Consider This: Prestige

The word prestige is a noun connotating respect and admiration for achievements and quality of life. Now some of the occupations that are considered prestigious are presidents of corporations, businessmen and women, politicians and the rich. That was a long time ago. Because greed and corruption have overshadowed prestige. Sad to say. Now it is more about how outlandish and spectacular are than what a person does for community or world. Let’s look at our government especially the last two years our government has provided more money for the upper crust than taking care of the lower class and less fortunate of this world. Because of our sitting President and his administration, we have lost world prestige and replaced it arrogance and deceit.

The question remains how we restart our status. A successful restart may never happen because I doubt humanity is not going back to the basics. By that I mean a faith-based society.

 

I Recommend:

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Consider This: My Absence

I have been away from blogging for almost a year. I do have a good reason though. For the last year, I have participated in a novel writing course which will expand to my writing repertoire. The class will finish at the end of the month. The process has been daunting and time-consuming at the same time it has been a lot of fun.

At the end of the course, I will split my time between the novel and the blog. I am considering a lot of subjects to post but for now posts of consideration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Walk the Walk

selective focus photography of bald eagle
Photo by RalfGeorg on Pexels.com

As we approach another critical election, I thought I would look at some of the phrases we consider in the history of our government.

    Let’s start with the phrase “We the People.” When I was taught in school the declaration of Independence, and the Preamble of the Constitution was like a gospel song. Voices boom used width pride. But when I was growing up, we were still enjoying the fruits of the Allied victory in Japan and Europe. As a person who shared this countries birthday, I had to memorize them. The reality is that the founding fathers meant them as introductory remarks. I always thought our representatives came from the people themselves via the electoral process. But that is not the case for the most part they are white rich men and women who have made a name for themselves. They are not first responders, farmers, factory workers. This November we have a wide diversity of people wanting to serve their constituents. And so they don’t fall into the trap that their predecessors did, we must campaign for term limits and the removal of Citizen United.

    Our politicians love to talk the talk regarding “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are not meant to be taken or given away. The only people that can give these rights away is us. We are the only ones that can allow them to be taken away. So, it is very important that we stop talking the talk and start walking the walk. Be sure to go vote on November 6th. I don’t care if you walk, drive, ride or fly but vote.

What is at stake health care, Social Security, Medicare, and immigration.

    

Another Black Friday

There could be any number of Black Fridays. For me, there are currently two. The first when Jesus Christ was crucified, the second October 1929, but a third is on its way. Tomorrow our Senate will vote on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. According to reports, the confirmation is going to happen. Which is a shame because in the process we have destroyed the credibility of a woman by the entitlement.

What has been proven is that Dr. Ford is an incredibly strong and brave woman. Secondly, what lengths the privileged and white supremacists will go to. White supremacy is not just hatred of nonwhites and the Jewish faith. It is a fear of anything that will take aware of their power whether it be in the bedroom, in the workplace, or in the government.

There was a time that the majority of the citizens of this country at a relationship with God. As that relationship declines so did our values. The values such as equality, decency, compassion and many more are almost extinct. What upsets me most is how hypocritical we as a nation have become. We pledge allegiance to one nation Under God. The word Under God means a whole lot to me. It established a link to the first commandment. I am speaking. about the prologue “I am the Lord, thy God…” Powerful word at least a commitment to hope and faith and protection. The final section “you shall have no other Gods before me.” This is where the hypocrisy comes in – we do have other gods; sex, drugs, money, possessions, and idols (flags, anthems, athletes, and entertainers.)

Tomorrow a potential drunk, accused sexual predator, liar, and entitled man will be confirmed to the Supreme Court. I require more out of the judiciary than that. In that, there is no hope, faith or protection. I require more out of the judiciary than that.

This November I am not hoping for a blue wave. I pray that it will be a blue cyclone. At least that is what I am praying for.

