The Amazing Flight of Little Ray
June 2018 by V. R. Duin

NO FISHING IN WATER POLLUTION

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”)

There will be no fishing, due to water pollution and plastic pollutants that do not dissolve in water, unless the Clean Water Act is enforced and spread throughout the world.

Mama Ray and Little Ray are resting, but their minds are distracted by the water pollution that is threatening their lives and the waters around them. This pollution also means there should be no fishing. If you catch them on your hook, please release them. They are family members. They also are threatened with loss of habitat and by overfishing. Rays are edible. Recipes around the world largely make use of the wings, the area around the eyes and the liver. If you eat any fish, the pollution within them may end up inside you. The United States has banned the use of plastic micro-beads in such cosmetic and personal care products as toothpaste and facial scrubs. Although this ban has not yet entered into effect, other countries are being encouraged to pass similar laws. Wastewater treatment plants cannot remove micro-plastic pollutants, contrary to the goals of the Clean Water Act.

Fish and other ocean life dine on plastics, then get served as dinner, despite being full of undigested plastic waste. Much of the seafood consumed in the United States arrives untested for any type of pollution. Contaminated seafood can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, fever, headache, nausea, numbness and vomiting. As toxins move up the food chain, they concentrate. The highest levels of contamination rise to the top. For this reason, there should be no fishing. People are not immune from the side effects of contaminated food drawn from toxic water. Medical treatment may be required after ingesting these toxins. Enforcement of the Clean Water Act could improve water pollution levels and save lives. Ocean life harbors secrets, many of which could benefit humans if they are not lost forever to water pollution.

As can be expected, water pollution can cause bacterial diseases from ingestion. At the Center for Disease Control, The Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases has a mission to protect against waterborne disease. Cholera is among the most commonly known of these diseases by people throughout the world. Dirty water also is widely known to cause infections of open wounds in people and animals. NSU researchers found the sharks and rays they examined to have advanced wound-healing abilities. This is not the case for humans and other animals. However, eating rays and sharks is not the solution. Ray and shark meat will neither cure nor prevent cancer and it is unlikely to help fight infections. Unprocessed shark and stingray meat has a strong ammonia odor, due to concentrations of urea. Sharks and rays urinate through their skin. The high content of chemicals and heavy metals, such as mercury, in these animals is likely to be damaging to health. These harmful effects are giving another reason for no fishing and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.

Scientists from NSU, from which university V. R. Duin is a law school graduate, have confirmed that rays and sharks are highly efficient wound healers. As problems surface with the antibiotics used to create bacterial illnesses and infections, could sharks lead to alternative cures? Additional studies show Novel Changes in Their Immune Cancer-Related Genes. Studies are under way to determine whether sharks' immune systems may provide resistance to cancers. Two of their genes have counterparts in humans that are associated with a whole range of cancers. Could sharks lead to the prevention or cure of this dreadful disease, without the side effects and allergic reactions associated with existing medications? If so, there should be no fishing and enforcement of the Clean Water Act to preserve these potential lifesavers.

V. R. Duin aspires to link Little Ray and Shark to cancer intervention over the coming years. Certainly, this merits mention to her alma mater and to celebrants of Shark Week programming on the Discovery Channel. We hope friends will help make this effort a reality. The ray and shark in “Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up” are team players. Mama Ray, Little Ray and Shark want everyone for generations to enjoy the beauty, the health, the diversity and the fun of ocean life. The die-off of large populations of fish, due to failure to enforce the Clean Water Act, will bring end to a popular form of recreation, sport and survival. Water pollution may break up animal pairs that mate for life, including some birds and some fishes. It may weaken or kill animals that depend upon fishing for survival. The process that leads to a world with no fishing has grave consequences for other life forms.

Every marine animal is affected by water pollution. Fish breathe oxygen, which is made less available to them when the water is filthy. They cannot thrive in water of this condition. The biggest place on earth is contaminated to such an extent that the entire ecosystem is threatened. Hope for reversal of these threatening water pollution conditions resides in enforcement and expansion of the Clean Water Act. Otherwise, the earth may end up with no fish and no fishing. Loss of habitat from pollutants in the water is endangering many ocean animals. Grouper, swordfish, sawfish and tuna are among the most endangered ocean fish. Jellyfish, lobsters and turtles do not break down over time, so they may not die of old age. Instead, they may come to an earlier death from diseases carried in water pollution. If these animals are snuffed out by water pollution, humans may lose the potential to cheat their own immortality.

