The time is up … yesterday!

by Dr. Erich Ritter
(comments: 1)
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We are running out of time to protect sharks and to stop their senseless slaughtering has been known for quite some time. As such, we are aware that some shark populations dropped by 90% in the last few years. If it is true and the research sounds solid, then we are not running out of time anymore, we have run out of it already. 

There is a reason why nature needed that many sharks; to maintain balance. With every balance comes a little wiggle room, a buffer zone, but it can’t be plus–minus 45%, as the 90% drop would include. The slaughtering of sharks is the biggest ecological time bomb and we can’t even seem to understand what its yield is. Well, it sure is gigantic. As with any large bomb, one agency can’t fight it alone; it needs all men on deck.

When it comes to environmental issues, our society always seems to have more pressing matters at hand. Granted, some of these issues are valid but more often than not, tabloid oriented issues are not just ridiculous but down right idiotic, but people still seem to care about those. Does it matter what singer, actor or artist is caught with his or her fingers in the cookie jar? Or what dress someone wears? Absolutely not, but considering the internet presence of some of these issues tells me otherwise. Because such issues seem important, real problems are shrugged off. Such as the state our environment is in. For most people, nature is just there, and to be used. And should some environmental crisis really make it to the front page, the general census is the respective agency or governmental branch will take care of it. But, these branches are too few with a work force that is too small and funds that do not even cover the basics. This is a disaster in the making.

So where does this leave us? We are pretty much stranded. A ship won’t go anywhere once it hits the beach. That pretty much sums up our situation when it comes down to environmental changes. True, some agencies and non-governmental organizations point in the right directions and put efforts into it but, it is not enough - by far. 

To change the course earth takes, a multinational effort needs to be launched that dwarfs anything the United Nations has ever come up with. Which sounds pretty impossible, but when we start choking we will ask ourselves what we did in the past. What we did was we believed that someone else would take care of us and we, as the individual person, have not had to carry our share. Wrong! The environment and its health is a burden that needs to be carried by all of us, a few people might be able to guide us in the right direction but the work will be spread among all of us.

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Comment by Katalin Blum |

True words Erich. Of course, we all can do something. It starts with our daily habits choosing the right food we buy. Maybe we should reduce eating meat, maybe we should reduce eating fish as well and maybe we should switch to vegetarian food. I did. And I am not starving at all. But to be able to change a habit we need to know why. Many years ago my favorite food was the shark fin soup. Why? Somebody recommended to me and it sounds good to eat shark fin soup. After a while I stopped eating it, because I could´t find the meat of the shark, the only meat I saw was actually the meat of chicken and than I thought, why to eat a shark fin soup if it tastes like chicken soup? I can order directly the chicken soup. So I stopped it. But I can understand that many damn people keep eating it, just because it sounds good. People don´t think.
Give up on meat was a much longer process for me. It took me a long time and at the beginning I really had to be disciplined. But I decided to change and there was no doubt that I can do it. To give up on seafood was the hardest. I used to love eating them. BUT, I strongly can recommend people who wants to try to give up on any kind of food from the sea: start to read massively about the pollution of our oceans and how much it effects our health eating highly toxic fish etc. It helped me a lot.

It would be a huge step if people would give up on seafood.

I could write a long list how much the people could do each. We all are responsible. We all can do a lot.

Reply by Dr. Erich Ritter

Hi Katalin,

I totally agree. Unfortunately, most people take everything for granted...we believe we run the show on this planet but all we do is accelerate the destruction of it.