One of many Endangered Species of ANWR

Caribou 1

An Endangered Species of ANWR

When I was researching this topic, I learned one thing that many people think that Caribou and Reindeer are interchangeable. But they are not. And although neither species are in danger of becoming extinct, the Caribou of ANWR will be affected if oil exploration is allowed and that can be avoided.

One similarity of the species is that they are both adaptive to cold weather with their unique coats and hooves. Their significant difference is size and location. Caribous are ? and live on the North American Continent whereas reindeer live in Scandinavia and Russia. There is also the domestic issue, reindeer are the oldest domesticated species.

Since caribous are not domesticated, they face significant challenges. Because of their migratory ways, caribous are sensitive to changes in their habitat. This species is particularly vulnerable to climate change and the two significant factors that could disrupt their habitat, oil, and gas.

Studies are being done to address the threat. The University of Alaska – Fairbanks is studying changing temperatures effects in Arctic Alaska. The nature conservancy joined the school to explore how caribou and other arctic animals might respond.

The scientists are most concerned about 58,000 caribous of the Teshekpuk Lake. In June of every year, the herd congregates, north of the lake to birth their calves and seek relief from insects. If condition change in the area it will have a profound effect on the herd.

Caribou Facts

 

Caribou 3

 

Caribou and in some circles are also called reindeer, in five countries, Canada, Russia, Greenland, Russia, Norway, and Sweden, and one state: Alaska. As the seasons change so does the diet of the caribou. They feed on a variety of plants in the summer when vegetation is plentiful. As the seasons change so does the dietary regime of these animals. They feed on a variety of plants when the vegetation is abundant. However, during the winter caribou use their hooves to dig through snow to get to moss or lichens.

Because they are migratory and search for food across the tundra, God has adapted them for weather. The areas of their bodies that have been modified are fur, skin, and hooves. Because of their fur and skin caribou are after to stand the cold water of the northern rivers.  The wide design of their hooves allows them to cross muddy or snow, and helps the dig, as mentioned earlier, and swim.

The weight of a female caribou range from 180 – 200 pounds. Male caribou, on average, can double the female weight. They have been recorded as large as 600 pounds. Gender doesn’t matter as height which ranges between 33-35 inches at the shoulder.  Both genders have and do shed their antlers but at various times. The older male caribou after the rut (mating season) and females lose theirs in the summer.

The mating season or rut occurs in the fall, and the calving occurs in the spring. Female caribous only give birth to one calf.

The Porcupine Caribou

The reader may ask why I am concentrating so much attention on the caribou on the ANWR. My research has given an indication that it is the largest mass of animals in the region. There are two herds found in the area.  The Porcupine herd which numbers are estimated at 152,000 and the Central herd numbers 23,400 animals. Throughout the year the caribou goes through seven distinct phases of activities, some of which involve long migrations.

Spring Migration

During the spring migration, the caribou segregate themselves into groups which migrate at different times. Pregnant females, some yearlings, and barren cows migrate first, in early March. The bulls and juveniles follow a few weeks later. The pregnant females arrive on the north slope in mid to late May.

Calving

The caribou calves are born the last week in May and the first two weeks of June. The blessed event usually takes place between the Hulahula and the Babbage Rivers, in the foothills of the Coastal Plains. The area is generally free of snow.

There is a high degree of coordination and of the adaptation to reduce the overwhelming amount of predators, such as grizzlies, wolves, and on occasion the golden eagle. There exists a brief period of time in which the number of calves is more significant than predators.

Since the calves are able to stand and nurse within one to two hours after birth. After twenty-four hours they can run and follow their mothers over short distances. Because of this ability, they are able to escape their predators.

Post Calving Aggregation

The caribou’s most significant problem other than predators is mosquitoes. The mosquitoes emerge in late June and early July. So the caribou gathers in large groups and looks for areas where there are breezes and cold temperatures. Cold winds give the caribou time to feed and get relief from the mosquitoes. By mid to late July the herd moves off the Coastal Plain and into the foothills and mountains. Sometimes the herd will remain on the North Slope for the winter, then travel south and east to Canada. The Porcupine herd will move westward from the 1002 area and mingle with the Central Arctic Herd.