Water pollution that degrades and dissolves does not totally disappear. The remnants of these contaminants are creating huge dead zones in our oceans and along our shorelines. Ocean life without plants or animals is not possible in such a toxic environment. Enforcement of the Clean Water Act could reverse these conditions. Plastic pollutants, in particular, never go away. Not only do they get eaten to destroy life from the inside out, but they also amass to cause fatal entanglements, strangulations and choking of fish and other sea life. Where there are no fish, there can be no fishing by humans, bigger fish, birds, reptiles or other mammals. The natural food chain links the survival of larger organisms to the consumption of smaller ones, or to the consumption of plant life by animal life. When the food chain is destroyed, interdependent lives are threatened.

Man-made chemicals do not have to be ugly to be deadly. Radioactive waste may have a lovely glow, but it is not good for the ocean or for ocean life. The Clean Water Act would reduce exposure to high levels of radioactive waste. Radiation can lead to cancer, birth defects, cell and systemic damage of humans and animals. The hardy water bear is one of the few creatures that is able to withstand radiation. These water-dwelling micro-animals with eight legs may outlive us all. They can survive extreme conditions. However, intentional exposure to contaminants is not healthy for them. Like any other water pollutant, radioactive waste travels along water currents, gets deposited on the ocean floor and climbs up the food chain. Fish that are rendered toxic by water pollution may lead to the issuance by environmental regulators of no fishing orders for the area.

Toxic waste and sewage are dumped into the ocean from vessels, oil rigs and offshore construction sites. The Clean Water Act was enacted to prevent harmful pollution. Allowing so much construction along the seashore has created another source of contaminants. Unfortunately, this is a worldwide problem that may result in no fishing. Companies and individuals located near the shoreline may be the major source of water pollution. Simply washing the laundry can leach hazardous micro-plastic fibers into the environment. These sources of water pollution combine with chemical runoff from agriculture, industry, home septic tanks, lawns and storm drains to destroy the biochemistry, growth, behavior and survival of marine life throughout the world. Scummy water is toxic to humans, aquatic life and pets. It is bad for the world economy. Cleanup is costly.

Dredging to open navigation passages, to extract minerals, to prepare construction sites and to restore environmentally damaged areas lifts contaminants from the sea bed and causes water pollution. Much of this dredging is done to bulwark properties located on eroding beaches. However, dredging can give greater cause for enforcement of the Clean Water Act to lessen the need for no fishing orders. This suspended material can poison plants and animals. Sand dredged from rivers and oceans to re-nourish beaches may be killing the tiny animals upon which it is dropped. Providing beaches for tourists is a costly financial undertaking. It is increasingly difficult to find local undersea sand to pump onto eroding beaches. Sand has become so valuable, it is being stolen from public beaches for use on construction sites around around the world. Trucking sand from interior quarries or importing it from distant islands are adding to the cost of beach restoration.

The future of the ocean remains endangered, due to water pollution from many causes. Unless the Clean Water Act is enforced and spread throughout the world, all the fish may die off. There may be no fishing, if enforcement done by the United States Environmental Protection Agency is not made universal. Water pollution is washed into the streams, ponds, rivers, lakes and oceans of the world. It travels throughout these bodies of water and returns to land. Deposits of contaminated dredged materials on land is controversial due to the health risks that may travel with these materials. The costs of testing, cleaning and preparing alternative storage locations are significant. This controversy is unlikely to be quickly or easily resolved. However, efforts to save the waters of the world must continue for the health of all living beings.

Prevent Pollution

  • Stingrays in Water admin says:

    Water pollution has many forms, including liquid, solid, gas, noise and radiation, but plastic pollutants are the worst.

  • World of Water admin says:

    Let's enforce the Clean Water Act of the United States and spread the campaign throughout the world.

    • No Fishingadmin says:

      No fishing due to pollution will put a whole industry out of work, resulting in more jobs lost.