The Amazing Flight of Little Ray displayed at 50% of viewport width
June 2019 by V. R. Duin


Little Ray thought his world quite bland,
the same old water, the same old sand.
He watched birds take off and fly
and thought to himself, why can't I?
(The Amazing Flight of Little Ray)

Unless penalties for overfishing are enacted throughout the world and controls on water pollution are put into place, like those intended by the Clean Water Act, there could be no fish and no fishing by companies or individuals.

People argue the merits of rich water. They need to discuss dirty water. Most of the water on earth is filthy. Little Ray joins other advocates in relaying concerns about environmental threats to rays and sharks.

Filth shortens lifespans. Sponges and coral can live thousands of years. Greenland sharks can live 400 years. The lives of turtles, mussels, mollusks, whales and some bony fish species can span for hundreds of years.

Rays and sharks are on menus. Eating ray or shark meat is unlikely to fight infections. Fish or fish-based products and supplements contain plastic micro-beads for toxic spice. They leach carcinogens into blood and tissue.

Catch and release may kill. The time it takes to photograph a trophy fish can result in painful death. Unless the hook and line are removed, dangling tackle may catch on objects or cause deadly entanglements and infections.

Mama Ray and Little Ray are restless. Their minds are distracted by the many forms of life-threatening matter around them; liquid, solid, gas, plasma and radiation. Plastic pollutants rank among the worst of them.

Plastic pollutants never disappear. They combine into deadly snares. When they are consumed, they destroy life from the inside. Dissolved water pollution is toxic. It breaks up animal pairs.

Fish and other ocean life dine on plastics. When they are served for dinner, they contain undigested plastic waste. Much of the seafood in the United States arrives untested. Many countries test for no type of pollution.

Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972. The intent was to prevent the discharge of pollutants into interstate navigable water used for trade and travel. The law expanded to isolated ponds, wetlands and dry desert ditches.

Navigable water has vague meaning. Abusive enforcement of zealous interpretations means prosecution, prison time and bankrupting fines for remote, unpermitted discharges. Permitting takes about 2 years and $250,000.

The health risks that travel with polluting discharges can spread harm. For fair expansion and enforcement, terms of the Clean Water Act of the United States must be defined to allow due process and prevent injustice.

Wastewater treatment plants cannot remove micro-plastic pollutants. These plants go against the goals of the Clean Water Act with their hazardous rushes of water discharge. Other countries are considering bans.

Water pollution causes bacterial diseases. The CDC has The Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases to protect against waterborne illnesses. Cholera problems are a widely-known example.

Local health departments monitor the bacteria levels of water. When levels of these microorganisms are high, alerts and bans are issued. Bacteria circulate throughout the body when water is ingested or enters via wounds.

Animals become infected with disease-causing pathogens. Pests and germs attach themselves to fish from the water in their aquariums or in the wild. Some water-borne bacteria, parasites and viruses are hard to terminate.

Zoonoses are diseases transfered to humans from animals. Some water-borne illnesses have no cure. Handling dead, diseased or live fish can transmit detrimental infective agents between hosts, without lacerations.

Nobody is immune from the harmful effects of food from toxic water. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, fever, headache, nausea, numbness and vomiting are symptoms. Ill effects give incentive to not tamper with fish.

Ocean life holds secrets. Without management of water pollution and penalties to stop depletion of stock, great benefits could be lost. Studies are under way to learn if sharks' immune systems offer resistance to cancers.

Dirty water causes infections of wounds. The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms may produce deadly and communicable reactions. NSU researchers found sharks and rays have advanced wound-healing abilities.

V. R. Duin graduated from the NSU College of Law under her legal name. Problems are surfacing with the antibiotics used to treat bacterial illnesses and infections. Could sharks lead to better cures for infections?

Could sharks lead to prevention or cures for cancer? NSU found Sharks Show Novel Changes in Their Immune Cancer-Related Genes. Two genes have counterparts lending hope for resistance to cancers plaguing humanity.

Could sharks end side effects and allergic reactions to existing drugs? Celebrants of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel should join Little Ray and his shark friend in the battle to preserve these fish for prosperity.

Overfishing and loss of habitat are killing entire populations. Without governance and punishment for law breakers, universal efforts will fail. Companies and individuals should support such agency oversight as EPA.

Large populations of plants and animals are endangered. No fishing due to pollution would bring halt to expansive commercial and economic activity, resulting in job losses and irreparable damage to the food chain.

Proper interpretation, expansion and enforcement of the Clean Water Act is needed. It could bring an end to dirty water. Jellyfish, lobsters and turtles defy the aging process. Filth may annihilate marine keys to longevity.

Plants and animals are killed by foul water. Grouper, swordfish, sawfish and tuna are among the most endangered of ocean fish. Grasses and coral that provide ocean meals and protective habitats also are dying.

Radioactive waste may have a lovely glow, but it is not healthy. The hardy water bear withstands radiation. These micro-animals respond to extreme conditions, including dessication and freezing, by undergoing cryptobiosis.

Few animals achieve this physiological state. When faced with adverse conditions some invertebrates and plants go into suspended animation. Metabolic activities shut down. Reproduction, development and repair cease.

Radioactive effluvium travels along water currents. Enforcement of the Clean Water Act could reduce exposure to high levels of radiation. This energy in transit can lead to cancer, birth defects, cell and systemic damage.

Toxic effluent is dumped into oceans. These liquid and sewage discharges from vessels, oil rigs and offshore construction sites affect oxygen and water quality. The accompanying waves and water jets interrupt water flow.

Doing laundry sends noxious fibers into the water. These additives combine with chemical runoff from agriculture, industry, home septic tanks, lawns and storm drains. The result is toxic to humans, aquatic life and pets.

Dredging stirs up contaminants. This digging opens navigation passages, extracts minerals and prepares construction sites. The sand scooped from rivers and oceans to dump on beaches may kill tiny animals in and under it.

There are costs of testing, cleaning and finding alternatives. Efforts to save the waters of the world include restoration of damaged areas. The goal is to reverse problematic conditions and restore quality to ocean life.