Dispersal

After the mosquitoes decline and the herd disperses this species is plagued by the warble fly and the nose-bot fly. Both species are nasty, but then what pest isn’t.

The warble nose fly looks like a small bumble bee. Its eggs in the fur of the abdomen legs of the caribou. The warble fly lays its eggs in the coat that covers the legs and abdomen of the caribou. Once the larvae are established, they burrow under the skin and travel to the back of the host. Then the warble fly larvae encapsulate and cut a breathing hole in the skin. Later in the months of May or June, the encapsulated larvae cut an exit hole, crawls out, and drops to the ground and develop into mature warble flies. A caribou can carry as many as a hundred of these pests.

The nose-bot fly lives up to its name by carrying live larvae which it deposits into the nostril of the caribou. The larvae then travel from the nose to the base of the throat. By spring the larvae are large enough to actually interfere with the breathing of the caribou.

The caribou can’t avoid the warble or nose-bot flies like mosquitos. Because the pests are such strong fliers the caribou stand with their heads low. In July and August caribou are seen violently shaking their heads, stamping their hooves, or running across the tundra.

Fall Migration

The caribou can begin migrating any time from late August to mid-October, moving southward. They will roam between 100-300 miles into the Brooks Range near Arctic Village, Alaska. And sometimes they get as far as the Ogilvie and Richardson mountains of the Yukon. While continues continue to migrate south mountains of they continue to store up fat. All of them will need their fat stores for winter, but the males in particular will use massive energy reserves for the rut. During the migration the bulls are getting into brief sparring matches, displaying their aggressiveness. Another sign that the rut is near is the bull is shedding the velvet from their antlers by rubbing them against trees and shrubs.u

Conclusion:

My reasoning for this essay is to point out that these creatures are unique with a definite purpose in the creation. One of the last comments I want to make is that these animals provide subsistence for the Inupiat Eskimos and Athabascan Indians that live along their migratory routes.

The greed of the 1% is driving this administration in destroying the last vestiges of Wilderness in this country. Oil drilling in the ANWR would disrupt the habitat of the caribou and as a result the peoples of the region.  For what? Are we becoming so inhuman?

 

 

 

 

The Rock

Twenty-four hours ago the words of a hymn I remember from my youth came to mind. Especially the refrain of “My Hope Is Built.” The refrain makes reference to Christ being the solid rock, and all other ground is sinking sand.

According to the definition is Wikipedia the cornerstone is defined as the first stone set in the construction of a foundation. It is important because all other stones will be set in reference to all other stones.

While I was on the Internet earlier I came across two articles that which concerned events in this country. The events were the shooting in Parkland, Florida and the Senate failing to produce an immigration bill. I had a sinking feeling and that is when my mind played a long remembered verse, but all my mind was only hearing the words sinking sand. The more and more I contemplated the news the more apparent I became of the words. Today I started putting it together.  While the Declaration of Independence is the cornerstone of the Constitution and the foundation of government, it is cracking and our government, is sinking in chaos, there is a life raft. We discover the true rock is found at the end of our journey with Jesus as we move toward Jerusalem and once again we witness the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. If we stand on our faith and remember Jesus is the rock we never have to fear sinking sand.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The effects of the Trump Tax Cut bill will not be fully apparent for a few months, but this posting is not about addressing all the faults of that law.  I do want to discuss the portion that will allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. While nations associated with the Paris Accord are working to eliminate the use of fossil fuels,such as oil, our current administration continues to work in the opposite direction.  The early analysis of the bill it will add a trillion dollars to the national deficit. This addition to the debt will have to be paid for future generations of our youth. The worst part is that they will have to contend with global warming, pollution, and the loss of witnessing this habitat thrive and learn about it’s fragile ecosystem. This proposal was instrumental in obtaining Senator Lisa Murkowski’s vote.

