THE VOTE IS TODAY. CALL YOUR CONGRESSPERSON NOW AND TELL THEM TO VOTE NO ON HR 200.
The one thing about Congressional legislation in American politics is how Orwellian the naming conventions are designed to be. My favorite is the “USA PATRIOT” Act, which stood for: “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001”, and meant that the government had expanded authority to erode your Constitutional liberties in the name of “defending” you. I mean, you voted AGAINST the “USA PATRIOT” Act!?!?!? After 9/11? What kind of un-American monster are you?
And so it goes.
Some upcoming legislation I need you to call your Congresscritter about? The equally Orwellian-named “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management” Act. I mean, who could be against that? Don’t you want to strengthen fishing communities? Don’t you want flexibility? WHY DO YOU WANT TO KILL THE GORTON’S FISHERMAN?!?! Of course, it’s not really about that. Thanks to a law called the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Act, which became law in 1976. Why’d it become law? Well, in part of due to the collapse of the North Atlantic Cod Fishery. Let me show you in one easy chart:
The Y axis is amount of cod caught in millions of tons. The X axis is the year. Look at what happened in 1976, and the in the 1990s. We basically wiped out a breeding generation and then WHOOPS WHAT HAPPENS 20 YEARS LATER. Magnuson-Stevens was designed to stop this, and that huge crash in the 1990s was basically because science got it wrong. Catch limits were set too high after the 1970s crash and then it literally killed the cod fishery in New England and Canada because the governments basically said “HA, YEAH, NO” to anyone who wanted to fish out the last remaining cod.
“Well, Klute, don’t you want to strengthen those communities? Again I ask, what kind of monster are you!??!” Well, here’s the thing – you strengthen the communities by making sure the fish are there to be caught. And lo, Magnuson-Stevens, with some good science now behind it is working really well. From the 2017 Report to Congress on the Status of the US Fisheries:
Read the whole thing (click on the link), but overall, the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working. There’s still that 9% that needs to be worked on, and the 15% that needs further recovery, but the act, by all accounts is working as is. Each year fish populations recover, and each year, the science gets better and gets tweaked to move the process forward toward recovery further. But ending overfishing is a constant battle. Look at what happened to the cod. Any species that is overfished can be overfished again. And certain elements of Congress who don’t understand the science (or who understand the science but are putting short-term economic gain over long term stability).
It’s on the docket today, with a vote scheduled for the end of the day.
I met a lot of cool people this weekend in Palm Springs at the ComicXpo! I hope you had as much fun learning about sharks as I did talking to you about them! If you bought some shark merch, I hope you’ll add this website or FOLLOW ME HERE ON FACEBOOK.
My favorite thing about shark pups is how they are more or less the same from the moment they are born to the day they die. There are, of course, important physiological and behavioral differences, but from an aesthetic point of view, they’re just… smaller (and dare I say, cute?).
This is how I do NOT like to see sharks (from the website BNQT, apparently associated with USA Today – and used under the Fair Use Doctrine):
“…the mail never stops. It just keeps coming and coming and coming. There’s never a let up – it’s relentless! Every day it piles up more and more and more! You gotta get it out, but then more you get it out, the more it keeps coming in!” – Newman, “Seinfeld”
Confession: I love the U.S. Postal Service. There is no other service in the world like it. You want to mail a letter from Nome, Alaska to Supai, Arizona? We’ve got snowmachines and a mule train ready to go and that’ll be $0.49, sir! Forty-nine cents! You can’t buy a can of soda for that. Plus… have you seen these?
So, I woke up in a pique and grabbed my phone and went onto Twitter and Facebook, as one does in the 21st Century at 3AM in the morning. As the tides of fate would have it, I first saw this, tagged in a post by Sister Klute.
“A whale found in a canal in southern Thailand has died after eating more than 80 plastic bags, according to officials.
The small male pilot whale was barely alive when he was discovered on Monday in the southern province of Songkhla, Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources said. Rescuers attempted to nurse the whale back to health, but he died on Friday after spitting up five plastic bags.
It’s National Oceans Month here in the United States, but if you’re like me – every month is National Oceans Month!
What is National Oceans Month? Well, it’s basically when the government acknowledges that while we may be a terrestrial species, we’re still at the mercy of the tides. And as Chief Executive of the United States Government, the President is the one who dedicates us to the seas during this month of June.
The great orator and 35th president, John F. Kennedy, spoke of the sea in personal, human terms. I could quote him, but in this video, you can hear the man speak…
Hi everyone who stopped by my booth at Phoenix Comic Fest this weekend! I hope I was able to teach you a little bit about sharks, and I hope if you walked away with poetry, a tiki mug, a t-shirt, a poster, or even a little shark of your very own, that you will appreciate these magnificent animals as much as I do. Plus, the profits from this weekend’s sales will go directly to Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation.
If you came to either of my panels, I hope you learned some cool facts about megalodon and modern sharks, and I’m sorry that the Nerd Slam was cancelled (but watch this space – we are rescheduling!).
I’ll have my store more functional and with more items by Sunday, so if you ran out of Con-Cash, keep an eye out, and we’ll have everything I have quickly out to you.
And in the meantime, please check out my short film of some of my adventures with sharks around the globe! And please bookmark my site, as I add new shark-y or poetry content.
Hey Nerds! It’s about to go down: Phoenix Comicon Comic Fest, the most massive Comicon Comic Fest in the American West (seriously, SDCC, be cool and give us back our name). I hope you all have a good time, but I’m also hoping you do so in a way that protects the ocean. Now, you might be saying: “Hey, idiot. We’re in the desert. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be harming the ocean in the middle of goddamn downtown Phoenix.”
To quote Troy McClure: “You’ve got some attitude, Mister. And what’s more, you’re wrong! There’s a lot of ways that what you’re doing is harming the ocean, right now! So stop it.