Since we’re on the topic of sharks this week and yesterday’s post Shark Fin Tofu Soup already mentioned a few small acts we can do (such as tofu, alternative sustainably caught choices, and abstinence— just talking food here of course) to ensure shark finning falls into the realm of an atrocity we used to perpetrate in our journey to human enlightenment, today’s Solution Saturday is calling for a little ode to the majestic shark instead.

Let these dark waters in our species’ evolutionary path towards completely embracing our stewardship be our Marine Holocaust. Let us forgive yet never forget. And most importantly, let us learn from the shadows that lurk in the deep.

A shark is an apex ocean predator. Mrs. Monique White from the Fiji Or Bust saga is a case in point. She is the “Iron Fish” on the reef and the open sea. Nobody dares mess with her, that is, nobody except Colossal Carol the Killer Whale or perhaps Richard Dreyfuss.

When Monique is hungry watch out! She’ll eat just about anything that she can unhinge her jaw for and saw. She crushes turtle shells like escargots. And frog legs? Heck pull a crab-eating frog from the mangroves and throw it in the ocean. Watch carefully how the whole jumper disappears, not just those sexy long legs.

That’s right. Monique is not a very refined dinner guest for a French wofish. Years on a North American diet have dulled her pallet and her table manners. She’s really just interested in fast food now, so fast in fact that she eats it raw and wriggling. Yum!

So why is Monique so important to cherish? Isn’t she after all just a big bully preying on smaller fish and marine mammals? Why don’t we adopt the “what goes around comes around” attitude with her?

Exactly! It’s what goes a-round. It’s the circle of life that overfishing is messing with. And since circles are the cousins of  polka-dots, a Woman Not Waiting wants to make sure there are plenty to sprinkle a polka-dot path to sustainability with.

Then let’s connect some, shall we?

Monique’s voracious appetite keeps the smaller predators in check. Her prey will forage elsewhere when she’s is circling the area. This ensures that their food has a chance to recover within their own mini circle until the next shark-free season. Here are a few polka-dots to ponder when Monique is at the finning parlour getting a fincut.

  • Monique adores cownose rays— it’s a shark thing
  • But Monique and her girlfriends have left the neighbourhood— they died for the sake of their fins
  • Cownose rays get frisky— and they LOVE scallops au gratin
  • Humans love scallops too— oh those mouth watering crêpes!
  • The plankton rejoice— they have lost a mobile predator. Time to multiply.
  • Mega farms send nitrates into the ocean— Yeeehaaa! Plankton can have an all-you-can-eat endless buffet
  • The Queen of Planktonia assumes her thrown— she blooms. She rules the oceans. “Off with her fin!” She declares.

And how does the Queen repay us? By suffocating all those who dare live in her queendom.

No oxygen…no fish. No fish…no predators. No predators, and the queendom expands.

We’ve seen the effects of removing an apex predator on land in Yellowstone National Park (The Canine Holocaust of 1872-1926). Murdering Lola’s wild cousins, the wolves, gave the elks a license to have lots and lots of carnal fun which resulted in overgrazing, hordes of homeless and hungry critters, and deterioration of the ecosystem. From 1926-1995 it was a veritable orgy for the elks.

Fortunately, in 1995 scientists realized that Yellowstone was dying and called upon the Great White North (Jasper National Park) to send them 14 pack hunters, know as the Druid pack. Quite the lifestyle change for the elks, but c’est la vie!

As Shark Week comes to a close, my hope is that we have in fact learned from our ignorance and have intervened in time to reverse one of the “Whoops! My bad” ocean moments, and that we will not regress into sport killing as still plagues the Druid wolf family tree today.

A Woman Not Waiting is certainly not going back to those lady-in-waiting days. Especially not for the Queen of Planktonia!