Pointing the Finger at Fukushima
Over the past two years we have conducted 5-6 MPA Watch trips each month. More often than not, we come across a few folks fishing from the shore inside of MPAs, and a few folks fishing from boats inside the MPAs. We continue to document all boating and fishing activity, spread the word about MPAs to those we encounter on the water, spread MPA information to our community, and encourage signage placement by collecting location of onshore fishing. These incidents are pretty common but we always, always, come across garbage in the waters of the Bay.
Last week, among the dozens of balloons, a shoe, plastic bags, cups and buckets, we pulled in a plastic bottle with what we speculate is Japanese writing on it. The easy target to blame was Fukushima. I have received many emails filled with finger pointing, and blaming the disastrous state of our oceans on the Japanese accident. The bottle most likely came from our own backyard, but our immediate reaction was to place the blame elsewhere. While the disaster fallout deserved our attention and concern, we should not lose sight of the fact that we contribute to the dis-ease of our planet and our waters every day as revealed in the pile of trash and balloons surrounding the bottle (shown above).
-Michael Quill, Community and MPA Programs Manager