David Levy – General Observation – Feb 19

Recent events coming from unexpected sources have prompted me to evaluate the role I play as Chairman of an environmental organisation which is charged with strategic thinking on marine matters.

What I can say, without any fear of regret, is that the direction of marine management is totally incapable of rescuing us from an extreme global meltdown in our ocean biodiversitybiodiversity Biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals..

Nobody has the definitive revelation about when the global marine ecosystem and fish stocks in particular are going to go into extinction mode. One person’s academic assessment is as good as another person’s. However I do know from overheard observation that international scientists bicker between themselves about who is in the right, rather than joining forces in the knowledge that the current road of travel is destructive. In short, lessons have not been learnt.

Recent revelations coming from the House of Lords have nailed the British Government and the British Fishing Industry with the charge of ignoring the discard ban. Further it is clear that the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy’s quota system, which requires following ICES scientific advice, has been roundly spurned by virtually every Member country. Lawlessness in global behaviour is now rampant and no legal response is being used to put matters right.

Marinet has, within the parameters of its limited resources, aimed to engage all and sundry with its film WTF (Where’s the Fish?) — not as a scientific end game but as a visual representation of the road we are travelling. This film is a vehicle to engage everyone, not as a literally accurate display but rather as a metaphor presented in a format designed to get everyone talking about the issues that are currently being avoided. In terms of the extinction we are facing: timing is one thing, direction is another.

The question that I asked myself is: why is there no continuity of opposition to a deeply disturbing state of affairs that is getting worse daily? Within the NGO movement, the answer has been Government money and charitable status. I now wonder whether the same tool has been used against the academic world via the use of grant money for research. In this situation the person who pays the piper calls the tune

If the latter is what prevents discussion then academia has neutered itself; and, in so doing now fails to open up to the student world those aspects of discussion where opinions differ and so ceases to teach students how to think for themselves.

For myself, I would rather be exposed to head-banging along with subsequent banishment to years in the wilderness than be a subservient slave to the money.

Frankly I am disgusted with the poor ethics of humanity and the perpetual drive to distance us from the planet, Earth.

David Levy


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