ANWR

The ANWR

The story behind the ANWR began in 1953, with an article published in a journal of the Sierra Club. The article entitled “Northeast Alaska: The Last Great Wilderness” was written by National Park Service Planner George Collins and a biologist Lowell Summer. Collins and Summer would recruit the president of the Wilderness Society,  Olaus Murrie, and his wife, to protect the area.

In 1956 Olaus and Maudy Murrie led an expedition to the Brooks Range in Northeast Alaska. The journey took an entire summer to study land and wildlife ecosystems of the upper Sheenjak Valley. In 1963 Olaus said, “On our trips to the Arctic Wildlife Range we saw clearly that it was a place for mass recreation… It takes a lot of territory to keep this alive, a living wilderness, for scientific observation and aesthetic inspiration. The Far North is a fragile place.”

By order of the Secretary of Interior, Fred Andrew Seaton, the land became federally protected in 1960, while he served under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. On December 2, 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

The ANWR is made up of the Mollie Beattie Wilderness (8 million acres), area 1002 which was added in 1980 (1.5 million acres) and the remaining (10.1 million acres) which is considered suitable for designation as a wilderness area. However, that designation has never happened. Only Congress could open this area for oil drilling.

A  visitor would be hard-pressed to find a road leading into the refuge.The refuge doesn’t have any roads leading into it. The Inupiat village of Kaktovik has 258 occupants, living on the northern edge. On the southern tip is Gwich’in has a population of 152. There is, however, a path between the two village that traverses all of the ecosystems of the ANWR, from boreal forests to the Arctic Ocean.

The Wildlife of the ANWR

The northern coast is made up of barrier islands, coastal lagoons, salt marshes, and river deltas, which provide a variety of habitat for migratory birds. Some of these migratory birds are sea ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds. Also found in the nearshore waters are Dolly Varden, considered part of the trout family, and Arctic Cisco,  which is considered a type of whitefish. Also along these same coastal lands and sea ice are used by caribou in search of relief from biting flies during the summer. Also in this area, Polar bears use it for hunting of seals and digging dens for birthing.

In the area of the ANWR, the coastal plain stretches to the south to the foothills of Brooks Range, which consists of small hills, lakes, and north-flowing rivers. The landscape is covered of tundra vegetation, shrubs, sedges, a triangular flowering plant, and mosses.  Herds of caribou make an appearance to the coastal region to give birth and raise their young. The area is also home to other species at various times of years, including migratory birds and insect during the short Arctic summer, plus tens of thousands of snow geese stop in September, to feed, before migrating south. Musk oxen live there all year round.

Muskox

The mountains of eastern Brooks range rise to over 9000 feet.  It serves several purposes as that it is the northernmost extension of the Rocky Mountains and marks the continental divide.  The area host north-flowing rivers that empty into the Arctic Circle and south-flowing tributaries that join the Yukon River. The mountain range supports a variety of vegetation includes tundra vegetation, shrubs and rare groves of popular on the north side and spruce on the south. In the summer months peregrine, gyrfalcons, and eagles build nests on the cliffs. The birds that are found on the rivers are Harlequin ducks and red-breasted mergansers. Grizzly bears and Arctic ground squirrels are known to hibernate in the area.

Area of Exploration

 

 

The visitor to the southern part of the Arctic Refuge would find themselves within the Interior Alaska-Yukon. This area is dominated by patches of black and white spruces until the forest gets denser in the foothills and flat lands north of the Yukon. Frequent forest fires created a mix described as a hodgepodge of spruce, birch, and aspen. The year-long residents of this boreal forest are Alaskan moose, muskoxen, Canadian lynxes, martins, wolverines, black bears, grizzly bears, and wolves.  Birds from Mexico and Central America often migrate here to breed during the spring and summer.

