I’ve been involved in ocean conservation for decades, and in that time, a lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same. Last year I decided it was time to write it all down before I get too old to tell the difference.
With the talented Michael D’Orso as my co-author, I wrote “Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them,” and it hits the street on March 15. We set out to write a book that describes — in an entertaining and informative way — the most critical threats to the oceans, and how we can turn them around. I think we did a pretty darn good job, if I do say so myself. I thought you might like a preview.
The book opens with a chapter on the issue that propelled me into ocean conservation — offshore drilling. I joined a local protest in the mid-1980s to oppose offshore oil drilling near my Southern California neighborhood. Fast forward to 2010, when I testified before Congress on the dangers of expanded offshore drilling. Like I said, things change, but they remain the same.
Michael and I go on from there to discuss the twin threats of climate change and ocean acidification, which threaten to wreck the ocean food chain and wreak havoc and livelihoods the world around. Then comes the overfishing crisis and the global fishing subsidies that continue to fuel it, and the dangers of unsustainable aquaculture practices.
Our oceans face a difficult future, but the book is not all doom and gloom. I’m an optimist, and as we discuss in the final chapter, we have the power to change things. Yes, it will require national and international action from governing bodies, and we have seen progress on that front in the 10 years since I helped create Oceana. But individuals play a part, too, as you know. It’s about changing policy and making good choices at the seafood market.
If you’re reading this blog, you may already know a lot about these issues — but maybe you have a relative or a friend who doesn’t. In my humble opinion, this book is a great way to learn about the oceans. It includes wonderful photos and illustrations, and profiles of many of the scientists and activists I’ve had the honor of working with over the years. It was a pleasure writing this book, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Oceana will be available wherever books are sold on March 15 and is available for pre-order now. To find out if Ted is coming to your area, and see more info about the book, including an excerpt, check out http://oceanabook.net.