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For the Love of Fish!

Be the change you want to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi 

I love fish!! I remember as a boy when my older brother took me fishing for the first time. A stick, fishing line, a hook made of bent wire – one end filed sharp to a point. A rock with groves to hold the line tied to it was the sinker. We would sit on the dock near the shore, chattering as we used bread, snails, crabs, whatever we thought the fish might eat as bait.

Amazed at the colors and shape of the fish teaming near the shore line, we had fun just tossing the line in hope of the catch. Fishing became our getaway. Whenever we got in trouble at home, we always went fishing. Even when my brother made me upset with him, fishing always brought us back together.

Years ago when I first came to San Pedro, sitting on the dock with the fish near the shore reminded me of those days with my brother. But today when I sit near the shore in town I see discarded soda bottles and plastic containers. Where are all the fish? A friend of mine always says. “Progress brings Problems” and I always reply, “Only if you don’t rise to the occasion.”

With progress come new challenges. One of the challenges facing San Pedro is keeping the sea free of garbage. The fish and reef life are dependent on preserving the eco balance of the waterways. Saving our environment is protecting garbage and chemicals from polluting the surrounding waters.

If you love fish, you and I have a responsibility to do our best to keep the fish thriving and growing in the sea. Recently reading about dead fish floating up on the shore line is a sad and disturbing situation here in San Pedro. Nature is sending us a warning sign. Everyone living on La Isla is indirectly dependant on fish. Without the reef to protect us this island would not be here. Without the reef and fish life, why would the tourist come? Without the tourist how do we generate the economy? Our life is intimately connected to our surroundings.

Taking care of the environment is extending our love beyond our human constraints. As we progress becoming earth conscious is necessary and vital to our survival.  As we respect the mother earth it supports and continues to feed us. It’s time we wake up and treat her accordingly.

Below are some simple ways to send out fish love:

It’s great to have a picnic on the beach with family and friends, and as you leave remember to take time to clean up and put garbage in its proper place. Teach your kids how important it is to take care of the land and sea.

We cannot survive without clean water, the same goes for the fish and reef. It’s fun to go out on a boat and enjoy the water and sea life.  Remember to bring back what doesn’t belong in the sea, rather than have it float up on the shore in the near future.

If you start every morning with a hot coffee, a quick calculation can show you that the waste is piling up. Invest in a reusable cup, which not only cuts down on waste, but keeps your beverage hot for a much longer time. Most coffee shops will happily fill your own cup, and if you are a shop owner why not offer a discount to encourage waste reduction!

Minimize plastic bag usage. Most plastic bags, are not biodegradable, and are making their way into our sea, and subsequently, the food chain. Stronger, reusable bags are an inexpensive and readily available option. If you only buy one thing at the store, do you really need a bag?

Excerpt from “Secrets To Life Book” by Chris Emmanuel
Book available at Chris Emmanuel Art Gallery (Sunbreeze Hotel) and Pages Book Store

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