Wilf and I get into a solid argument at least once a day. Usually it’s small stuff, like who cooks most or does the laundry more often. These typically result in one of us giving in, sitting on the couch pouting for 10-15 minutes, and then forgetting it ever happened…until the next time. But sometimes we get into some really good disputes. Take last night for example. We argued for over an hour about sour cream. Well, I guess the sour cream was the catalyst to larger issues, but still, it was amusing. And so, while I will be posting on our recent trip at some point (we had a wonderful time, but it was strange to hear “White Christmas” playing when it was 30+ °C outside), I’m going to make my first entry of the new year about one of our other arguments this week. Well, no, it’s more about traditions. Well, actually it’s mostly about tuna. (Yeah, clearly not much has changed.)
But, before I get into that, I just want to extend major props to those of you who stuck with this sporadic blog for nearly a year. I hope the first week of 2014 has treated everyone well so far.
Tomorrow is World Oceans Day. Today I am eating apricots. These small, pastel orange fruits always remind me of warm evenings at the beach. And, I’m not quite sure why (although I assume some higher level organic chemistry is involved), but the delightful taste produced when the sweetness of their flesh mixes with the saltiness of the air seems to provide me with the best circumstances for contemplating life. But, while one would probably assume that my current thoughts are organizing themselves into an exciting post in honour of this special day, the truth is, they’re not. Because I don’t really know what to say. Of course this dilemma is not for lack of want, or knowledge of the subject matter; it is because—for the first time in my life—I am trying to decide how I feel about the ocean. Well, not the ocean itself. More specifically, the future of the ocean. And how young fisheries scientists, like myself, fit in.
The following came about largely as a result of me trying to organize my ideas for an application to attend a marine policy course offered through Stanford. As per the typical scholarship/ conference/ grant application format, they wanted a lot of detail about my thesis and how participating in this program will be beneficial to my research. But they’re not the only ones who are curious about my work. My friends and family also often ask me what I study. And even though I think in many cases they’re just being nice/ trying to make conversation/ genetically obligated to care/ &c., sometimes I feel like there’s a genuine level of interest. Or, at the very least, mild curiosity. And, while I approach the marine realm largely from a physiological perspective and background, unfortunately my current research doesn’t involve any live specimens or experiments. So naturally I feel like a huge disappointment when people quickly realize that I don’t swim with dolphins or dive with sharks on a regular basis. Nonetheless, I still try to explain the type of work I do, and why I feel like my current branch of marine biology is equally (if not more) important.
OK, so I figure that since I mentioned sustainable seafood in my last post, and also because I said I’d discuss it in future posts, there’s no reason for me not to write about it now. (Holy negatives, Batman. Sorry, must be Monday…) I’ll try to keep it simple and include a nice practical application (i.e. dinner) at the end.
In a general sense, the term sustainable is probably the biggest environmental buzzword of the 2000s. Well, maybe it’s tied with climate change. And fair trade is gaining momentum. At any rate, people toss around sustainable in relation to pretty much any and every natural resource. But I’ve come to realize that, in many cases, this word is both poorly defined and understood. And, sometimes, it’s just downright misused. And while sustainability is only one very, very small piece of the complicated mess that is global fisheries, it’s still an important concept—for anyone who eats seafood.