Many Species. One Planet. ONE FUTURE

by

It is only recently that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) failed to enforce a ban on trading Endangered Bluefin Tuna. The effort aimed at saving the marine fish from extinction, but does this failure means there is no Future for Bluefin Tuna..?

Let’s visit Atlantic Ocean in-search for answer. There you would observe large fishing vessels hurriedly catching Northern Bluefin Tuna.

Bluefin tuna is being over-fished and its numbers can't be sustained

But do these fishermen harvest to fulfill their own hunger..? No – fishermen freeze and bring Tunas to the harbor, which will then be transported to various Sushi and Sashimi restaurants.

YOU may visit one of these restaurant and order a delicacy of Bluefin Tuna knowingly or unknowingly accelerating the demise of a threatened species. Perhaps, YOU may think that as it is only few pounds of fish, it is negligible. But what if the visitors on other tables too have ordered the same..? So it is YOU as a CONSUMER who is ultimately responsible for Tuna extinction by creating demand. But it is again YOU who has the real power to give a Future to the troubled fish.

Still confused how somebody eating in a restaurant far away from Atlantic Ocean can save the fish..? Let’s look at the events in reverse order…

YOU visit one of the Sashimi restaurants with friends. Waiter suggests a dish with Bluefin Tuna. “How are you sir?. This Bluefin Tuna is our special for the day. Its really a tasty fish..!!” But knowing its endangered, YOU refuse the dish. YOU tell the reason for the refusal to all your friends and others in the restaurant. So FRIENDS and OTHERS too refuse Tuna. Without orders, the Bluefin Tuna in theestaurant freezers go wasted. The owner will not buy the Bluefin Tuna from the harbor anymore as it is not profitable since demand has gone down. Fishermen too will then find it unprofitable fishing for Bluefin Tuna and STOP catching them..!!

Likewise power is on OUR own hands individually as CONSUMERS to save the FUTURE of MANY SPECIES which live in OUR PLANET. Think of Elephants killed in Africa for ivory, Edible-nest swiftlets for their nests, Sharks for their fins, Conch for their shells, Tigers for their skin, Whales for their meat. The real power in saving these species is lying on OUR hands individually as citizens of the Earth.

Plant Trees on World Environment Day (WED)

Quality of Earth’s ecosystems is depleting, but what about our closest eco-system – home garden..? Many different varieties of Birds, Dragonflies, Squirrels, Frogs still find our backyard a safer haven. But trees and bushes they can survive on are removed day by day. So why not plant a tree on WED on your garden, school or workplace..?

“ahh.. It would be only one tree.. How would that make an impact”. If you are skeptical, check UNEP’s Billion Tree campaign. Target was to plant 7 billion trees at end of 2009, but at the end 7.4 billion trees were planted.

Has this been done by UNEP itself..? Not at all – it is collective effort of individuals like YOU and ME from 170 countries. Imagine the amount of ecosystem services like cleaning of oxygen, helping other species to survive rendered by these billion trees..?

So on this World Environment Day, take a conscious decision individually say NO to threatened species as consumers and go for suppliers promoting sustainability. Also plant a tree taking actions on individual level to save threatened species and help depleting ecosystems. It is OUR individual actions when multiplied can make a difference to the planet. After all, WE share ONE FUTURE..!!

Ends. (599 words)

Celebrate WED - Daily Do Something Tips

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13 Responses to “Many Species. One Planet. ONE FUTURE”

  1. Kasun Vidanagamage Says:

    i strongly agree with this post. Individuals should pay attention on saving the species in the world. Collection of individuals can make a big impact to save species and eco systems.

  2. chris dharmakirti Says:

    The “NO THANK YOU” to bluefin tuna campaign that Malaka is proposing ought to get launched in Japan and at all Japanese sushi bars around the world with preferably few high profile Japanese celebrities joining the campaign against bluefin tuna, as it is that large consumer segment of Japanese diners that drive the demand for this. Similarly the “No Thank You” to shark fin soup ought to be launched in China and all chinatown restaurants around the world, with high profile Chinese celebs joining the campaign. Malaka, you have raised a very pertinent point about targeting the “demand” side — consumer — to stop the killing fields in the ocean. Perhaps, like how the fur trade was disrupted with public service tv commercials and road billboards that depicted beautiful models draped with blood dripping fur coats, you would need to come up with a SHAME/ GUILT campaign in Japanese and Chinese languages, as that is where the largest group of consuming culprits are, as without making a dent to their appetite for this, lamentably even if the rest of the world stops dining, the trade will go on. I sincerely hope Malaka’s suggestion gets picked up by one of the leading Japanese ad agencies like Dentsu with a pro-bono public service commercial that targets the consumer. Good luck Malaka

  3. Michelle Mendis Says:

    It is very rarely that we pay attention to the long articles giving in depth details on the destruction of a species because most of them end up making the reader feel that there is not much we as individuals can do to help them. Your article on the other hand forced me to think – how MY actions have contributed to the down fall of so many species. A quick shop for ingredients, a birthday dinner, a posh restaurant for a fancy dish you haven’t had before – we don’t stop to think what it is we are killing and destroying or where it came from. I for once will stop to think how my actions impact the rest of the world starting from today. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the insight. Next time in a sushi bar I will be the one spreading the word for sure….

