Ross Thomas – American Actor, Activist

Ross Thomas is an actor and enjoys surfing, snowboarding and horseback riding.  Ross plans on putting more of his energy and time to learn and teach more about ocean conservation.

Q. Can you please explain what the ocean means to you and why it is so important to you to protect it?

A. To me, the global ocean represents the vast underworlds of our beginning, middle and question mark.  It is the source with which provides infinite levels to a humanity beckoning.  The ocean feeds us, it breeds us, it gives pleasure deep in its salty lairs of wisdom.  The ocean makes waves for us to smile and wail and test our core, it shares its warmth, its cold, its kin, its bravado for life.  The ocean gives clarity to distance. It sheds life and death and mystery within.

To me the ocean is the greatest world still uncovered.  The depths yet to be reached contain answers to the mystique of a global, universal, galactic existence.  For our sustenance, our survival, our strength, we must stand up and honor, preserve and praise, a body of H2O who gives and never strays.  The ocean brings me great splendor and joy, and without it in my life . . . forever a void.  For the sake of our own survival, we must protect the ocean and its inhabitants.  For without this blessing in our life . . . there would be no life.

Q. Do you have a “hotspot” that concerns you the most, and if so what you think people can do to help the problem?

A. I think one of the most urgent crisis currently facing our global ocean is the issue of long lining and overfishing.  Right now in the Gulf of Mexico, blue fin tuna, one of our most important species of fish, is being all but wiped out due to the incredibly irresponsible practice of long lining and illicit commercial fishing.  Scientists estimate that the number of mature bluefin tuna has dropped more than 80% since 1970 and fewer than 20,000 adults may remain in our ocean.

Our ocean is being pillaged of the fish species we admire and value so much in our global society.  Lack of care and the constant influx of competing fishing companies has waged destruction and annihilation on our fish species.  The fish we love; that are so crucial to human kind are disappearing right in front of our eyes. If we do not confront this issue head on with the voracity and international communal strength necessary, fish such as the blue fin tuna will only be seen gracing the pages of picture books.  The overfishing of sharks for the use of their fins bobbing in soup bowls, threatens to upset of the entire marine ecosystem.  We must fight the ignorance and global lack of management and stand up for the fish species who cannot stand up for themselves.

We must be smart consumers and inform ourselves.  If we eat fish products, it is our responsibility to eat fish with the lowest impact. Fisheries need to be managed by the following effective ground rules worldwide:

  1. We must have a limit on the total number of fish caught and landed by a fishery.
  2. We must instill rules to prevent the unintentional killing and disposal of fish and other oceanic life not part of the target catch.
  3. It is essential that we protect the significant habitats crucial to the spawning and nursing grounds of fish, as well as the delicate sea floor and corals.
  4. We must have global monitoring and enforcement to make sure fishermen are not landing more than they are allowed and using illicit forms of cruel and unusual catching methods to do so.

Those who break these rules should be punished and banned from commercial fishing indefinitely.  By exposing our world community of all ages to the urgency of halting overfishing and long lining, we may still have a chance to replenish our oceans so that both its life and ours may continue to thrive.

Q. Do you have a favorite quote you would like to share with people, or a recommendation of a book you think people should read?

A. One of my favorite quotes is from the naturalist, John Muir: “Everything is flowing, going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water.  Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty, making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks . . . While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood . . . in Nature’s warm heart.”  One of my favorite books that I’d like to recommend is called, The World Is As You Dream It, by John Perkins.  This book is not directly about ocean conservation, but contains ancient wisdom and elements instrumental to the

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