Beach, Sea, Shark and Whale
The Beaches, the Seas and the Oceans
Since 2005 there have been efforts to stop women wearing bikinis on Australian beaches. These efforts have been fought. Women should wear whatever they want to wear on Australian beaches. Some radical Muslims and Christians do not like the bikini.
There was once talk of banning Santa Claus. This is not likely to happen in Australia. We love our Christmas traditions including those shared by other nations. Our Santas tend at times to be dressed for the surf but that is all well and good. After all it is summer in Australia at Christmas time.
One of the best loved costumed fictional characters published in Australia is The Phantom - the ghost who walks. He was created by American Lee Falk and has been going strong for over sixty years. Among other things The Phantom is the nemesis of pirates and many of his adventures have been set at sea.
Japanese whaling in the antarctic region of our planet is being stopped. This is a new and welcome development. As mentioned in the forth Star Trek movie, it is illogical to hunt a species to extinction.
It has been theorized that life on earth began in water. Hence the oceans and the seas are the cradle of life here on our planet.
Certainly this theory featured in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
There have been numerous documentaries about war at sea. For generations it was said that the British ruled the waves. This, to some extent, was true.
The British empire was based on trade and also on the ability to protect this trade. For a long time having the best battleships afloat was good policy. Napoleon's Egyptian campaign might have well been more successful if the British did not have a superior navy.
Before the First World War there was a great battleship arms race triggered by the British. Lots of money was spent creating and crewing these giants of war. In the end, however, it was all for naught. New weapons of war had come about that quickly make them obsolete.
Both the submarine and the airplane changed the rules of battle at sea. A sub marine with a much smaller compliment of men could sink a big, bad battleship bristling with guns with but one well aimed torpedo.
After the drain on resources of both the First and 2nd World War, Britain was no longer in a position to successfully and also financially control as much territory as once was controlled. One result of this was India gaining her independence in 1947 and the creation of Pakistan.
The seas and oceans of our world were once teeming with life. This is sadly not the case anymore.
Fishermen in Britain and elsewhere have fallen on hard times. Catches are down and are likely to stay down unless fish are given a chance to breed and build up their numbers.
There are places in the USA where fishing was once a big trade but is sadly a big trade no more. Deer Isle, Maine is one such place.
The Clarence River in New South Wales, Australia has just about been fished out due to trawlers being allowed into it too often over the last twenty years. If fish are not permitted to breed in our rivers then there will come a time when they will not be found either in our oceans or in our seas.
Navigating at sea via the use of the sun, the moon and the stars is almost as old as humanity. It is said that Australian sailors when they spot the Southern Cross formation know they are close to home.
The Southern Cross is part of the Australian flag. It is also part of the New Zealand flag. There are also other nations that consider the Southern Cross part of who they are.
Unlike one channel SBS commentator, I don't see the problem in sharing. The stars of the Southern Cross stand for the many people of the southern hemisphere. Sharing is only a problem if you want to make it a problem.
The practice of capturing sharks, removing their fins and then putting the rest of the creature back in the sea or ocean to drown still goes on.
This is a cruel and wasteful business. Those who capture the shark should use all of the shark.Throughout the world shark populations are down and this is affecting other life in a bad way in our the oceans and the seas. The web of life can be disrupted. Food chains broken are difficult if not impossible to restore.
In the USA the movie JAWS led to the wholesale slaughter of many sharks including the harmless to humans varieties. Yes, it is true that not all sharks are man eaters. Of course this wholesale slaughter was not the intention of the film makers.
From the writings of Jules Verne, to H. P. Lovecraft to Terry Pratchett, we have been fascinated by the seas and the oceans and what it may contain. Jules Verne, H.P. Lovecraft and now Terry Pratchett live on in their writing.
Some of the best Star Trek novelists have tackled the exploration of the stars from their knowledge of seamanship and navigation. Hence even when we do eventually get out there among the stars the sea will still be with us in spirit if nothing else.
