Threat to Survival
The Northern Fur Seal has always been and continues to be a provider of sustenance to the Aleutian population. The natives maintain responsible practices to include the same Aleut hunting ritual, even today, which is to round up gangs of young male straight to their demise— which is almost as “easy as clubbing a baby seal.” However, outsiders to seal island have not shown such discipline as “a century of overhunting [which] nearly wiped out the species [leading to] the world’s first wildlife conservation treaty [signed in 1911]” (Ryan, 2016).
Nowadays. As before, the Northern Fur Seal faces a dire challenge. The St. Paul seal population has seen a steady decline. University of British Columbia fur seal researcher, Andrew Trites, estimates an 80% the seal population decline over yesteryear, in the article, “The Case of the Vanishing Seals: An Alaskan Island Mystery.” Trites adds, “If you go out for the first time, you’re probably just amazed [but ten years earlier one would wonder] ‘What happened?’ [adding if one went back fifty years one would claim] ‘There’s a disaster’” (Ryan, 2016). Also, the article notes some natives claim the fishing industry that descends on the area are to blame for the dwindling supply of quality fish. The declining nutrients provided by the fish has led to underfed seal pups, which had led to a sickly and dying population. Narratives of distrust and blame of alien invaders may be easy to believe; they are not the worst culprit. The science community believes a different perpetrator is to blame, one not as easy to identify as foreign trespassers. The true threat is the warming ocean water which leads to fish migration, which forces mother seals to travel further away to seek food for her developing offspring. Of course, some change to water temperatures is natural, but the current rate does not match a simple environmental shift. But, “what if the monsters come? [Understand monsters are real and often] we are the monsters” (Reeves, 2011). Do not fret; all hope is not lost—YET.
The following practical steps can go a long way toward saving the Northern Fur Seals, other species, and other substantial impacts of Global Warming. The first step is to increase awareness of the self and communities through increased scientific education; science is a necessity: “Make Science (and the World) Cool Again.” The second step, leave the science to the scientists, remove the political narratives from interfering. The third step, change the narrative. Humanity is a fickle beast of burden and tends to into plenty they can’t see, explain, or understand. Masses encourage building walls, buying guns, and praying to deities for unseen threats without much credible scientific evidence to support such beliefs— “just in case.” The fourth, and final, the step is to simply to seek out and implement an awareness of environmentally friendly practices. In fact, one would tend to think wall builders, gun lovers, and deity believers would agree it is best to care for the world even if only “just in case.” Change the narrative, change the world.
To those wondering the moral of the tale, through the recount of the Northern Fur Seal’s “discovery” to the monster invasions, it is possible to increase awareness of the threat facing a magical species in a little-known world. Furthermore, historical lessons show that man will use scientific discovery to further his benefit even willing to forsake morality (by enslaving his fellow man) or even his long-term interest (by almost driving seals to extinction). However, those that seek to capitalize on science for profit are reluctant to make personal sacrifices until the collective societal conscience challenges them. Moreover, it was science that enabled humans a better life, a better world; thus, it is up to science to save the world, save humanity, from self-reluctance and greed. In blunter terms, to save humankind from himself—science must “seal” the deal.
Reeves, D. (2011). Slice of cherry. New York: Simon Pulse.
Ryan, J. (2016, February 29). The case of the vanishing seals: an Alaskan island mystery.
Torrey, B. B. (1983). Slaves of the harvest. TDX Corp.