Fiction in response to Life Below Water
February 2019

A Letter to Humans, From the Sea Life

By Georgia Bernbaum

Dear humans,

 

I would say it's not you it is me, but it is not. No matter how much I do for you, you never seem to notice. You depend on me for everything, and yet I get nothing in return. In fact, over 3 billion people depend on me to survive. I provide you with key natural resources like food, medicine, and biofuels. Not only do I serve as the largest source of protein but I help your economy as well. Marine fisheries employ over 200 million people and market industries account for 5% of global GDP. In addition to this, I promote gender equality, as women do the majority of the work at small scale fisheries and reduce poverty by helping people’s income and health. I also help reduce damage from storms, support climate change mitigation, and assist in adaptation. I do everything you ask and what do I get in return? Pollution, fatal debris, and overfishing. You act as if I am a global trash can. In fact, the UN Environment Programme estimates that the impact of poor ocean management is $200 billion per year. You have accomplished so much and I expected more from you. You went to the moon for goodness sake! I care about you, I do, but I don't know how much longer I can do this. I know it costs a lot to fix this but if we want to to make this relationship work we both have to do our part. If this continues soon I won’t be able to provide you with food, jobs, and much more. In fact, if you don’t reduce your carbon footprint, eliminate plastic and clean the beaches, and make ocean-friendly choices when buying products then I’ll have to break up with you. I can’t be in a one-sided relationship in which all I do is care for you and you tear me down, literally.

 

Sincerely,

The Sea life

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