“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism, or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
The ocean remains neglected. Unexplored, used as a planetary trashcan, underfunded and abused. It’s not a surprise, not a news flash. Just a fact. And it only seems to alarm those of us who pay close attention. The killing of the ocean just does not grab the attention of the masses as much as, say, Kim Kardashian’s offspring.
I don’t want to turn this into a preachy, annoying plea from the cheap seats to save the world. I don’t want to condemn people that keep the fish they catch. There are abundant species that can be kept without harm. It should not be denied, however, that keeping a striped bass these days is contributing to a swelling, grotesque problem we are inflicting on ourselves, and the fish. And it’s not like we don’t know any better – we’ve been here before with striper. We’ve killed them to the brink, and we know our efforts can save them. We’ve proven it. Yet, we keep taking home as many as we can, and then complain about the lack of striper fishing. Almost the very definition of insanity.
Why is this on my mind? I just read that every bluefin tuna tested in the waters off California has shown to be contaminated with radiation that originated in Fukushima. Just to be clear – ALL OF THEM. Every. Single. One.
On the eastern seaboard of this great country, the Atlantic bluefin is endangered. We have killed most of them. We continue to kill them. Out west, the bluefin are all deeply contaminated – radioactive. Unfit for consumption, in my book. (Not in the book of those who fish for it, package it and sell it).
I know the few of you who read these pages don’t come here for this kind of topic. Thankfully, I have more pleasant things to discuss in the coming days – reviews of new rods, lines, kayaks, and trip reports. But it’s hard to discuss fish without discussing fish, if you know what I mean. Fishing is a wonderful thing – it’s a significant part of my life and brings a lot of light with it. The places I get to go, the things I see – all because I decided to at least try to be a decent fly fisherman. It helps me forget the darkness that is ever-present in the world. At least for a while.