Thursday, August 27, 2009
Homer Event : Voices for the Ocean Sept. 6
“Voices for the Ocean”
Alaska Fishermen Send Urgent Aerial Message made of Boats & Buoys:
Protect oceans and fisheries from acid impact of fossil fuel exhaust.
Interviews, photos & video available, contact:
Celia Alario, Voices for the Ocean Event Media, 310.721.6517, email@example.com
Alan Parks, AMCC Homer Outreach Coordinator, 907.399.3096, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brad Warren, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, 206.579.2407, email@example.com
The “Voices for the Ocean” event will bring together commercial fishermen and other mariners in Homer, Alaska, on Sunday, September 6, 2009 to celebrate the ocean’s bounty and defend it from harmful fossil fuel emissions.
International Aerial Artist John Quigley (www.SpectralQ.com) will create the aerial image in collaboration with the AMCC, SFP and representatives from Alaskan coastal fishing communities.
Boats & buoys will form the message on the water. They will be photographed & videotaped from the air and the resulting images will circulate worldwide through media and allied organizations.
Afterward, participants and community members will gather in Homer for a community seafood feast. Speakers and participants will call on state, national, and international leaders to protect the ocean from the acidifying, oxygen-depleting, and climate-altering impacts of uncontrolled fossil fuel emissions.
The after-party will include expert speakers on ocean acidification, climate change, and practical steps that fishermen, seafood lovers, and other citizens can take to protect the oceans that supply food for 3 billion people. The seafood industry is Alaska’s largest private-sector employer, generating more than 56,000 jobs (not counting “indirect” jobs in related sectors).
“Fishermen and others who depend on Alaska’s rich marine resources are coming together as one voice in support of reducing fossil fuel consumption and moving to a renewable energy future. This is the only real solution to ocean acidification and the time to act is right now,” said Alan Parks.
Fishermen and ocean advocates have a limited time to press for deep emissions-reduction targets. The U.S. Senate is expected to enact climate legislation during late 2009, aiming to have a law passed in time for a United Nations treaty conference in December. At that conference nations will gather to approve the next-generation climate treaty to strictly limit global CO2 emissions in order to avoid catastrophic climate and ocean impacts. Scientists have warned repeatedly that failure to agree on dramatic emissions reductions at this time will likely push Earth’s climate and oceans past “tipping points” that may commit human civilization to irreversible harm.
The initiative brings together fishing and conservation groups that are often at odds on other issues.
“Many of us have different views about how to govern fisheries,” said Brad Warren, former editor of the trade journal Pacific Fishing, who now runs a program on ocean health for the Sustainable Partnership. “But everybody can agree we need an ocean can continue to produce abundant harvests. That’s why we’re involved.”
Participants in the Homer event are urging Alaska’s political leaders to take a strong stand against acidification, which some scientists have dubbed the “evil twin” of global climate change.
Acidification is caused by billions of tons of carbon dioxide that rise from smokestacks and tailpipes every year and mix into the sea. In seawater, the gas forms an acid that attacks the foundation of marine food webs. Thus the same pollution that drives climate change also undercuts fisheries around the world, especially in the vulnerable North Pacific off Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, which produce more than two thirds of the U.S. seafood harvest. The North Pacific is a global repository for carbon dioxide in the oceans.
Quigley said, “This ‘Message from the Sea’ is a call for people around the world to join in a visual declaration to urge leaders to immediately adopt a treaty that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, stabilizes the climate, and protects the ocean.”
"Alaska's senators know that ocean acidification is a looming danger to our fisheries,” said Parks. “This message from fishermen is intended to support our leaders in taking the necessary action now to reduce carbon emissions. Time is of the essence.”
(Thanks to Switgard Duesterloh for this notice!)