©2003 Cascadia Times
Plundering the Pacific
I N O U R O P I N I O N
What you can do for the Pacific Ocean?
While the ocean and the fish and wildlife in it
can truly belong to no one, you as an American citizen and the federal
agencies that manage these resources are responsible for how these
resources are managed. Probably the single most important thing
you can do as a citizen is to speak up and let your friends, family,
community and decisionmakers know that you want increased protections
for our oceans.
Cascadia Times Fall 2003 issue, "Plundering the
Pacific," investigates the decline of the North Pacfic
Ocean and its wildlife in the wake of decades of industrial
The 24-page print edition contains numerous graphics and full-color
photographs that richly illustrate this report. Please support
Cascadia Times with your subscription
or by making a donation.
are available for $5 each. For reprint information, please
contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several ways to do this:
1. Become informed about fisheries management. Two recent reports
detail the state of America's fisheries. The first is the Pew Oceans
Commission report which can be found at www.pewoceans.org. The second
is the US Commission on Ocean Policy which can be found at www.oceancommission.gov.
Various ocean conservation organizations put out electronic and
printed information about pressing issues and how you can get involved.
See a partial list of ocean conservation groups at: www.conservefish.org/site/aboutus/links
2. Sign the Conserve Our Ocean Legacy petition to build support
for increased protections for our ocean ecosystems. Conserve Our
Ocean Legacy is educating citizens across the country about the
problems in our oceans and solutions. You can sign the petition
and learn more at: www.oceanlegacy.org
3. Ask your representative and senators to reform the fisheries
management system to put conservation first in protecting the ocean.
Ask them to end the conflict of interest that threatens the health
of Pacific Ocean fish and wildlife. To find your representative
go to: www.house.gov. To find your senators
go to: www.senate.gov
4. Join a conservation group that is working toward sustainable
fisheries management. A partial list of ocean conservation groups
can be found at: www.conservefish.org/site/aboutus/links
5. Vote with Your Pocketbook. Talk to the person selling you fish.
Ask them where the fish came from and if it was sustainably harvested.
Ask your market or restaurant to carry or serve fish that is not
endangered or overfished and that the fishery doesn't have significant
bycatch associated with it.
6. Learn about your watershed. All water drains to the ocean, so
you're connected to the sea, even if you can't see it. Go natural.
Learn how to maintain your lawn and garden without chemicals. The
rain that washes off your yard, into the river, and into the ocean
will be cleaner for it. Prevent waste — prevent waste from
winding up in the ocean — choose reusable packaging and products,
and walk on a cleaner beach next time.
7. Talk about it. Talk to your friends, family and neighbors about
the importance of conserving our ocean legacy. Organize a slide
show by a conservation group for your community. If you live in
a coastal area, talk to a commercial fishermen about these issues.
If you live in an inland area, talk to sportfishers about these
8. Advocate directly. A direct way to ensure sustainable fisheries
management is to participate in the regulation-making process. All
Council decisions are required by law to include public comment.
All meetings are open to the public. Unfortunately, meetings are
usually held during business hours so it may be difficult to attend.
Written comments are acceptable. Most actions the Councils take
are printed in the Federal Register. These actions include meetings
and regulatory actions. They include information about how to comment
on these proposed actions.
Pacific Council (California, Oregon, Washington)
This is an excellent guide to getting involved in fishery management
at the Council level.
Western Pacific Council
North Pacific Council