains. After all, 80% of all the life on Earth lies beneath the surface of our seas.