Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our seas our changing, for the worst

Below is a copy of an email I have received from Save our Marine Life, an organisation fighting for the creation of marine parks in Australia, and which I strongly recommend supporting.

This testimonial is one of many that have witnessed an evolution of their local marine environment over time, and for the worst.

I’ve received this letter from 87 year old Martin Flynn and wanted you to see it.
Schools of kingfish

Dear Tim,
I have lived my whole life by the sea and I want to tell you about the changes I’ve seen.

My name is Martin. I was born in 1924 and have lived in Bunbury, WA, since I was three. Growing up, my brothers and I would spend many a day swimming and fishing around town. We would pack our lunch in a sugar bag and cycle off for the day.

When I think back, I remember the sense of freedom and the certainty we all felt that wherever we chose to stop, a wonderful array of healthy fish would be swimming past. There were all types of fish: tailor, dhufish, snapper, amongst others, and they were all big, healthy fish.

We would also ride over to the Skeleton Bridge - where Koombana Bay meets the Leschenault Inlet – and as the water flowed under the bridge we would see large numbers of healthy, big fish swimming by.
Another favourite pastime was crabbing, and all we would need was the ability to scoop up the crabs as the estuary was teeming with them

I am now 87 years old. I have always loved the ocean and would swim and walk the beach most days throughout my life until my ability to walk too far got the better of me.

I have watched with great sadness over the years the demise of the healthy stocks of fish I remember from the childhood, and feel hopeful that this idea for marine sanctuaries along the coast may be one way where we can restore the balance.

I have a great respect for the ocean and the estuaries, and I have some wonderful memories of swimming, fishing and crabbing here in Bunbury throughout my life.

It would make my day to know that the diversity of marine life that I remember from my childhood has a chance to restore itself through the implementation of marine sanctuaries.

Yours Sincerely,
Martin Flynn
Bunbury, WA
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