Tell your Congressperson to vote NO on HR 200.

Oh yeah, “1984”. Well, I didn’t write it as an instruction manual, assholes.

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.

 

Dear Media, Stop Covering Shark Derbies/Rodeos – National Oceans Month, Part 4.

This is how I like to see sharks – in the wild, doing shark-y things.

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):


Epic battle with giant thresher shark could be one for the record books

Oh, well if it’s “one for the record books”, this is totally OK.
Continue reading “Dear Media, Stop Covering Shark Derbies/Rodeos – National Oceans Month, Part 4.”

Your Mailbox: Paper AND Plastic – National Oceans Month, Part 3

“…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?


SHARK STAMPS.  I’ve got like 20 sheets of these – and since they are Forever stamps, it’s unlikely that I will EVER run out, barring an apocalypse of some kind, and even  then, we’ve got someone to handle the mail.
Continue reading “Your Mailbox: Paper AND Plastic – National Oceans Month, Part 3”

TJ Shope Would Like You to Do Something About Him Not Doing Anything – National Oceans Month, Part 2

Never read the comments.

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.


From the Huffington Post:

“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.

A necropsy revealed over 17 pounds of plastic, including more than 80 plastic bags, in the whale’s stomach.”
Continue reading “TJ Shope Would Like You to Do Something About Him Not Doing Anything – National Oceans Month, Part 2”

Of Presidents, Policy, and Faith – National Oceans Month, Part 1

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…


Continue reading “Of Presidents, Policy, and Faith – National Oceans Month, Part 1”

Protect the Ocean at #PhoenixComicFest!

Not the ocean.

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.

But while at the convention center, let me give you a few tips on what you can do to stay Blue while grokking out with Spock (or whatever the hell it is you kids do these days).
Continue reading “Protect the Ocean at #PhoenixComicFest!”

May ReefBox Unboxing!

Finally,  I’m all caught up.   After March and April’s ReefBox unboxing – both which contained stuff mostly for stuff on the surface, I was looking forward to some stuff that I could use while I was underwater… And lo, once again, Reefbox delivers.

This month is the BCD Box, or if you’re strictly a land-dweller, “Buoyancy Compensator Device” – it’s basically how we divers stay down, and it’s (mostly) where we store all our gear underwater (well, where I do anyway).   And there’s some cool stuff in here.

Continue reading “May ReefBox Unboxing!”

April ReefBox Unboxing! Better Late Than Never (Part 2!)

Still behind on doing the unboxings. At least this one is sort of in the time frame when I originally received it.  Kinda. Not really.

So, normally the ReefBoxes come in this nice reusable/recyclable box.  Sturdy and blue, and two months in, I’m at the stage where I’m like “OOOOH THE BLUE BOX HAS ARRIVED WITH FUN STUFF FOR ME” when I see it on my porch.

So I was a little surprised when this month’s ReefBox was just a boring brown box.   “Have they changed their packaging?” I asked myself.  I imagine it would probably be cheaper, but…  my blue box?  WHERE’S MY BLUE BOX?

The ReefBox people anticipated that. So imagine my delight when I opened the box, and saw this…

Oh boy oh boy oh boy…
Continue reading “April ReefBox Unboxing! Better Late Than Never (Part 2!)”

March ReefBox Unboxing! Better Late Than Never!

Wow.  I am so behind on these.  I’ve just been so incredibly busy, what with work, getting ready for a year’s worth of dive trips, and Phoenix Comic Fest on the horizon, I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and review the cool stuff I’ve been getting from ReefBox.  Divers, if you’ve got the money, sign up for it.   It’s like getting a little present each month to yourself.  Yeah, there’s redundancies, but the difference between a failed dive trip and a successful dive is redundancies. The night before you get on the plane or hop in the car, and you don’t have something, you’re going to be angry.  Don’t be angry, get ReefBox.

And if you’re just starting out diving, over the past 3 months (YES I’M THAT FAR BEHIND), I’ve gotten stuff I would have loved as a new diver.  It’s win-win.

So the March ReefBox was the “Dive Boat Essentials” box.  Behold!

Continue reading “March ReefBox Unboxing! Better Late Than Never!”

February ReefBox Unboxing!

So, subscription services are all the rage these days.  Everything from food to dog toys, it’s like getting a little gift (that you paid for) once a month.  I really like the concept, and about a year and a half ago, I signed up for the Waterman’s Pack (which was meant for fishermen, surfers, and SCUBA divers), and happily, signed up to get a box in July, which was timed for Shark Week (check out my Shark Week reviews here at Nerdvana!). It was a box curated by Andy Casagande IV (the Shark Week veteran photographer and diver), and a portion of that month’s profits were donated to my friends at Shark Angels, who I wound up diving with 8 months later in Fiji.  I got a nice little dive knife, and a few other things, including a print of an Andy Casagrande shark encounter.

And then a month later then ditched the fishermen and SCUBA divers portion of it, and started going marketing directly to watersports.  I kept going for a month and got a tshirt and hat, but not really my thing, so I cancelled it.

And then thanks to the miracle of Facebook Targeted Advertising…  I found ReefBox!

reefbox
Promotional image/ReefBox.Com (used under Fair Use guidelines)

Continue reading “February ReefBox Unboxing!”