Thursday, September 1, 2011

Personal news and a shark rant

So I post a joke and people think I’m starting a trend. No, I don’t have another snarky top ten list. Writing comedy is hard; I’m not a comedienne.

In personal news, Nor Iron Bars a Cage was a finalist in the Global eBook Awards. That’s top three in the fantasy category. It didn’t win but I got a nice jpg "sticker" out of the deal (see left sidebar). Book 3 of the Ascendancy Trilogy is up to Chapter 17. It’s not nearly as popular as my fanfiction, but I guess it’s going as well as can be expected. I feel like it's finally getting to the good part.

Now I’m going to go on a little rant about sharks. Yes, sharks. Feel free to skip it if you’re not into animals or marine biology or breathing.

Did you know that more people are killed every year by elephants than by sharks? Did you know that 90% of the world’s shark population is now endangered because humans are killing an estimated 100 MILLION sharks per year? Sharks are being caught on longlines, stripped of their fins while still alive and then thrown back in the ocean, finless, to drown. If these were whales or seals or manatee, there’d be an uproar. Why doesn’t anyone care about sharks? Even if sharks were man-eating monsters that killed humans who trespass in their world, could we not forgive them at least as much as we forgive the elephants and lions and tigers who also kill humans every once in a while? No one would suggest we stop protecting elephants from the ivory trade because a few have killed humans.

Forget about the insanity of hunting any living creature to extinction for a minute. Forget that this is all in the name of shark fin soup, which only needs the fin for appearance and texture, not flavor or any substantial food value whatsoever. Of those 100 million sharks slaughtered, only a minute fraction are being used as food for people who would otherwise go hungry.

All right, so we can’t seem to raise any sympathy for the sharks themselves. Fine. Humans are selfish and need to have a selfish reason, so I am giving one: we NEED sharks. While I personally believe global warming is caused by sunspots, there are droves of people who believe it’s carbon dioxide. Okay, if carbon dioxide is the problem, what is the solution? Photosynthesis. Do you know what the single biggest photosynthesizers on this planet ARE? No, not the rainforests. (Hello, 70% of the planet is ocean, of course a marine species is going to out-perform any plant that is limited to our small land masses.) And no, that doesn’t mean we should let the rainforests be destroyed either. Forget what carbon dioxide theoretically does to the planet temperature. We KNOW, without any doubt, that we animals need oxygen to survive.

The single biggest oxygen producers and carbon dioxide consumers on this planet are plankton. But these wonderful oxygen-creating marvels have been depleted from our oceans at an alarming rate. Why? Because all those fish that the MILLIONS of sharks used to eat, didn’t get eaten. And what do all those fish eat? Well, some eat other fish, of course, but it all boils down to plankton. It’s a food WEB, folks. There’s a balance. You take out unreasonable numbers of the top predators and ALL the populations become grossly imbalanced. We have too many fish eating the plants and the plants can’t reproduce fast enough to keep up. No plants, no oxygen, too much carbon dioxide.

So if you want to BREATHE, people, you need to care about sharks. Save the sharks. For more info, see Support Our Sharks. End rant.


  1. People cut off their fins and leave them to die? I didn't know that. How horrible!

    I need to get back to reading book three, btw, now that I am done with editing and all. So proud of you for getting so far!

  2. Yes, all they want are the fins because they fetch such a high price. So they cut off all the fins whether the shark is still alive or not. Then the finless shark (no caudal fin means no way to swim) is thrown back. Most sharks need to move to keep water over their gills. Essentially helpless, they either get eaten alive or they sink to the ocean floor and die a slow death by suffocation.

    There is some video of this in a documentary called Sharkwater (netflix has it) and also at the link I gave in the article and at (Yes, I know they're affiliated with Greenpeace.)

    Tons of agencies are speaking up for whales, dolphins, and manatees, but very few are sticking up for the sharks. We are going to wipe out a huge population of predators in the earth's biggest ecosystem. We may still be able to breathe, but how do we know what other consequences there may be? Sharks have been given a bum wrap and mischaracterized as monsters, but they're here for a reason and we destroy them at our own risk.

    Sorry, I get passionate about this. Thanks for reading my blog. Looking forward to your thoughts over at Latoph 3.