Perhaps one of the best examples of human destruction of water resources the Aral Sea, and now it’s becoming an example of how humans can repair the damage we’ve done to our natural bodies of water. We’ve looked a the sea’s restoration before since it’s such a fascinating example. The recovery of the sea from over-consumption of and diversion of water still has a long way to go but we’re seeing progress already and the natural recovery of the northern part of the Aral sea is happening faster than predicted. The next step in the very long process to recover the full sea requires not physical changes but policy changes from its coastal nations.
The return of the North Aral Sea has fuelled a revival of the fishing industry in Aralsk. In 2006, the annual fish catch totaled 1,360 tons, which comprised a majority of flounder – a saltwater species that the Kazakhs dislike. By 2016, the Aralsk Fish Inspection Unit recorded 7,106 tons of fish as freshwater species have returned, including pike-perch – which bring in a hefty price for local fishermen – breams, asp, and catfish.
Industrial fishing is killing life in the oceans at an alarming rate, so much so that the loss of life undersea is contributing to climate change. In fact, one tiny thing many people can do to fight climate change is to simply cut fish out of their diet. One company, New Wave Foods, in California is hoping to help people cut out shrimp from their diet by having them eat “shrimp”.
The “shrimp” they are making is actually plant-based so it can be grown even on land. Using red algae to make simulated shrimp is good for the environment and good for the shrimp under the sea.
M: How do you make shrimp from plants?
D: We use all plant-based ingredients to mimic the taste, texture, color, and nutritional profile of shrimp. We use soy for protein and red algae for flavor. Red algae are what shrimp eat in the wild, so they contribute to the flavor profile. We’re creating food out of food and using science to bring ingredients together.
M: How close are you to a finished product and wide distribution?
D: We are really close to a final product, and we’re collaborating with a number of food experts. We’ve created the perfect shrimp in the lab, but now we have to scale it for greater production. We are going to market first with popcorn shrimp. It’s pretty perfect, and popcorn shrimp is about one-third of the shrimp market. It looks really familiar to people. Our goal is to launch this product in six to 12 months. We’ll do a soft launch in California first. We’re also working on a cocktail shrimp.
The Aral Sea was once one of the largest lakes in the world, but today all that remains is just two small lakes. Insanely bad environmental practices killed the lake which has had negative impacts on nature (obviously) and on humans who used to live on the shore. Since the sea was declared dead years ago there have been attempts to revive the once-great lake, and it turns out these efforts are working.
The Aral Sea was once the world’s fourth-largest inland body of water, but has been for ever altered by the Soviet era irrigation policies to reclaim the desert for cotton farming by rerouting the rivers the Amu Darya and Syr Darya.
Two separate lakes – the North and South Arals – are all that’s left, while most of its former seabed has been reclaimed by the sand.
But efforts to restore the lake have yielded some results recently. Since the completion of the Kokaral dam in 2005, financed by the World Bank, and the completion of hydropower stations, the winds of change have reached Tastubek.
Renewable and sustainable energy is pretty great on its own. Now there’s one more reason to support using wind as a energy source because when the wind turbines are placed offshore marine wildlife moves in. The world’s oceans are suffering from overfishing and other human caused carnage so providing marine animals with shelter is something we should be doing.
The fact that wind turbines can provide sustainable energy while helping marine animals survive is good news indeed.
Offshore wind farms can be fertile feeding grounds for seals who choose to seek them out – concludes the study, by an international team of researchers from Britain, Holland and the US, published yesterday in Current Biology Journal.
This is because the presence of a hard structure beneath the waves attracts barnacles and other crustaceans, and, in turn, fish. Dr Deborah Russell, a research fellow at the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews, explained how the “reef effect” attracts seals. “Things like barnacles and mussels will settle on hard structures and then that in turn will attract other marine species and it builds up over time.”
Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd have had a lot of success in stopping whalers from murdering defenceless whales and other sea life. Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist looks at the success of Sea Shepherd as well as the drama.
“There have been many films made about Sea Shepherd but none as hilarious and revealing as CONFESSIONS OF AN ECO-TERRORIST, which was three decades in the making.” Watson said. “Peter Brown, a Sea Shepherd insider expertly exercises aikido with his camera by turning a negative accusation into a positive confession of influential activism.
Filmmaker and longest-serving SSCS crew member Peter Jay Brown documented the mythic deeds of the organization while acting as the cinematographer, first mate, deckhand, quartermaster, Zodiac driver and officer/captain in Watson’s absence starting in 1980. He gives us an intimate and honest look at what really goes on behind the scenes on some of the most infamous environmental campaigns ever. He has recorded the breathtaking beauty of the life aquatic in all its glory, as well as anguishing despair, bearing witness to the brutal slaughter of the helpless.
Risking their freedoms and their lives, the renegade eco-warrior and his band of environmental pirates combat those who seek to pillage and profit from the destruction of the ocean and its inhabitants. Using guerilla tactics, they boldly, even jubilantly patrol the world’s waters targeting kill-happy poachers and covert corporate cabals, terrorizing and provoking confrontation while flying the Jolly Roger (skull and crossbones) flag of their fleet. Watson’s use of manufactured awareness and strategic media traps defies convention as he brilliantly navigates his fleet by ramming vessels, inflicting damage to whalers, drift-netters, long-liners, and seal hunters who operate illegally worldwide.
Here’s the trailer (some graphic animal killing inside):