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"Thar she blows..."
Coming from Captain Ahab whose leg was bitten off by Moby Dick, the creature was, "an accursed white whale that razeed me made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day (1)."
The book Moby Dick, a classic novel by Herman Melville, has brought to mind the plight of these sea mammals and other ocean creatures, victims again, not of whale hunters like Captain Ahab but by irresponsible people who use the ocean as a huge rubbish dump to discard their garbage.
Most of these waste matters are placed in plastic bags and swallowed by the poor whales and other forms of marine life. Whales have also been killed for food by some communities. In time they die, like Moby Dick and those in the story, "Oh, lonely death on lonely life! (2)."
Michael Bangar (image right), Singapore guitarist and musician has this comment to make, "Andy, the biggest culprit is mankind, as with a lot of other problems throughout the globe. Rubbish that has been thrown overboard from seafaring vessels over many, many years are swept out to sea from rivers, streams, canals and drains worldwide. Many countries don't set control laws and throw their waste into the oceans.
It is a huge but unseen problem that needs massive cooperation from all nations to rectify. The poor sea creatures suffer. We just don't know how many more of them have died from this catastrophe. Like the poor innocent whale, thinking that rubbish-filled plastic bags was food. So sad!"
Oh Moby Dick was so big and slick
There was never such a whale
He'll take a ship with the slightest whip
Of his mighty, mighty tail...
We know today that the whale is not the aggressor. Man is. Merlin Lim (image below), the former guitarist for pop band Silver Strings, roamed the world in large ships after he decided to work at sea. Here's what he said:
"Andy, I saw the video sometime back and have been thinking about how the whales and other sea life suffered because of the human being's lack of respect for these creatures.
I recalled the time I served on board ships. All rubbish, food waste, plastics included, were dumped overboard while the ship was at sea. Seagulls would hover over the garbage, pick up bits and pieces of food and debris while the rest sink into the ocean.
These remains will eventually end up in the stomachs of the bigger fishes as 'food'. The practice has been going on for years from way back in the early 70's.
Sad to say, I am also guilty of this big mistake we have all made."
Indeed Michael and Merlin. And as we, "Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool (3)," we are all guilty as hell.
An Original Article (Copyrights Reserved).
I thank contributions from Michael Bangar and Merlin Lim, both rhythm guitarists from The Silver Strings.
1,2,3: Quotations from Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Images: A Personal Collection; Google.