Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Social Responsibility or Fish Porn: An Easy Choice for Me, What About You?

We live in a world where we constantly see the following on social media: fish porn, moronic fish videos, millions of photos of the same fly patterns, the cork handle of a fly rod jammed into an angler's mouth, fish tattoos adorned on human bodies, products purposely placed in fishy photos such as craft beer, or a ridiculously over-priced cooler. Truth be told, I don't enjoy the majority of these photos or videos -- what purpose do they serve?  Further, I wonder how much precious non-renewable energy is being wasted on creating this senseless crap (anglers are suppose to be conservationist, right?).  I am not entirely innocent of not posting fishy pictures. In my defense, I do run a fishing business, so posting (advertising) is a necessary evil. However, as I get older, I find myself posting less, and I am less interested in the ocean of fishy photos and videos -- how many times do I need to see a Rainbow Trout; a PT Nymph; and BTW, photos/videos of young girls with fake boobs don't do much for my rod (you know what I mean).  The last time I checked, all of this BS did not cleanup a river, or take down a single dam and help restore our fisheries. In fact, the decisions to promote this fishy lifestyle, either by corporations or individuals, may very well continue to contribute to the problems our fisheries face.  Why is social responsibility and fishing such a challenge?

Leave it to humans to create a mess (everyday, we shit in, and poison the water we drink).  More specific, what our creator/god or mother earth has created in billions of years (i.e. wild fish), modern civilization (advanced societies) has managed to destroy in less than 500 years.  From a purely wild fish perspective, post industrial revolution (the age of fossil fuel), we live in a apocalyptic fairy land -- almost everything is not wild anymore (think hatcheries and stocking programs). Completely destroying, or forever changing something that is wild and natural, in my opinion, is a tragedy, if not a crime.  Can we learn to live/survive without destroying all things wild -- shouldn't that be the bar we set?  We are beyond blame/fault, going there makes no sense.  We have chosen, including me, and we continue to do so everyday, thinking our lifestyle choices are normal, with no effect on our environment. What can be done?

Question -- Think -- Do.  I don't think you'll find the answers at your next Trout Unlimited meeting, or for that matter, any other organization.  I think each person has the knowledge and power to make simple, yet effective change right now, without dramatically effecting the quality of their life. Consider the following:      


  • Examine your lifestyle and change one thing that will have a positive effect on your health, and your community - environment. 

Personally, I am far from being perfect, but I have made dozens of choices that favor my personal health, and community/environment. I am still alive, doing well, and don't miss anything that I have given up.  Here's a few examples:

  • In 1996, I ditched my TV/Cable.  I spend more time outside feeding my brain/body/soul with more healthy things.
  • Over a decade ago, I turned my grass/yard into a wild flower field -- bee pollination field.  I no longer waste precious personal time mowing and watering non-native grass. I save drinking water; use no chemicals/fertilizers; reduce my carbon emissions; and save tons of money (town water is not cheap).  Plus, I have more time to fish.
  • Over twenty years ago, I stopped using Dryer Sheets.  I developed an allergic reaction to the scent, which after researching the topic, I discovered are toxic fumes.  I now use a wooden drying rack, both indoor and outdoor.
  • At the store, I use cotton/canvas reusable bags -- I rarely use plastic bags anymore.  
  • Whether solo or in a group, I actively clean my community/environment (see below photos).

2016 Volunteer Cocheco River Cleanup is an example of one person creating an event that may effect a community and the environment.  You can easily do this in your community.  





As a guide/instructor/angler/human being, I feel it's my duty to create events that help people, especially family-kids, engage in their community and environment.
If you're fishing just to catch fish, you're missing a great opportunity to engage in community and environment. This event may have a huge impact on this little girl's life.

































Final Words

If you have read this far, and think I am a nut-ball, you're not the first to think or say so.  As George Carlin once said, 'I do this thing called thinking, and it gets me into trouble all the time.'  Yes, I am guilty of questioning, thinking and doing -- hate me all your want.  However, please consider taking a moment to think about how you could make one choice that will help you and your environment (fisheries).  

Thanks for reading.  Take a break from the fish porn and good luck.

Mark















xxx

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