"World Without Fish" by Mark Kurlansky, Chapters 9-11

In this book, Mark Kurlansky explores threats to the world's oceans and fish populations and describes ways that young people can support sustainable fishing.

Here are links to our lists for the book: Introduction and Chapter 1, Chapters 2-4, Chapters 5-8, Chapters 9-11
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definitions & notes only words
  1. refuge
    a safe place
    But in 2001, it became a wildlife refuge.
  2. remote
    located far away spatially
    Ailat had to live on the boat and couldn't stay long, due to Kingman Reef's remoteness.
  3. incessant
    uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing
    The face of Nature may be compared to a yielding surface, with ten thousand sharp wedges packed close together and driven inwards by incessant blows, sometimes one wedge being struck, and then another with greater force.
  4. debris
    the remains of something that has been destroyed
    In a number of places where ocean currents meet, there are concentrations of garbage, mostly plastics that cannot be readily absorbed by natural processes the way organic debris can.
  5. petroleum
    a dark oil consisting mainly of hydrocarbons
    Over the past century, tremendous quantities of petroleum have spilled into the oceans.
  6. pristine
    completely free from dirt or contamination
    In 1989, a tanker called the Exxon Valdez broke up in Prince William Sound, Alaska, which had been a pristine subarctic paradise for a wide range of fish, shellfish, mammals, and birds.
  7. ecology
    the environment as it relates to living organisms
    The Gulf of Mexico is important breeding ground for fish, birds, and marine mammals and the long-range effect of this accident on the life of these animals, the ecology of the ocean, if Darwin is understood, the entire natural order of the planet, is beyond the ability of science to measure.
  8. restitution
    a sum of money paid in compensation for loss or injury
    BP has paid a twelve-million-dollar federal criminal fine, four million dollars in criminal restitution to the state, and four million dollars for Arctic research.
  9. subsidiary
    a company that is completely controlled by another company
    BP's local subsidiary, BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., was place on probation for three years.
  10. renewable
    capable of being replaced
    Unless the world reduces its use of oil and turns to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, there are certain to be more disasters like this in the oceans.
  11. solar
    relating to the sun or utilizing the energies of the sun
    Unless the world reduces its use of oil and turns to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, there are certain to be more disasters like this in the oceans.
  12. catastrophic
    extremely harmful; bringing physical or financial ruin
    It's not just big oil spills that have catastrophic results on the ocean ecosystems.
  13. concentration
    the strength of a solution
    These larger animals now have more poisons in their systems than the little ones did, so that by the time you get high up in the food chain, the concentration of poison has become much stronger in an individual animal.
  14. profound
    of the greatest intensity; complete
    But these poisons also seem to have a profound effect on fish populations and, although there has not been enough research on this, one of the side effects appears to be a reduced ability to reproduce.
  15. archaeologist
    an anthropologist who studies prehistoric culture
    Bronze weapons found in burial pits in China, which archaeologists have dated from the late third century B.C., showed no sign of corrosion because the bronze tips of crossbow bolts and swords found at the site were coated with chromium.
  16. corrosion
    erosion by chemical action
    Bronze weapons found in burial pits in China, which archaeologists have dated from the late third century B.C., showed no sign of corrosion because the bronze tips of crossbow bolts and swords found at the site were coated with chromium.
  17. chromosome
    a threadlike strand of DNA that carries genes
    Research has shown chromium-based products to cause chromosome damage to hamsters.
  18. subtle
    difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze
    It might take millions of years to see the subtle changes caused by alterations in DNA if a species is successful.
  19. atmosphere
    the mass of air surrounding the Earth
    The main greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.
  20. temperate
    mild or free from extremes
    Subtropical fish are moving toward more temperate zones.
  21. salinity
    the relative proportion of salt in a solution
    It is known that most fish live not only in a specific temperature range but in a specific degree of saltiness, known as the salinity of water.
  22. bode
    indicate by signs
    Some research indicates that excessive carbon may slow down the growth rate in fish, and because growth correlates with egg production and the ability of fish populations to reproduce, this, too, bodes very badly for these deepwater fish populations.
  23. infer
    reason by deduction; establish by deduction
    Judging from the past, we may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity.
  24. progeny
    the immediate descendants of a person
    And of the species now living very few will transmit progeny of any kind to a far distant futurity...
  25. modification
    a slightly changed version
    All species will have modifications that will develop into new species, and the original species will become extinct.
  26. optimum
    most desirable possible under a restriction
    Even so, the Eastern Spinner Dolphin is now considered a "depleted" species: Its population stock is below optimum sustainable population.
  27. conscientious
    characterized by extreme care and great effort
    The MSC program is important because it gives the conscientious consumer a way to fish, and it gives conscientious fishermen a way to be commercially rewarded for their efforts.
  28. boycott
    refusal to have commercial dealings with some organization
    Before you protest, boycott, or urge others to take action, you have to investigate and make sure that the fish in question comes from a truly sustainable fishery.
  29. forerunner
    something that precedes something or someone
    The forerunner of fish sticks was fish fingers—strips of fish fillet that were breaded and frozen.
  30. adversary
    someone who offers opposition
    If your local fish market insists on selling fish that is clearly wrong to sell, do not approach this merchant as an adversary.
  31. patronize
    be a regular customer or client of
    A group of kids in front of a store or restaurant with signs saying "Do not patronize this store. They are selling endangered species," could be extremely effective.
  32. dedicated
    devoted to a cause or ideal or purpose
    But you must be extremely careful to act in a polite and respectful way so that you are seen as dedicated kids with a strong conscience, and not rowdy kids trying to make trouble which is the usual accusation used to dismiss the opinions of young people.
  33. conscience
    motivation deriving from ethical or moral principles
    But you must be extremely careful to act in a polite and respectful way so that you are seen as dedicated kids with a strong conscience, and not rowdy kids trying to make trouble which is the usual accusation used to dismiss the opinions of young people.
  34. rowdy
    disturbing the public peace; loud and rough
    But you must be extremely careful to act in a polite and respectful way so that you are seen as dedicated kids with a strong conscience, and not rowdy kids trying to make trouble which is the usual accusation used to dismiss the opinions of young people.
  35. strident
    being sharply insistent on being heard
    In polite and not strident language tell your age, grade, where you go to school, and why you are worried about fish and the oceans and what you would like him or her to do about it.
  36. diplomacy
    subtly skillful handling of a situation
    The only way to effect this is through diplomacy, so write your representatives and the president and tell them that you want this to be a priority in international relations.
  37. constructive
    tending to improve or promote development
    They are certainly not always right, but any real solution will involve their cooperation so anyone who wants to help should be prepared to work constructively with them.
  38. abolish
    do away with
    This was true of the movements to abolish slavery in several countries, the movements to gain basic rights for workers, the civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement...
  39. irreversible
    incapable of being turned around
    But they also generally agree that there is a point when the damage will be irreversible and that we do not have many years, perhaps only a generation, to reach that point.
  40. passive
    lacking in energy or will
    This is why yours is a special generation, one faced with more responsibilities and more opportunities than any generation in history. You cannot afford to be passive.

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