Monday, May 4, 2009

Research - Florida Sharks Cure Depression

Do we need to stop dumping pharmaceuticals into our water systems?

Recent data coming out of Mote Marine Laboratory has found concentrations of anti-depressants and birth control drugs in local shark populations.

No, just licking the side of one of these critters will not remove your deep seated anger and depression...just yet. The data suggests larger forces at work here as millions of gallons of man made drugs are flushed each year in the U.S and are now appearing in fish populations.

Perhaps this is the reason China still consumes sharks fin. Since 1999 local hospitals in China have been recording emotionally stable patients, surprising cases of hair regrowth, and massive concentrations of Vitamin C in people who eat shark fin three times a week.

O.K - we made that last bit up.

What gets flushed into our water systems ends up somewhere. Kudos to the team at Mote Marine for the discovery. One more reason to not flush your meds.

Carnival of the Blue 24 - Smart

Where do you find the best of the Blue Blogs? This months Carnival of the Blue is being hosted at the Monterey Bay Aquarium blog Sea Notes.

Featuring an oddly brilliant assortment of thinkers, idea makers, and blue bloggers, this months Carnival of the Blue is a must read for anyone who calls the ocean home, both literally and virtually.

Let the Blue Blogging commence!

Editors Note: A somewhat amusing look at the disasters of Science vs Food Sources, a blog post by Shark Diver made this months cut.

Bahamas - Marketing Lionfish

Recently I was in the Bahamas. Speaking with locals and with our crew I came to discover that the Lionfish, an invasive and venomous non native species, is literally taking over reef systems in the region. This was news to me.

The question is, what to do with the Lionfish?

Create a market for them. While this may sound crazy the Lionfish just could become the answer to shark fin soup. The only thing holding this success story back is a strong and coherent marketing effort.

All the elements are there for marketing this critter to Asia in big numbers. These animals grow quickly, they have no natural predators (that survive) they are extremely poisonous and they are also known as the Dragonfish.

Think the Asian delicacy Fugu crossed with sea urchin eggs and you get the picture. This animals preparation is easier then Fugu, and it tastes great. Cultural food sources are a tough nut to crack, and many forward thinking NGO's like Wild Aid are making great strides in changing peoples perception.

While markets still exisit - there will always be demand. Let's start looking outside the standard paradigms of fisheries resources and use and create viable markets for critters who invasive qualities demand the kind of predation that nature cannot provide. The Lionfish example is without a doubt one of the best ideas to come along in a long while. The only thing stopping this from happening is imagination.

Image Hat Tip: Todd Gardner, Atlantis Marine World, Riverhead, NY

Patric Douglas CEO