Prudhoe Bay and the Kaparuk area are centers for waterfowl and other birds to reproduce. Healthy herds of caribou come through the area to calve and refuge nagging pests.

Drilling

For forty years two parties have debated whether drilling should be allowed in the ANWR. The drilling target has always been and still is area 1002 and the debate has always been and will be whether oil exploration and the amount of recoverable oil will be harmful to the environment.

I hope that future generations get to experience the natural beauty of the fauna and flora of the few remaining wilderness areas, such as ANWR. Although the area 1002 has been opened to drilling, due to legislation passed in 2017, the chance of the area remaining pristine is hard to envision. I point the oil spills that have occurred along the Keystone pipeline, in November 2017. I believe that this legislation needs to be repealed for the sake of the environment and control of our future from big oil and President Trump. Or we can get use to seeing this in the last pristine frontiers of our nation.

Mankind Should Consider The Necessity Of Whales.

 

Giant Humpback WhalesThe number one reason is how many scientists have learned so much from research and biological studies. There are many reasons for the scientist to study and research whales. Many of the topics are whale behavior such as echolocation, language, intelligence, and environmental impact. Some of the information we have learned has been by watching them thrive and survive. 

Part of a healthy society for whale species and marine mammals is hunting and protecting one another. This is similar to the way humans, elephants, and primates live.  Two characteristics that are found in few other species is a high degree of intelligence and self-recognition. Because whales possess very complicated and sophisticated language, many researchers believe that humans will need to develop new technologies so we can communicate with them. The cetaceans species include whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Because of the cetaceans, which include whale, dolphins and porpoises, level of intelligence many researchers and environmentalists wish to give them specific protective rights; the same rights as humans.

Our growing understanding of whales is vital for improving safety measures which will lead to improvements in the ocean ecosystem. Echolocation is the sonar-like system in which visible and invisible objects found by sound waves reflected back to the emitter.  The research of this sonar-like systems has led to improvement and implementation new technologies for human sonar systems. This study has taught us that man-made sounds have an effect on echolocation of marine life. So we should attempt to make ways to better protect the cetaceans from the noise we make. We can start by creating new technologies that don’t interfere with echolocation and ban air gun blasting. Echolocation is one reason is that whales help military personnel locate underwater mines and people lost at sea. The human race needs to approach these studies hardheartedly because of the cetaceans intelligence and their ability to learn and their ability to work as a team.

How do whales affect the environment?

To begin with, whales regulate the food system through stabilization and ensuring that individual species do not overpopulate the ocean. As an example, the blue whale consumes 40 million krill a day. Now imagine the impact if the blue whale became extinct. The krill would thrive and survive, thereby overpopulating and destroying the species that they feed on. Poof their goes the stabilization of the food chain.

A by-product of the whale’s food consumption is whale poop which offsets carbon in the atmosphere. Studies show that nutrients found in sperm whale poop aids in the growth of phytoplankton. It is estimated that whale poop is responsible for the extraction of 400,000 metric tons carbon from the air every year. Whale poop also helps stabilizes the food chain by stimulating the growth of phytoplankton by helping to feed fish. This allows the fish to reproduce and survive, which feed other species.

How do whales help growing economies?

Movies such as Free Willie, Orca,  have aided in the growth of whale watching. People spend billions in the hope to get a glance of whales in their habitat. This spending has become a significant source of income leading to economic growth in wealthy and developing countries. Global whale watching has increased the global presence for these countries and helps attract additional investments from other countries. However, along time ago whales weren’t were so loved the outcome was sad and unfortunate.

In the old days of the whaling era, many species were slaughtered to the point that some species almost extinct and endangered. This killing of whales eventually caused all sorts of environmental changes. Those changes over time led to increased levels of carbon dioxide and global warming.

