Can Hemp Save our Oceans?
A mysterious object in the sky
In the summer of 1995 sightings of a mysterious object in the sky were reported to news channels across the Emerald isle. Everywhere from Donegal to Cork to Dublin eyewitness testimonies confirmed the same event. Government warnings were issued: Stay indoors, avoid any contact and above all do not look directly at this object. Irish people had witnessed a rare celestial object in our skies… The Sun!
Traffic quickly filled the roads as people flocked to the beaches. Coastal families were invaded by inland relations they had not seen in years. As for me and my buddy Frankie, we did the same thing we did every summer. Each sunrise we would meet at a disputed ‘halfway’ point on the road between our homes. Filled with great excitement and an ever renewed optimism we would climb the fence and traverse the neighbours fields. Our destination was the Dungorman river, a gem for brown trout hidden in the midlands. Few fisherman knew of it but those that did would travel great distances to fish there.
One day startled by a resting rod shaking violently I screamed in excitement. I grabbed the rod and frantically started to reel it in as Frankie rushed to grab the net. As the monster appeared through the water I yanked the rod up into the air. Between the fishes weight and my inexperience the line snapped and the fish fell. I stretched to grab it but it was no use. I watched it sink back into the water from where it came and with it all our hopes. Retelling our story later to a passing fisherman he listened with great sympathy and left us with these words.: “Don’t worry boys. There’s plenty more fish in the sea”.
Fishless Ocean by 2050
In 2010 Pavan Sukhdev the then head of UNEP (UN environments program green economy initiative) said that “based on estimates received the oceans will have no fish life come 2050”.This is further backed up by research by Boris Worm in a 2006 study.
Right now over 85% of the world’s fish stocks are classified as either fully exploited or over exploited or depleted.
As you read this, there are subsidised super trawlers hauling in their portion of the 109 million metric tonnes of fish caught each year. Using solar and radar akin to warships they easily locate shoals of fish and catch everything in sight without discrimination with nets the size of football fields.
Fishing trawlers can now fillet, pack and freeze on site allowing for more captures. Of all the fish that these trawlers catch, around 40% are bycatch!! Bycatch are fish (sharks ,whales, small fish etc) caught up in the nets that are not desired or illegal to catch that are crushed or choked to death in the net and then thrown back into the sea. Dead. 40% waste!!
But I only buy MSC sustainable fish so Im ok. Right?
Next time you are waiting in line at the checkout, have a look at the back of the fishbox. It will more than likely have an MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) label. This is telling you that the fish comes from a fishery that uses ‘best practices’ and is ‘sustainable’. Sustainable fishing at this current scale is an oxymoron. There is no such thing as sustainable fishing. It is a myth perpetuated by the fishing industry. In fact the MSC label is looked upon by sceptics as a tiny plaster on a open wound. This label is deceiving your conscience allowing you to continue to buy fish.
Fish are good for us. Aren’t they?
All our life we are told to eat fish. We know fish contain essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and 6. Not to mention low fat high quality protein. The list goes on: vitamins D & B2, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, iron, zinc. But have fish become a poisoned chalice?
Fish live in an ocean that has been heavily polluted over the years with pcb’s, dioxins and other heavy metals. Not to mention what enters the sea as runoff from land animal waste, pesticides, fertilisers and even human sewage. A lot of the fish you eat are full of mercury which will affect your memory and cognitive functioning.
Lest we forget the well known fact that the ocean is teaming in plastic that takes lifetimes to degrade. And no, farmed fish are not the answer as they are a breeding ground for disease which leads to the fish and the waters being pumped with antibiotics. The question we need to ask ourselves is do the health benefits of fish outweigh the numerous toxic cancer causing effects?
Hemp oil and hemp seeds
What if there was a way of getting all the nutrients we need from fish without the toxins nor the death of the fish or the ecosystem? Any sane person in their right mind would forgo fish and give this a chance right?
Hemp plants (seeds and seed oil) which are Non psychoactive contain all the essential nutrients we get from fish. Including omega 3 and 6 & 9 vitamins and minerals. It even has vitamin D which helps greatly given we don’t get to see the sun much in Ireland! Hemp is simply better for you, your environment, and the future of planet earth and all who dwell here.
What about the people that rely on fishing?
It is estimated that around 35 million people are directly employed by fishing not to mention the millions indirectly employed (packaging/retail). Clearly we cannot simply ban fishing outright. But we can gradually move much of this workforce into the practically vacant hemp workforce. Popular mechanics in the early part of the 20th century estimated the hemp industry as a billion dollar industry before it was banned. It is now reemerging and based on the 25000 plus products that can be made from hemp it is now a billion dollar industry with the potential to quickly become a trillion dollar industry.
Next time I go fishing
Living in different parts of Ireland and both of us having kids, me and Frankie don’t see much of each other anymore. But maybe when we retire we might go back to the Dungorman and try and catch that fish that got away. Having learned a trick of two over the years (like hemp seeds make the best bait!) and sprinkle in some patience garnered I think we will have a better chance of catching a fish. That is.. if there are any left…
How you can help
By choosing hemp seed and hemp seed oil products you are supporting a growing industry and choosing health. By choosing hemp you are lowering the demand for fish. As demand decreases so to will immoral subsidies and overfishing. Nature will naturally replenish its fish stocks and the ocean ecosystem will recover. Seagrass will be restored which will remove toxins. Phytoplanktons restored will continue to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and replenish our air supply.
The oceans will be clean and safe which in turn will boost tourism everywhere.
What about the plastic pollution?
“But Johnny, what about all the plastic being dumped into the sea?” Well fishing accounts for almost half of that so there is one benefit straight away. What about the other half though? The drink bottles etc. Well guess what else renewable hemp can make… Biodegradable, strong plastic that takes months not hundreds of years to degrade. But that dear reader is for another article.
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Share, care, and dare to create a better world for us all. Thank you