We're killing the oceans

By MIKE MILIARD  |  November 18, 2009

As if to illustrate this point, staffers for US representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts and US representative Chellie Pingree of Maine — both of whom are Democrats and were endorsed in 2008 by the environmental group Ocean Champions — expressed their regrets when contacted for this story. It was a cause near and dear to their hearts, the explanations went, but the representatives were just too busy dealing with health care for an interview.

Ultimately, of course, the big push has to come from us. People need to make more informed decisions in the voting booth — and at the fish counter.

"The only way to create political will," says Skerry, "is there has to be an outcry from the grassroots level: 'I want my children to be able to see a bluefin tuna, or to see a codfish.'?"

He sees his photographs, as disturbing as some of them are — flensed whales, heaps of dead by-catch — as ways to help to fight for that cause. "Most underwater photographers, historically, have only wanted to make beautiful pictures. I do, too. But I also want to be like a war photographer, and take pictures that are hard to look at — what people need to see."

Mike Miliard can be reached at mmiliard@phx.com.

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