altered oceans by kenneth r. weiss

I missed most of Thursday’s Fresh Air but caught a bit of the interview (“Trouble at 20,000 Leagues?“) with Kenneth R. Weiss, LA Times reporter, who wrote the series Altered Oceans with Usha Lee McFarling; the series has won a George Polk award. In the snippet I heard from Fresh Air, Weiss was talking about the increased acidity of the oceans and how that acidity disintegrates the shells of snails and other mollusks. Such sea inhabitants lose their ability to create their own homes.

One action people can take to help avoid extinction of ocean dwellers is to eat lower on the food chain. That is, eat shrimp instead of bluefin tuna or swordfish. Weiss said that muscles and oysters can regenerate quickly, but larger fish take much longer.

The first picture I see when I go to the Altered Oceans series at the LA Times just blows me away. (Rick Loomis does the photography and video.) A huge encrusted pipe spews dirty greenish waste into what looks like clearer and bluer ocean water. The series is in five parts. If we all read this series and paid attention, what changes could we effect?


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