I'm standing ON the Bering Sea off of Nome, Alaska looking to the South. I'm here to see for myself the impacts of sea level rise and melting permafrost. My guides are two high school juniors, young environmental activists working to protect their indigenous lands and waters and what should rightfully be theirs.
Thanks to Windy Films' photographer Julianne Snow Gauron for the amazing pictures. More to come...
Talk about wild and remote...and magnificent! This area approaching the Copper River Watershed gives you some sense of the extent to which our travels have taken us in search of inspiring young environmental activists. We started in Cordova on Prince William Sound and had a wonderful visit with the Laird family on board their 56' cutter, the s/v Seal. This family: mom, dad and two daughters have lived on board and traveled to the high latitudes in both the northern and southern hemispheres, New Zealand, the South Pacific and the Sea of Japan. The girls have been homeschooled (one is currently a freshman at Dartmouth and the other to enter Oxford next fall). They are both wonderfully representative of the kind of smart, committed, inspiring youth that our search around the world seeks to identify. Thank you Laird's for a wonderful evening on board. Check out their website, www.expeditionsail.com . We also had the opportunity to visit the offices of the Eyak Preservation Council, www.eyakpreservationcouncil.org, and the Copper River Watershed Project, www.copperriver.org, both of which are doing amazing work. Thank you Lisa, Kate and Skye for your time, your perspective and your enthusiastic support for the House on Fire project.
Three weeks from today I arrive in Alaska to begin introducing the Planet Oceans/Windy Originals team and our documentary series House on Fire to youth activists whose incredible work will be featured in the first of this six episode documentary series. Our travels will begin in Anchorage, travel out to the town of Cordova and then on up to Nome. We are genuinely excited to meet some truly impressive young people, their families, their teachers and advisors and many of the environmental and indigenous organizations who have supported their work. More to come.
I could continue to rail on the bad guys forever, but I'm going to take a break and give a shout out to organizations around the world that are doing some incredible work. I've been talking with some folks up in Cordova, Alaska who are involved in the Prince William Sound and Copper River Delta areas. What they have accomplished since the Exxon Valdez spill should be an inspiration to us all...and they are still at it. Good on them!
Specifically, I'm talking about the Eyak Preservation Council www.eyakpreservationcouncil.org, the Prince William Sound Science Center www.pwssc.org and the Copper River Watershed Project www.copperriver.org. Take some time and visit their sites. I'll think you will agree that among other efforts, their commitment to preserving wild salmon habitat is impressive. And oh by the way...I'd eat this salmon!
Most often when the subject of toxic release into the oceans comes up, it is immediately identified with industrial waste. No question that industrial waste is ugly stuff and finds its way into the oceans all over the world. But for some reason (I guess out of sight / out of mind) most people don't seem to identify with it.
Well, something they can't/shouldn't ignore is the fact that the burgeoning industry of fin fish farming is putting food on their tables that is loaded with all sorts of toxic "stuff." And that's on top of the unknowns that come along with the practice of genetic engineering. In an effort to whet your appetite for farmed fish, think about the fact that farmed fish are exposed to antibiotics, vaccines, pesticides, disease and parasite transmission as well as polluted waters.
What would you think if you saw men in haz-mat suits and respirators spraying "something" (we suspect glyphosate) on open water salmon pens? Hmmm?
Check out the first 3+ minutes of this video:
Here are a bunch (there are more) of farmed fish that you might want to avoid:
One of 15 fish that you shouldn't eat is farm raised salmon!!
"Raised in bad conditions. High level of chemicals. Treated with banned pesticides.
The level of Omega-3 fats is lower than before.
If there is one fish that you should stay away from and never eat it, it is salmon. Sadly, Americans consume a lot of it, and often the unhealthiest kind. Namely, eating farmed fish is dangerous, especially eating farmed salmon because most salmon that is labeled as “Atlantic” salmon is farmed. That means that fish are raised in horrible conditions and are contaminated with feces, pesticides, parasites, and bacteria.
Moreover, wild Atlantic salmon is listed as endangered and it is illegal to fish it because there is more than 75% chance that it will be extinct by 2100. Therefore, farmed salmon aquaculture may be the main reason why species can’t be saved, along with other problems like water extraction, water pollution, and climate change"...thank you www.curiousmindmagazine.com
I'll stick with the wild population. I can't imagine that the big "salmon" is a healthy alternative to the real thing. According to the AP there is a company that is injecting into Atlantic salmon the DNA from another fish species (ocean pout) that make them grow to full size in about 18 months, about twice as fast as regular salmon. The company says that's more efficient since less feed is required. But where is the research that confirms that over the long term such engineering has no deleterious effects on human health?
This isn't an issue that has just come up. Proper and transparent labeling of genetically modified/engineered salmon has been an issue since 2015. Yet the unknown potential effects that ingestion of these salmon might have remains and are terrifying. How do our governmental agencies get away with playing rope-a-dope with issues that affect the health and sustainability of natural species, let alone human health? Or why do they generate "legislative guidelines" that provide producers of genetically engineered fish loopholes to honest and fair disclosure?
"This case is about the future of food: FDA should not, and cannot, responsibly regulate this GE animal, nor any future GE animals, by treating them as drugs under a 1938 law," George Kimbrell, senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety, 4/30/18.
"In its current form, categorical exemptions prevent this law from delivering the meaningful protections Americans deserve. Highly processed ingredients, many products of new genetic engineering techniques such as CRISPR and TALEN, and many meat and dairy products will not require disclosure,” Non-GMO Project Executive Director Megan Westgate. 12/21/18
Take a look at the link below from the Center for Food Safety
Probably the best place to start discussing genetic modification in the salmon farming world is in Maynard, Massachusetts at a company called AquaBounty, who by their own admission (thank you for your candor) genetically modifies salmon eggs (i) to grow faster than normal (ii) to create an all female species (I hesitate to call it salmon) and (iii) so that all fish will be sterile. As stated on the AquaBounty website, they explain how this is accomplished through (and I paraphrase); "a novel application of molecular genetics that integrates a Chinook growth hormone gene into the genome of an Atlantic salmon. By so doing it has been discovered that the time to market could be reduced from three years to 18 months." I'm having a really hard time equating this whole concept to "natural" or "healthy" or in wo(man)'s best interest. The only interest they seem to be serving is that of their executives and their stockholders (NASDAQ CM) symbol AQB. Another issue yet to be brought before the public is the lack of a requirement to disclose that what the consumer is buying and/or eating really isn't salmon and sure isn't wild...other than in concept.