Blue Whales: One species that is at Risk

Blue Whale Size Chart

The blue whale is considered the biggest and loudest animal in the world. Blue whales can be heard several miles away. As a child, I remember seeing photographs of these creatures and was overwhelmed at their size. Because of their size, a blue whale is rarely attacked. The blue whale’s only known predator is killer whales and when killer whales usually attack they only attack young and defenseless calves.

Although the blue whale’s main diet is krill, it will consume creatures called copepods. Krill are found in Arctic waters. The blue whale is classified as a baleen whale because blue whales don’t have teeth so they can’t chew or grab onto their food.  The whale consumes food through a process called filter feeding.

This method implies filtering groups of krill from the water by the use of baleen plates. The plates have bristles which act like a net or a fence. As the blue whale swims at its prey, it opens its mouth to capture the food. Then the whale pushes the excess water out by using its tongue, the krill are trapped on the bristles. Once all the water is gone the whale eats the krill, whole. Because of the size of its esophagus, a blue or baleen whale couldn’t swallow an adult human.

What is the habitat of a blue whale?

One of the great tragedies of human history is the whaling era. Whaling, in its time, was a popular and lucrative business, causing death among all whale species. The extent of whaling among the blue whale almost brought the species to extinction. Estimates of the blue whale population before the whaling era were 200,000 – 300,000. After the whaling era, the species numbered between 5,000-12,000. 

Since the whaling era, blue whales still can be seen in the Antartic, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. However, they are more readily found in colder waters where they store food and prepare for the mating season. During the mating season, blue whales are seen in warmer waters such as the Gulf of Mexico, Costa Rica, the Fallon, Channel Islands, and Monterey Bay. During their migration trips, blue whales survive off their blubber. These trips can take up to four months traveling at 3 -6 miles per hour. However, if a whale becomes agitated, it can reach speeds of 30 miles per hour. The gestation period of a whale is 10- 12 months during which they produce one calf. A baby blue whale gains 200 pounds a day.

The Reproduction and Lifespan of Whales

Once a blue whale is impregnated the gestation period is usually ten to twelve months.  At the end of which the female whale, called a cow, produces a single offspring.  The calf or baby whale is nursed for six to nine months. The milk of the cow is full of fat and nutrients. Once the calf has been weaned, it starts consuming solid foods and hunting. After five to ten years the adult whale is able to mate. A cow produces every two to three years.

Threats

I have already mentioned the whaling era. In a previous post, I wrote about the potential dangers to the food cycle of offshore drilling specifically air-gun blasts. But blue whale also faces threats from pollution, the plastic bottles and wrapping tossed in the ocean during boating, collisions with boats and ships, global warming, fishing gear and marine equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

The Year of Lessons Learned

I started the year full of high hopes. I was finally retired and going to enjoy myself and do the things I wanted to do. The year started fine with me returning to faithful church attendance. I had mentioned before that I spent forty-two years in the world of IT.  Actually when I first started the official name was Data Processing. As a long time member of that professional community, I can say a person does not have anything like a healthy life. For twenty years I worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and then had a week off. So, in reality, I worked 26 weeks a year, with holidays and vacation. A young man’s game for a while. However, the opportunities to attend church often aren’t great. Then I worked 18 years in which I worked 3 and 1/2 days, twelve hours a day. Because a more significant part of that was spent work Wednesday – Saturday. So on my second weekend of retirement, I returned to church service and felt everything was going to be alright. I was back at my spiritual home.

I started this blog to pursue my writing interests.  I am a graduate of Long  Ridge Writers Group, where I learned to write non-fiction and fiction. I intended to write short stories and develop characters for other short stories. However, Donald Trump became President of our country and has torn asunder everything I believe in. I have lived in one of the most racist cities in the nations for sixty-six years. I held on to the belief that all people are created equal, not so much as because our founding document says so, but the Bible states that God created man in his image.

