Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sea Sick

I never knew what scopolamine was until Charlie Moore encouraged me to have plenty of it on hand while out at sea with Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF) this summer. The reason? To beg off sea sickness. I have yet to experience it, but I don't plan on being sick one moment the three weeks out at sea on the esteemed Alguita. She's a ship built to the specification of the captain and designed specifically for long research voyages. She may only be 50'long, but I hear she's a giant against the most brutal of seas. I'll soon find out once I climb aboard 9/6/09 in Hawaii and sail for three weeks through the North Pacific Gyre surveying for plastics.

I'm not going to lie to you, I have my fears. This in-lander from NY has no business being out a 1000 miles from land, but when I saw this photo in the LA Times, I couldn't be more sure about my wanting to join Charlie Moore and crew in their efforts to not only scientifically understand what the human impact is on our oceans, but to inform the general public that we really need to be aggressive in our efforts to heal the oceans. This image is the ultimate in sea sick. This poor animal is ill, removing itself from the ocean, a place it should be alive and well in. But it isn't. Thousands of sea lions are poisoned from our chemicals like DDT and PCBs, banned 30 years ago, yet still linger in our oceans. Because these chemical absorb into fat tissue (blubber) it accumulates in marine animals making them ill and even cause cancer. Furthermore, they are starving because their food is relocating, either from the fish they feed on swimming further out to find cooler waters (hmmm, climate change?) or from our overfishing.

So upon seeing this "sea sick" animal, I've rededicated myself to my pursuit of the plastic ocean and hopefully inform a few, that will inform a few more, that we all can change the damning tide if we decide to change our habits enough to coincide with nature.

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