Yup, that’s right. At one point, he remarks on a study (from 2012, via the Philippine embassy in Singapore) which reports more requests from Filipino men to investigate trafficking off fishing vessels than requests from the women reporting from the notoriously abusive s*x and nightlife entertainment industry for women. So, what does that tell you about what you know about fisheries?
Perhaps more to the point: now that you do know, do you care?
This is a question the author posed as well, wrestling with the question of whether anyone really wants to read and know this: “Still, I clung to the hope that by my putting the information out there, other people might use it somehow to change things. Deep down inside, though, I wondered if these were legitimate motivations or professional delusions.”
He also wonders whether it’s fair to share these stories, which are often miserable, to ask questions which force survivors to revisit their trauma: “…I resigned myself to the idea that the only thing worse than telling a tale of abuse over and over again was not telling it at all.”
Along the way there are many opportunities to absorb facts and receive anecdotes. I learned, for instance, that the Great Barrier Reef grows at the rate of about a half inch each year (now occupying an area equivalent to the state of Pennsylvania, after about 600,000 years), that there are more species on two acres of that space than there are bird species on the whole continent of North America, and that it’s a zero waste situation (in which every organism’s waste plays an integral role in another organism’s survival).
But, actually, this book has virtually nothing to do with the Great Barrier Reef; this is just one of those along-the-way subjects, which surfaces in a single page’s contextual material, on another topic and another continent. So, I’m sharing this discovery more to demonstrate that the density of information has a wholly satisfying and almost overwhelming reach to it.
The supplementary material at the end of the book offers substantive suggestions for engaged readers to take their new knowledge forward, to enact change.
I could read on this topic for the rest of this year, but I’ve got a few library records earmarked for other issues to explore.
What are you reading that is changing your world?