For many generations the sea has aided the imagination of writers the world over and also the world's artists. Today we know a great deal about the various oceans and seas. Occasionally we are surprised by new discoveries but not very often.
The seas and the great oceans are being fished out. Human greed is responsible. In the past huge sea monsters supposedly roamed our larger waterways. Now it appears that the truly horrid monsters to journey across the oceans and seas are our fellow human beings.
An end to whaling would be best. Sea cows should be protected. We admire the dolphin but perhaps not enough to allow this creature to continue to exist in our world. The loss of such creatures would indeed be devastating.
Not all Japanese are for the killing of whales. There are actually Japanese for observing rather than slaughtering. The good Japanese who are the young Japanese need our support or certain species of whale will definitely not be around for very long.
Fish need to be harvested with care from the seas and oceans to make sure that there will always be fish. Those who poach in the waters of other nations should be caught and punished for what they do. What's more, the rivers which are the breeding grounds of many fish species also need to be handled with care.
Protect the seas and the oceans from the greedy and the foolish and the seas and oceans will eventually go back to being plentiful with fish. This is true of our rivers as well. Fail to do so and our world will be a poorer and less enchanting place. Go scuba diving and you will know what I mean.
Go scuba diving in the waters of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia and you will definitely form a real understanding of how wonderful the waters of our planet still happen to be..
Right now the Great Barrier Reef and other reefs are feeling the pressure from rising temperatures due to climate change. Corral is a living thing and it can die. It is colorful when alive but white like bone when dead. I prefer coral to live.
There have been some impressive 21st Century documentaries on the Great Barrier Reef. The creatures the corral attracts are incredible. Most are kind to it. The starfish, however, comes from outside Australian waters and is deadly invader to the corral.
If you don't believe me about the seas and oceans being in trouble check out what David Attenborough has to say on the subject.
It will take all the nations of the world that have any connection with seas and oceans to get together and work out a plan of action. It would be great if the United Nations could do something other than collect and file away data on what is happening.
The United Nations was formed as a place where nations can talk over differences and help one another. I just hope the nations can get together and also help the planet.
It would also be good if the United Nations could come to terms with the fact that we are overpopulating our world and we really do need to work out ways in which we can stabilize population growth. Education is one answer.
Unfortunately the United Nations was weakened as a force because of America's actions in Iraq. Where were the weapons of mass destruction? Fighting in Iraq continues. The USA and Australia had pulled out of Iraq but now may have to go back in.
ISIS and other forms of radical Islam menace the world. Is this the result of weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist?
Radical Islam has stirred up a lot of hatred in the West. Killing innocent people, or people guilty of minor offences, does not make one popular. In France insane Muslims attacked a French publication and killed artists and writers. In London radical Muslims are pushing for Sharia law.
In Australia there have been demonstrations against the introduction of Sharia law and also further migration into Australia by Muslims. What is known is that some Muslims respect the pen over the sword while others do not.
In recent years fishermen made poor by international fishing cartels have had to turn to piracy when their part of the world has been fished out. This is indeed a tragedy that could and should be prevented. The fishing cartels should not be allowed to roam freely and do the damage they do.
The practice of taking sharks, cutting off the fins and then throwing the sharks back into the water to drown must stop. This is a cruel and wasteful process. If you are going to catch and use the whole shark well and good but to only use part of it is just plain criminal. Then there is of course the cruelty angle.
The Australian government in recent years has taken measures to assure that there will be fish off our coastline going into the future but, without the cooperation of other governments, such as the Indonesian government, the effort may be wasted.
The truth is that we cannot even protect our own waters against poachers from elsewhere without other governments understanding what is going on and making the right and necessary decisions.
Of all the monsters to be found at sea none are actually more monstrous than man. Sharks are predators but they are still a lot less wasteful and/or destructive.
To check out a strange assortment of land monsters get a hold of my latest novel, Desk Job.
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