Thursday, June 07, 2007

Save the oceans, but how?

Flying home from Washington DC to Seattle I always wonder. Did I talk to the right people? Did I pull on the right levers and push the right buttons? This year I left before the NOAA fish fry, a great shmoozefest of fishy people. Did I miss out on something useful?

We had an Ocean Conservancy board meeting, reporting on progress and planning the future. Lots of feedback from smart scientists, successful businesspeople, some fiery creative souls, and distinguished and committed ocean savers. And we also had a couple of inspiring staff brainstorms. Was the OC work the best thing I could do?

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is deciding today whether or not to adopt a rebuilding plan for red snapper, and it includes major changes in the shrimp fishery. For the first time in two decades, red snapper may be on the road to recovery. Should I be there?

I met with some bloggers to network and build community, is that the wave of the future or just a glorified chat room, fun but useless?

I had dinner at Hook, and enjoyed the very best in sustainable seafood. And also on the plane I bumped into someone from the Marine Stewardship Council, and we talked about how to make more fisheries sustainable. Will seafood be our lever for improvement?

Where will we find a path to success, in New England where cod are missing because fishing seems to be a jobs program? Or in Alaska where they ruthlessly send some people home to cut fleet size and there’s more of a long-term outlook?

And what are we going to do about farmed fish? Are they spawn of the devil or the ocean’s savior?

There are no classes in how to do this stuff. Nobody can tell you right or wrong. There are no maps to follow, or at least none that are reliable. There are even more opinions that there are people involved, and almost everyone has at least a nugget of truth in what they say.

This Friday, we’ll have even a new option to consider here on blogfish. Carnival of the Blue, an ocean blog carnival. Let’s focus free-for-all micro-media on oceans for a day, as much as we can. Can we measure a blip of buzz from this? It might help. And if it does we’ll have another thing to put on the to-do list.

Oh well, it’s a lot like surfing—pick your wave and ride it. A quick choice, a big drop, and it’s hard to tell what’s coming next. That’s what makes it interesting. Planning sometimes helps, but it always comes back to gut feelings and quick judgments in difficult situations. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I do. And please join the ocean blog carnival fun tomorrow, Friday, June 8, World Ocean Day.

No comments: