Brenda Cooper

Fish, or lack thereof

As many of you know, I just returned from a trip to Alaska.  We stood in the back of a rocky boat, shivering gazing in awe at the Sawyer Glacier as it calved.  We learned that it is receding so fast they say it is “galloping” backwards.  The cruise ship itself could not get near the glacier and we had to take a smaller boat that met up our big one and then took us near the glacier’s face.

We watched humpback whales breach as we motored back from Tracy Arm to Juneau.

In Ketchikan, there were so many fish coming in the inlet through town that it was impossible to take a picture that didn’t include fish jumping. I took ten or twelve of this spot and every picture had fish in it.  Leaning over the bridge, the passageway under it seemed to hold as much fish as water.

Right before we left, I turned in an original essay for a book devoted to the gulf coast.  In that essay, one paragraph mentions that some people are predicting we will kill all of the fish in the ocean, though acidification or through overfishing and collapsing stocks, or other means.

After this trip, when the ocean looked so vast and the fish so plentiful, I began to wonder if I had over-stated the case.  Then I found the trailer for the award-winning movie “A Sea Change”  and it says the same thing.  We may have no more fish.

That would be a true tragedy.  I’m a girl that grew up leaning over the front of a boat watching dolphins coated in bio-luminescence off the shores of California and spent weekends anchored at Catalina Island.  My family are still active sailors – my little brother Bruce owns the Ullman Sails loft in Newport Beach.

I cannot imagine a sea without fish, or dolphins, or whales.  Can you?

I honestly think it would kill us to lose the seas.