Earth Day Message

The oceans of the world are in a state of emergency

While in Costa Rica, I found the sign I am holding in the picture here, during a beach walk. It had been hanging from a tree, but had fallen onto the beach. It read  Usa pero no abuses del oceano. In Spanish it simply means, Use but do not abuse the ocean

For Earth Day my message is about the state of our oceans.

There is a lot of over-fishing and poaching going on. There are problems with smuggling, avoiding set limits or regulated seasons set by governments.

Overfishing to feed hundreds of millions of people are depleting our oceans’ resources and it’s difficult for these species to recover from the onslaught. One factor is transnational organized crime.  Illegal organizations are responsible for the decline of certain species which are highly sought after in China. Certain parts are used for Chinese holistic medicines.

Still, the major problem is pollution primarily from plastics. The production of plastics is growing exponentially and proliferates across all levels of society. Take an example of a supposedly environmental, friendly electrical vehicle such as the Tesla. Its entire body is made up of plastic. The world can’t live without it.

Cleaning the plastics from our oceans is an ongoing priority with many agencies carrying out the expensive job. My biggest concerns is the micro plastics ingested by fish in the food chain that will eventually lead to human consumption. My diet requires salmon, shrimp and other species of seafood. It’s essential for my omega three fatty acids. But now I fear the landscape has changed. Exposure to these toxic chemicals overtime can manifest in serious health issues. Time to be cognizant.

Ocean Cleanup is a nonprofit organization harnessing the latest technical innovations to rid the oceans of plastic. They have assembled systems in place that remove plastics from rivers before the debris enters the oceans. Ocean Cleanup has developed a drag net capable of capturing four tons of trash every day. Ships with specially equipped nets sweep the area of a football field every ten seconds. With valiant efforts from many agencies and governments around the globe the plastic problem may be solvable. Only time will tell.

When my wife, Angela and I walk on the beaches of Costa Rica, we bring a bag. Because we will likely fill it with plastic debris by the time we have returned. There are also local groups organizing beach cleanups regularly. A smaller effort, but an effort nonetheless. 

On my last trip, I happened to see what I thought was garbage, but turned out to be a turtle shell. Obviously it had been poached. As I turned the shell over, I could see clearly the large shell had been cut with an electric circular saw in order to remove the flesh. Sea turtles in Costa Rica are an endangered and protected species. Obviously somebody didn’t care. 

The idea about Earth day is to remind us to care what happens to our planet. It shouldn’t be just one day. It should be every day.

If you like this article. Sign up for the newsletter and keep up with the latest news about my books and other events in which I may be participating.

Earth Day Message