  4. SivaSubra Says:

    Yes malaka, i am totally agreed your points. SAve the plant is the team work, each and every individual have to contribute, first of all they have to understnad cleary about their contribution, blog like this will help to create the awareness to all. Kepp it up.

  5. Devsiri Peiris Says:

    This is absolutely a wonderful campaigne! I hope many people will read this and understand the importants of what each individual can do to protect our environment. We cant directly blame the Blue fin Tuna industry or the shark finning industry etc , since its the consumer that is really driving it, creating it and paying for it.

    I hope everyone who reads this article will stop eating Blue Fin Tuna and Shark fin soup.

    I hope more and more people will post articles like this and organise awareness programmes for the consumer.

    Good Job malaka.. Keep going..

  6. Sashikumar Says:

    “You must be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi. It is very true and this has been articulated nicely by the author.

  7. meththaperera Says:

    In this world, as humans, so called “As the Most Intelligent Animal in the Planet”, if you can feel some one else about a value of a topic like this, I think you have jumped the first hurdle on surviving the future of the planet. If anyone said to “save species, save the planet…etc” all the audience will be doubt like “How to”. This is a wonderful post, which you have talk to the heart of many and feel them that it is an atomic action of each an every individual which can lead to a massive contribution.
    Well done Malaka, wishing you to keep this talent up..!!

  8. Deepanij Says:

    The YOU inside me has been addressed very well! All those YOUs who care for for the nature should be made aware of more species like Blue Fin Tuna and more possible activities YOUs could do in their everyday lives to help saving biodiversity..

    Good job, Malaka. You should write more on the theme..

  9. rowendra Says:

    protection of endangered species is indeed one of the many cries od the day. Yes i totally agree that a legal ban alone is insufficient as trade would still continue.

    certainly this calls for change in the idealogical values of the current welath empowered globlized society . . . endangered species are creatures that find habitat in generally small local areas – right malaka? but trade in them is international. its upto the people of the locality to protect their natural endowments. do we detroy purely that some fashion consious elite has moment of pleasure?

  10. Rashmini Says:

    They shouldn’t have discounted the fact that blue finned tunas are decreasing in the wild in the CITES convention. Failing to impose a ban on trading these fish would be a huge drawback in international conservation attempts – but yeah, it is good to know about a hope which is within our own controls.I really like how you have emphasized on the “YOU” factor which successfully taps in to the moral sense of the readers. Environmental conservation indeed is a collective effort of individuals like you and me through out the world 🙂

  11. Malaka Rodrigo Says:

    Following is a comment by the administrator of the FaceBook page “Save the Bluefin Tuna!” on 14.05.2010 as a reply to my post.. You too can view this post by logging to the FB page..

    “Save the Bluefin Tuna! Great post Malaka! You are absolutely right. It is important to realize that we are ALL responsible for the declining Tuna population. Tuna will stop being over fished when we stop demanding it. We can’t solely blame the fishing industry for all of the ocean’s woes. Although they too have played their part, but we all have. Stop eating tuna. The … See Moremercury levels are off the charts and they are near extinction. If we all did that maybe there is hope for a future where tuna can safely be eaten without health complications and the demise of the species.”

  12. Renton de Alwis Says:

    Ayubowan! from Sri Lanka

    Ayubowan means ‘may all living beings on earth have long life’ . Sri Lanka’s greeting which is an ecologically potent statement. I think the best way to celebrate UNEP’s World Environment Day is for each of us to do what little we can. If each of us give up eating meat (some of the 18% of the green house gas emissions will be mitigated). Each of us grow a few more trees and do nor cut down any. If each of us walk more, eat less, do not use unnecessary consumption (luxury) items like shampoos, fancy soaps, fashion items, alcohol, tobacco and drink a lot of clean water to be healthy…. we will serve the environment. Please do not think of these fancy BIG projects to save Mother Earth. If each of us do what little we can in our own little way… hey, that the way to go. Nothing else will work…. the answers are with us like The Buddha said.

  13. Travice Ondaatjie Says:

    This is a simple idea that anyone can do easily do their bit. Not only in the case of blue fin tuna, any species that is that is threatened. Like they say, ” When the buying stops… The dying stops” Most of us in the scuba diving community already don’t buy shark in any form.

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