A welcome and blessed rain came in the night and was still falling gently this morning when Koko and I set out walking beneath gray skies streaked with yellow and the faintest hint of pink.
The interior mountains were totally obscured by a thick, gray cloud bank that covered even the Giant down to his base, and a pile up on the horizon promised more rain today, which is a very good thing.
Not so good is the toll on turtles, birds, marine mammals and especially sharks that Hawaii’s longline swordfish fishery takes. In reporting a story on a proposal by National Marine Fisheries Service to expand the fishery, I was stunned to learn that two to 10 sharks are caught for every swordfish, prompting one observer to dub it a “shark fishery, not a swordfish fishery.” The ratio is even higher — 10 to 20 sharks for every fish — in the greater Pacific longline fishery.
"Are you sure?" asked the editor. "That seems like an insanely high number."
What can I say? We humans are frigging nuts. How long do you suppose "harvests" like those can continue before the shark population is depleted?
The article really got me thinking about the trade-offs we make, so often unconsciously, in what we choose to eat:
“Every swordfish you eat literally comes with a side helping of sea turtles, whales, dolphins and seabirds,” said Teri Shore of the Turtle Island Restoration Network.
Meanwhile, The Garden Island today offered a few tantalizing, tasty tidbits about yesterday’s heated Council meeting, where the panel finally took up the issue of transparency, rules and policy.
It’s good to get it all out on the table, but ya gotta wonder where it’s gonna go from here when the members are exchanging barbs and accusations of dishonesty. Perhaps some family counseling is in order. Otherwise, we’re gonna have a badly split Council that is even less effective than usual.
But in order to know the whole story, we’ll have to wait for the Hoike broadcast, if you’ve got a TV and the fortitude to sit through hours of squabbling, or wait for the rest of Michael Levine’s report tomorrow.
And if you're an animal lover, or just in the mood for a sad story, read this piece on the fallout of the big midwest dog-fighting bust.
Just another example of an unconscious trade-off — gambling and sick thrills for the lives of so many dogs — that human beings make.