When I was a boy, my father instilled a love of nature. We watched the Wonderful World of Disney religiously. I loved the exceptional time-lapsed photography of fauna. And the individual heartwarming stories. That is why I have such a love of nature and environment.  I do not have any degrees in conservation or environmental studies, but I do believe we are undergoing a climate change. After all hasn’t the world gone through these changes over many millions of years. For earthlings, this climate change is man-made. A reasonable person should understand that after nearly fifty decades of belching carbon dioxide into the atmosphere some damage had to be sustained. Mainly we have done everything we could to eradicate trees from our environment. This is natures air cleaner. We owe the future generations an effort to turn this around.

I am committing myself to making an effort by posting whatever I learn about God’s gift to us; this planet,  why it is important we make an effort to save parts of it from our own undoing. Of course, there are two purposes for this to improve my writing and to inform you the reader. I will also be writing some general fiction too. Of course, to do all this, I am going to have to stay healthy by not breaking fingers and coming down with pneumonia.

 

The Impact of Off-Shore Drilling

When I do research for a writing project such as this, I imagine myself as a wide-eyed child learning about his world. This project originated as I was remembering such television shows such as Flipper, the Free Willie movies, and videos of whales crashing through ocean waves. The question came to me what would happen to these creatures.

The Learning Started

zooplankton
Tiny zooplankton, like these crustaceans, is an important food source for larger ocean animals.
Photo Credit: Credit: NOAA Photo Library

The term zooplankton describes any animal that can’t swim against current and drifts on the sea. There are 7000 species. The most well known is Krill. These shrimp-like creatures feed baleen whales, fish, and seabirds.

There are species of plankton that begin life floating as something but later evolved into something entirely different. Baby fish, shellfish, and Black Marlin. The Black Marlin can weigh as much as a thousand pounds and accelerate to 80 miles per hour. There are siphonophores which are drifting invertebrates that can grow a hundred feet long. Whales, dolphins, turtles, fish, and snorkelers are called nekton. These animals can float against the current.

Most humans do not think of plankton let alone their importance zooplankton are hard to relate too. None of the 7000 species are cuddly like dogs, cats, or long-eared bunny rabbits. Some don’t even have a face, but they have worth.  These little are lunch for anchovies, herring, and sardines which feed bigger fish, marine mammals, and sharks. Without the foundation of the food chain, the more massive sea creatures would not live either.

For oil and gas to be found the searchers plan to use seismic air guns would blast compressed air into the seabed which would kill significant amounts of zooplankton. The scientist has evidence that airgun blasts affect other animals even when what the blasts are set at a lower level frequency.  The evidence shows that blasting affects communication, feeding, and breeding of whales.  One question remains to be answered: What about the displacement and reduction of the catch rates of popular and commercially important species.

Because the evidence remains unclear what the far-reaching effects of airgun blasting on zooplankton. So in March 2015, the much-needed tests were performed off the southern coast of Tasmania. Before, during and after the tests nets full of zooplankton were collected. Before the trial, 19% of the zooplankton were found dead of natural causes. After the tests, the death toll was at 32%, and this included baby krill and Ceopods which are crustaceans. The death toll stayed high at least a kilometer away from the boat. It turns out the test although noteworthy did not prove impact.

Looking Into the Future

If we assume that seismic testing does kill plankton, then environmentalist must hope high-level predators would be drawn in first. If the zooplankton doesn’t bounce back quickly, then the result would be starvation for the countries that rely on the ocean for food. Further testing on computers have predicted that zooplankton will bounce back quickly in the tropic, but their rate of recovery north of the equator is unknown.

The concerns over the testing off the Tasmanian coast can be found elsewhere. While there are different species of plankton, they share physical similarities and are all affected by seismic airgun blasts.

Zooplankton being at the bottom of the food chain feed whales and fish. Of the commercial species, lobsters and oysters start as larvae drifting in the currents. Commercial fishermen will suffer if the proposed air gun blasting does decrease these favorite foods.

Finally, we should consider this “oil and gas were once considered zooplankton adrift at sea and as the new study shows air gun blasting to find these fuels may threaten the very creatures that made them.