This page is designed to share information about actions to protect the sea. It is designed to fuel its sibling page: Blue Activism - Operations
90% of our planets biosphere is below the sea. Humans hunt 2.7 trillion fish a year. There is now a possibility that the oceans will be empty by 2048.
Strange and inhospitable, the sea holds fear and fascination. It is an ancient source of trade and sustenance; and the archetype of the 'sailor' defines who we are when at our most vulnerable.
Today, in a reality shaped by floods, storms, and heatwaves: we are impelled to craft new sense-making tools that go beyond the stable land. We must return to the sea, renew our aqua interface, and cast our nets into the salty archive of dynamic metaphors.
Representing the sea
The Seaspiracy documentary highlights three representational issues stemming from the commercialisation of the sea:
- False Flags: The dumping of fishing equipment into the sea is far more significant than disposable plastic straws yet there is no public outrage
- Blue Washing: Fish products, such as tinned tuna, use labels such as 'dolphin friendly' to present themselves as ethical. But the organisations behind them are geared towards profit and are unaccountable.
- Deceptive Imagery: Within advertising, the image of the friendly fisherman hides the reality of mechanised industrial slaughter
Four trajectories for the Blue Humanities
The Blue Humanities is a project that puts the sea, and all its dynamic connotations, at the centre of cultural enquiry. Scholar Steve Mentz offers the following starting points:
- Wet Globalization: reminding ourselves that the global economy exists as chains of container ships upon the ocean
- Blue Ecocriticism: despite its overwhelming presence, the 'blue' sea has been marginalised by the 'green' movement
- Salt Aesthetics: a reflection on salt water forcefully disorientates and shocks us out of complacency
- Shipwreck modernity: like the Titanic, the modern world can best be understood as a series of catastrophes and disasters
From outer space to the deep sea
The stars have captured our imagination. After the taming of the American 'wild west', space became the new frontier to bring under commercial control. Today, billions are spent on exploring space by governments and businessmen like Richard Branson and Elon Musk.
But might the sea be a better environment to set our mind in motion? Might we switch from the barren void of space, whose lifeless stars are titans beyond our imagining, to a world of colourful fishy characters who curiously swim among us?
Consider: space is the domain of the physicist. And physicists are often hired by financial companies, and paid to apply their quantum intelligence to expanding the scope of financial wealth. In contrast, the sea is the domain of the biologist. Biologists are essential to understanding the effect that capitalism is having on the planet.
Responding to Seaspiracy's criticism
When you search for Seaspiracy in Google, this article appears near the top of the search results. We will engage with each of these in turn:
- Coastal communities do care about marine conservation: xxx
- Seafood is important for feeding the world: xxx
- Seafood is good for you: xxx
- The UK has low levels of criminal activity: xxx
- Sustainability is a high priority for the UK: xxx
- It is easy to buy sustainable fish in the UK: xxx
- The UK is leading the way on worker welfare: xxx
- There is commitment to innovation that reduces impact: xxx
- The industry is tackling the pollution caused by fishing equipment: xxx
- Seafood can be lower in carbon than veganism: xxx
The sea as poetic imagination
We often think of the 'subconscious' as submerged deep below the surface of our consciousness.
By contemplating the various rhythms of water, we yield a bounty of imaginative dynamics. It is a place of mystery and genesis. An element of immersion and transformation. A sonic space of whale song and crashing waves.
The power of the sea sets forth Shakespeare's 'Tempest'. And Sylvia Plath would name her second collection, Ariel, after that plays central female character. The sea is a place of abundance.
The below is a poem about deep sea trawlers:
The name of this planet should be Ocean, not Earth - Arthur C Clarke
The invention of the ship was the invention of the shipwreck - Paul Virilo