Mama Ray, Little Ray and three fish friends share concerns in an image from The Amazing Flight of Little Ray displayed at 50% of viewport width.
June 2019 by V. R. Duin


Little Ray thought his world quite bland,
the same old water, the same old sand.
He watched birds take off and fly
and thought to himself, why can't I?
(The Amazing Flight of Little Ray)

The problems of no fishing, no fish, water pollution and failure to fix the Clean Water Act, which currently is of no universal benefit, mean the loss of ocean secrets.

Water Pollution Problems

Red Alert? People argue the merits of rich water. They need to discuss dirty water. Most of the water on earth is filthy. Little Ray joins other advocates in relaying concerns about the environmental threats faced by rays and sharks.

Wait and Sea? Plastic pollutants never disappear. They combine into strangulating snares. When toxins are consumed, they destroy life from the inside. Dissolved water pollution is injurious. It breaks up animal pairs.

Free Range? Disease-causing pathogens infect animals. Pests and germs attach themselves to fish from the water in their aquariums or in the wild. Some water-borne bacteria, parasites and viruses are hard to exterminate.

An Itch? Fish Flashing is used to describe fish scratching themselves against aquarium or fish farm tank walls or objects to relieve skin infection suffering. It also is observed in the wild, origin of many captive fish.

On the Loose? Zoonoses are diseases transfered to humans from animals. These illnesses may have no cure. Handling dead, diseased or live fish can transmit detrimental infective agents between hosts, without lacerations.

Bad Vibes? Symptoms of sickened fish include disoriented movement or floating, gasping for oxygen at the surface, disinterest in food, bulging eyes, bloated bodies, purple gills, clamped fins and hemorrhaging or skin lesions.

Regifting? Nobody is immune from harmful effects of food from toxic water. Symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, fever, headache, nausea, numbness and vomiting should give incentive to stop tampering with fish.

Fresh Takes? Rays and sharks are on menus. Eating their meat is unlikely to fight infections. Fish or fish-based products and supplements contain plastic micro-beads for toxic spice. They leach carcinogens into blood and tissues.

Folk Medicine? Shark liver oil is used to treat respiratory, skin, immune system disorders and relieve cancer radiation sickness. Mercury neurotoxin levels, including those contained in food supplements, may cause dementia.

Beauty Treatment? Shark oil used in cosmetics, anti-aging products, skin cleansers and sunscreens can clog pores and cause acne. Sharks hold inside dangers. Reactions to shark allergens or toxins are more common than bites.

Adam's Apple? This thyroid cartilage protrusion is considered unsightly by some. Let this serve as a reminder that self-treating with shark cartilage, or collagen, comes with ugly gastrointestinal and circulatory system risks.

Scenic Route? Fish and other ocean life dine on plastics. When they are served for dinner, they contain undigested plastic waste. Much of the seafood in the United States arrives untested for any type of pollution.

Squirming, Yet? Wild fish are infected with disease-carrying worms. It is ill advised to eat raw, unprocessed local, wild fish. Freezing will kill the nematodes, but they are still in the food. Farm-raised may be worm-free.

No Fish Future

Need a License? Those who refuse to put their rods away, need to learn the fishing license requirements for their location. Different sovereign organizations set their own fees, expiration dates, rules and regulations.

Save the Planet? License fees are used to fund conservation efforts, fish restoration programs, habitat protections and to improve fishing education. Those who fish from private ponds need no license, but can make donations.

Luminaries? Mama Ray and Little Ray are restless. Their minds are distracted by the dangers and life-threatening matter present; liquid, solid, gas, plasma and radiation. Plastic pollutants rank among the worst of them.

Life and Death Matter? Filth shortens lifespans. Sponges and coral endure thousands of years. Greenland sharks survive 400 years. Turtles, mussels, mollusks, whales and some bony fish species can span hundreds of years.

Still Life? Catch and release kills. The time it takes to photograph a trophy fish can result in painful death. If hooks and lines aren't removed, dangling tackle may catch on objects, causing deadly entanglements and infections.

Wide Angle? Plant and animal populations are endangered. No fish due to pollution, climate change and overfishing would affect commercial and economic activity, resulting in lost jobs and damage to the food chain.

Heating Up? Climate cycles with natural variations in sun, wind and volcanic activity. Unnatural climate changes from transportation, manufacturing, communications and land use slowly are being addressed.

Evolving? Sharks adapted for 400 million years. Some of these survivors are adjusting to warmer water and migrating into new regions with new prey species. Adjustments in hunting approaches may lead to new species.

Elite? Modern humans are relative newcomers, having appeared only about 500,000 years ago. Some animals may outlive people, particularly as economic systems and practices make the planet increasingly inhospitable.

