Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Moby Dick The Whale & Sea Life Struggle On: WORLD OCEAN DAY 8 JUNE.

Save The Whales And Sea Creatures: Ban Plastic Bags.

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"Thar she blows..."

Coming from Captain Ahab whose leg was bitten off by Moby Dick, the creature was, "an accursed white whale that razeed me made a poor pegging lubber of me forever and a day (1)."

The book Moby Dick, a classic novel by Herman Melville, has brought to mind the plight of these sea mammals and other ocean creatures, victims again, not of whale hunters like Captain Ahab but by irresponsible people who use the ocean as a huge rubbish dump to discard their garbage. 

Most of these waste matters are placed in plastic bags and swallowed by the poor whales and other forms of marine life. Whales have also been killed for food by some communities. In time they die, like Moby Dick and those in the story, "Oh, lonely death on lonely life! (2)."

Michael Bangar (image right), Singapore guitarist and musician has this comment to make, "Andy, the biggest culprit is mankind, as with a lot of other problems throughout the globe. Rubbish that has been thrown overboard from seafaring vessels over many, many years are swept out to sea from rivers, streams, canals and drains worldwide.  Many countries don't set control laws and throw their waste into the oceans.

It is a huge but unseen problem that needs massive cooperation from all nations to rectify. The poor sea creatures suffer. We just don't know how many more of them have died from this catastrophe. Like the poor innocent whale, thinking that rubbish-filled plastic bags was food. So sad!"

In the song, made popular by Frankie Laine in the mid-fifties, the whale was a symbol of fear: 

Oh Moby Dick was so big and slick

There was never such a whale
He'll take a ship with the slightest whip
Of his mighty, mighty tail...

We know today that the whale is not the aggressor. Man is. Merlin Lim (image below), the former guitarist for pop band Silver Strings, roamed the world in large ships after he decided to work at sea. Here's what he said:

"Andy, I saw the video sometime back and have been thinking about how the whales and other sea life suffered because of the human being's lack of respect for these creatures. 

I recalled the time I served on board ships. All rubbish, food waste, plastics included, were dumped overboard while the ship was at sea. Seagulls would hover over the garbage, pick up bits and pieces of food and debris while the rest sink into the ocean. 

These remains will eventually end up in the stomachs of the bigger fishes as 'food'.  The practice has been going on for years from way back in the early 70's.

Sad to say, I am also guilty of this big mistake we have all made." 

Indeed Michael and Merlin. And as we, "Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool (3),"  we are all guilty as hell.

An Original Article (Copyrights Reserved).

I thank contributions from Michael Bangar and Merlin Lim, both rhythm guitarists from The Silver Strings.

1,2,3: Quotations from Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Images: A Personal Collection; Google.



Those ocean-going vessels from container ships, tankers to cruise ships. Are you telling me these vessels store their garbage till they can dispose of them responsibly when they are in port? Correct me if I'm wrong - I think not! They have scheduled dumping days! What control is there?

Let's start in our own backyard. The only store here that stopped using plastic bags is IKEA and encourages BYO reusable bags. All the other supermarkets, stores, food outlets, other establishments - it's plastic bags for everything. With only a half-hearted effort by NTUC probably now long ignored or forgotten.

To wait for someone to tell you to stop using plastic bags is wrong. One should start doing this voluntarily as it is the responsible thing to do.

Unfortunately, the method here that only works is to impose a fine on people in order for them to do anything right. Quite pathetic.

Henri Gann said...

Follow the lead of California...
NOVEMBER 10, 2016 9:48 AM
Californians say farewell to the plastic bag
"The ban takes effect immediately, which means grocery stores, retail stores with a pharmacy, convenience stores, food marts and liquor stores will no longer provide single-use plastic carry-out bags to customers. So, if you forget to bring your own bag to the store, be prepared to pay at least 10 cents for a recycled paper bag or reusable alternative.."

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks, Lange Brunei for AWARENESS support. And Henri Gann too.

LIM KUAN MIN said...

Yep ...We should play our part to save marine lives.


Gregory Peck was the fisherman in the film "Moby Dick"

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Yes, Gregory Peck (if I'm not mistaken) was one of the top stars those years, perhaps like Leonardo DiCaprio today? Thanks for the reminder, Stephen.

And thanks to the others for the comments and support for this post and message.


For sharing the post on FACEBOOK


S Mohamad As Sungkai
Leslie Wilson Joseph
Richard Danker
Ann Rowena Lim
John Cher
Kwandy Yao
Mohammed Ali
Jalani Mohamed
Jennie Law
Maung Pe Ne
Lange Brunei


From the VERY Depth Of My Heart... I'm Very SORRY !!

I Didn't Know Then Like I Know Now. What My Shipmates Did Was So Wrong, Disrespectful n Harmful To The Ocean n its Inhabitants.
Ppl are Saying, From the Stream n Rivers These Pollutants Are Swept To The Seas.

There Are Vessels That Roam The Seas n These Are or May Still Be Dumping Directly Into The Oceans n These Are The Culprits.

There Should Be A Standard Code Of Conduct In Relation To The Waste/Pollutants Dump Into Our Very Oceans...


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Many of us did not realise then that it would be so bad. But now that we do, let's all hope that this awareness will result in changes, slow but steady ones. Thanks Merlin for posting your views on the blog and on this, your FB.

Thanks to FACEBOOK FRIENDS for supporting this post.

Henri Gann said...

Glad that your blog is venturing into environmental awareness.
Plastic goods are definitely an issue as it has a half-life of 100s of years. In simple terms, it doesn't go away easily. Now many cities, counties and countries around the world are dealing with it. Singapore should too if it has not.
Discharge into the ocean has been a way of disposing our garbage for many years. It was out of sight, out of mind. Singapore should stop doing it if it has not including the discharge from the many ships for the protection of its clean waters. And, we can go on and on with climate change etc
I often wondered as a kid why there were corals and clear blue ocean water around Kusu Island but not at Marine Parade and why there were garbage swept up to the beach of Katong.
Many Millennials and Generation X in America like my kids are sensitive to the above issues here. Now they are reminding us of environmental awareness and will even go to the extent of telling us what presents we can buy for their kids. Just think, what presents can you buy for the kids that are not made of plastic. Now we buy only paper reading books which are healthy for the environment.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Henri,

This blog has gone into environmental awareness some time ago. Check my posting on the HAZE we get yearly, the animals that roam our parks and visit our homes, the birds that fly in our sky and nest on my balcony and the elephants that are killed for their tusks.

You can get them under LABELS at the end of the posting.

Thanks for your contribution once again and your interest in keeping our world green.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

My family of eight went to Southern Perth Australia in November this year and whale-watched. There were three children in our group, my grandchildren.

Imagine the "oohs" and "ahhs" when the whale surfaced in the shallow waters but they couldn't breach (jumping high out of the water and then slapping the water as they came down). A bit of a disappointment.

But to see them, papa whale, mama and baby swimming in the blue sea with water sprouting from their blow-hole time and again was a sight indeed.

We should ban plastic bags and use paper, shouldn't we? It will take many years unless there's a law.

Perhaps, we ourselves, could try not using them?