Myopic spot-prawn lovers might not like the idea of closing some of the oceans to fishing, but California is creating a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) along its coast for one simple reason -- MPAs work. Research by Callum Roberts et al. (2001) published in Science found:
a network of five small reserves in St. Lucia increased adjacent catches of artisanal fishers by between 46 and 90%, depending on the type of gear the fishers used. In Florida, reserve zones in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge have supplied increasing numbers of world record-sized fish to adjacent recreational fisheries since the 1970s.
Halpern and Warner (2002) reviewed 112 independent measurements of 80 reserves and published their results that marine reserves have rapid and lasting effects in Ecological Letters. Looking at these 80 spots, they found marine reserves show that:
the higher average values of density, biomass, average organism size, and diversity inside reserves (relative to controls) reach mean levels within a short (1-3 y) period of time and that the values are subsequently consistent across reserves of all ages (up to 40 y).
There is not enough emphasis (or money) on marine protected areas (which is why I suggested some softcoral porn a while back). Nor are most people aware that less than 1% of the oceans are protected compared to 12% of land. As part of an awareness campaigns, several California groups (including Shifting Baselines) have teamed up to rally support for the new series of marine reserves to be implemented in California. See their latest PSA here:
Pamela Lee Coral. Softcoral Porn. This is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I really, really love this!
How about a twist here to engage the more myopic, resource carefree sleepwalking impaired, to think of an MPA a little differently? M.P.A. = Marine Porn Area? [not people of course... heaven forbid we would not want the fire and brimstone crowd getting all excited about needing to censor some indecent âFISHâ mating rituals.]
Softcoral porn... You have an idea that should be developed somehow. I would be more than willing to help with some illustrations. Why should the porn purveyors have all the fun and be the only ones to rake in all that juicy disposable international income. Indeed, lets make eco-system protection, and resource awareness sexy, titillating and juicy. Or, maybe to be a little more blunt: Desirable. Somewhere in the subtle lessons of marketing and commerce, I believe that there were some lessons on the art and science of attaching the code of making an object (or subject) wanted, because it helps portray desirability in knowing it, or owning it. You know: Plumage, but our human variant of the stuff. Like, as in knowing and learning about MPAs, it would increase oneâs plumage. I know, crazy talk. But then again, I am still crazily trying to figure out how the car industry can get people to drop $90,000 on an automobile that does pretty much the exact same thing that a $20,000 vehicle does....? I donât know, am I sensing some sort of connection to the plumage idea here somewhere...?
This is an extremely interesting consideration point on the lack of interest, and sad truth on the lack of MPA focus of international expenditures, and mental awareness energy compared to the âwatching other humans having sex biz.â Or, even lack of interest compared to the amount of money and energy expended watching film actors and actresses pretending to have lots sex in the more socially acceptably rated entertainment forms. There are some absolutely crazy theories out there... that the more repressive and prudish [GUILT and SHAME filled] societies become, the more they are unconsciously induced (programmed) to focus on obtaining very costly sources of mediated porn. Also, and I cannot remember where I read this, but it went something along the lines of: The more sexually repressed societies are, the more prone members of their societies are to act out violently and be attracted to violent behavior. [Strange, I simply cannot seem to remember where I Googled that information on Sexual Repression...?] Which I guess then, it is no surprise that peaceful prawns, and other non-dramatic ocean creatures minding their own boring business can never seem to generate any mass consumer audience appeal. Or news.
What a truly interesting planet we live upon and time we are in, when watching other people having sex, and or being violent towards each other, is higher on the priority list than resource protection survival...
An additional note on our ocean protection, and our connection to it and MPAs: I donât know what you feel about Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central, and as wacky as his routines and presentations are, he does introduce some outstanding, and vital consciousness to audiences, such as his short interview last night with Sylvia Earle, in which her book âThe World is Blue: How Our Fate and the Oceanâs Are One.â
If global issues need to be introduced via quasi comedy, and or off the wall news forums, well, more power to people like Colbert for using the medium like he does. The viewing audience realities that have people like Colbert and Jon Stewart using comedy formats to present serious issues, is believed that most contemporary audiences unfortunately, do not want news reporting subject matters that are presented in dry, serious and ominous modes. As much as I hate to agree, and wish it were different, professorial ecology campaign pitches are often floating as well these days, like hard to grasp ideas in movies such as Idiocracy (a film I have studied six times and counting...).
The Sylvia Earle segment begins at 14:00 minutes into the clip.
Jon Stewart recently took Sean Hannity to task for, essentially, failing to understand how food chains work. It was a great moment. But back to the post, the PSA is great - I wish there were a non-California specific version! I need an MPAs Work t-shirt, stat.
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