On the Edge? Exposure to foul water and overfishing ranks grouper, swordfish, sawfish and tuna among the most endangered ocean fish. Grasses and coral providing ocean meals and protective habitats also are dying.

Home Sweet Home? Water pollution carries and transmits diseases. The CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases protects against these illnesses. Cholera is a widely-known example.

Loss of Ocean Secrets

Ocean Life Holds Secrets. Management of water pollution and penalties to stop depletion of stock would be of mutual benefit. Studies are under way to learn if sharks' immune systems offer resistance to cancers.

Bathed in Beauty? Dirty water causes infections. Microorganism invasion and multiplication produce deadly, communicable reactions. NSU researchers found sharks and rays have advanced wound-healing abilities.

Close Look? Local health departments monitor bacteria levels in water. Alerts and bans are issued for high levels of these microorganisms. Bacteria circulate throughout bodies after water is ingested or enters them via wounds.

New Look? V. R. Duin graduated from the NSU College of Law under her legal name. As problems surface with antibiotics used to treat bacterial illnesses and infections, sharks could lead to better cures.

Tool Kit? NSU found Sharks Show Novel Changes in Their Immune Cancer-Related Genes. Two genes have counterparts lending hope for prevention or cures for cancer to cancers plaguing humanity.

Hide and Seek? Sharks develop cancer, but it is rare for them. Tumors secrete angiogenin. It feeds and spreads tumor growth and carries wastes. Dr. Robert Langer of MIT found anti-tumor potential in shark cartilage.

Beneath the Surface? MIT studies reveal an angiogenin inhibitor in shark cartilage. This blocks the formation of new blood vessels, causing the tumor to starve or suffocate in its waste products

Conclusion? Further study is needed to understand for what illnesses and infirmities shark components may be effective. More time will be required to come up with manufactured equivalents. Sharks may be running out of time.

Sweet Spot? Celebrants of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel should join Little Ray and his shark friend in the battle to preserve these fish for prosperity. They could bring end to drug side effects and allergic reactions.

No Universal Benefit

Hot Property? Radioactive waste has a lovely, but unhealthy glow. Hardy water bears withstand radiation. These micro-animals can undergo cryptobiosis, or suspended animation, in response to extreme conditions.

Blown Away? When faced with adverse conditions, like dessication and freezing, some invertebrates and plants achieve this physiological state. Metabolic activities shut down. Reproduction, development and repair cease.

Triple Threat? Toxic liquid and sewage effluent, or discharges, from vessels, oil rigs and offshore construction sites into ocean habitats affect oxygen and water quality. Accompanying waves and water jets also disrupt water flow.

City Slickers? Doing laundry carries noxious fibers in water. These additives combine with chemical runoff from agriculture, industry, home septic tanks, lawns and storm drains. The result is toxic to humans, aquatic life and pets.

Bucket List? Dredging stirs up contaminants. This digging opens navigation passages, extracts minerals and prepares construction sites. Sand scooped from rivers and oceans to dump on beaches kills tiny animals in and under it.

Soapbox? There are costs of testing, cleaning and finding alternatives. Efforts to save waters of the world include restoration of damaged areas. The goal is to reverse problematic conditions and restore quality to ocean life.

Fixing the Clean Water Act

About Face? The Clean Water Act needs proper interpretation, expansion and enforcement. It could bring an end to dirty water. Jellyfish, lobsters and turtles defy the aging process. Filth may annihilate marine keys to longevity.

Divine Intervention? The Clean Water Act passed in 1972 to prevent the discharge of pollutants into interstate navigable water used for trade and travel. The law expanded to isolated ponds, wetlands and dry desert ditches.

Curves Ahead? Navigable water is vague. Abusive enforcement of zealous interpretations means prosecution, prison time and bankrupting fines for remote, unpermitted discharges. Permitting takes about 2 years and $250,000.

Tide Effects? Radioactive effluvium travels water currents. Enforcement of the Clean Water Act could reduce high-level radiation exposure. This energy in transit can lead to cancer, birth defects, cell and systemic damage.

Cleaning Up? Wastewater treatment plants cannot remove micro-plastic pollutants. These plants go against the goals of the Clean Water Act with hazardous rushes of water discharge. Other countries are considering bans.

Weaves of Green? Health risks traveling with polluting discharges spread harm. For fair expansion and enforcement, terms of the Clean Water Act of the United States must be defined to allow due process and prevent injustice.

Crush the Climb! Without governance and punishment for law breakers, universal efforts against overfishing and loss of habitat will fail. Companies and individuals should support Clean Water Act adjustments by the EPA.