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Mass marine die-offs seem to be increasing lately. It's a shame that our understanding of why that is is not.





Searching back through what I've collected on the oceans I can't find much that take even close to a holonic view; and most that do are dote posts. Matter of fact holonic views on anything are rare indeed.

"I hope that someday we'll find that there is intelligent life among humans on this planet" Sylvia Earle...


There is also this BBC Horizon video Death of the Oceans with Attenborough from 2010...


Really gorgeous videography in both...profound sadness in all we have lost and will lose.

As always, much obliged.

Dave Cohen

I'll try to post tomorrow about something people actually care about. It's obviously not the health of the oceans.

Give me a hint about what that might be.

Justin Bieber maybe?


-- Dave


I can't watch the video until this evening, but I will. I don't like to comment until I have a sound basis to do so. But, one of the reasons I read every day is because you often have stuff that I wasn't aware of (I know about the oceans, but not about that particular doc). Thanks again.


You've posted a number of times on the dire straits for ocean life, Dave. I'm not sure there's much to add to the salient essays you're putting out. I presume most of your readers, like me, are just in sad agreement on this point. That is no way means you should not continue to address the subject regularly; I do appreciate it quite a bit.

I look forward to watching the video when I get a chance, as well as Diogenes' suggestions.

J. Drew

The health of the oceans is just one of those issues, like global warming, that is too big for humans to tackle, unless you consider doing scientific research to prove obvious points that are never going to be acted on productive. When I see that the best arguments for protecting ocean species a PH.D candidate can make is that ecotourism is a more valuable "industry" than finning sharks, I know the situation is hopeless and that the oceans are going to be ravaged to the best of our abilities. For now ,it's because we can. 50 years from now? It's not going to be because we love the taste of jellyfish.


Thanks for this startling information, Dave.

JFC! 85% bycatch! (discarded, mostly dead fish)

Typical of humans, to have fishing quotas that ignore bycatch. An analogy would be an airport security system that checks your pockets for explosives but ignores the crates you have loaded into the aircraft hold.

A most telling statement from the video: "If we look globally ... we see similar changes ... because people behave more or less the same in all these places ... this is very worrying."

Worrying - and depressingly predictable.


There is no subject more important than the decline of the biosphere.

The story of civilization has essentially been one of exploitation, growth, consumption, followed by an inexorable decline and collapse. Can anyone name a society which has not followed this pattern? As this strip-mining of the oceans illustrates, the problem is now global and there is no refuge from man’s destructive tendencies—even the remotest regions of the globe are under siege. All I can say is that which is unsustainable will not be sustained—when the oceans perish we will too.

Now back to economic news—what's a tuna go for nowadays?

Geoff Perth Western Australia


I read this article


written by Lewis Lapham, a beautifully articulated message on how, within just his short lifetime, the oceans have been pretty much destroyed.

Cheers Geoff


Watched the video and Diogenes's suggestions. Very good. I'll add one to it.

Overfishing and more: SEA THE TRUTH

It has some excellent stuff with Dr. Pauly, it goes over how governmental sibsidies to the fishing industry contribute to the problem, how fish pills are an obscene waste, and many other issues.

The only possible solution is to accept LESS, and as we know this is anathema to growing economies and populations.


Ty for sharing this Dave. I bookmarked the video, I'll set aside time to watch it later this week.


I recently picked up a diving magazine, lulled in by the usual cover showing a brightly colored fish. What's inside? A picture of a reef that's been dynamited, an article about it, and another article about sharks disappearing from Cocos Island (which is a UNESCO world heritage site and sanctuary). It really made me angry.

I can't escape this stuff because it's my deepest interest. Every time I look for good news I get the opposite instead. Fish and sea life are the hardest to protect, because they are, as you say, invisible (except to snorkelers and divers) and are also not "cute". Lots of people consider them below every other form of animal, and will eat them but won't eat cow or pig or chicken. Even cartoons that won't show a pig being cooked or animals being killed make an exception for fish.

I wish people could see what I see. Fish and coral and kelp and all the weird and beautiful and ugly things in the sea matter too. They are living too.

Mike Roberts

It's another documentary that I just have to shake my head all the way through. Including the odd message of hope.

A few points:

Aquaculture is no answer at all. My understanding is that it degrades the environment, though I'd never thought about the predator fish angle. That makes it even worse.

Organic shrimp farming isn't sustainable. For one thing, it makes use of fish "waste" from unsustainable operations.

The obligatory hope, with the human focus: "The oceans still contain enough fish for what humans want and need". Plus, "there's still a chance".

To reinforce human dominance, "[fish] resources belong to all of us".

And 50% of the fish stocks have gone in the last 60 years. JFC, what does it take to get people motivated? I wonder how many who watched this video changed their lives in any way whatsoever, as a result.

I can't help thinking that of course humans are acting in an environmentally destructive way but it's the sheer number of humans that is ramping up the problem to a level that nature can't cope with.

Keep up the good work, sad though it is.


Money quote: "If we look at different oceanic regions [...] we see similar changes because people behave more or less the same in all these places. This is very worrying." - Boris Worm

I particularly like this last sentence, which can only be described as massive understatement.

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