New England Aquarium
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
25 May 1995
- Boston; New England Aquarium
- 42.35902 -71.05068
Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo
NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS: "Oceans of Life" ..
Log of Overfishing
May 25, 1995
New England Aquarium Ambi
Interview with Greg Stone
39:38 AC: tell me about the message of aquariums, and what your new message will be....
GS: my name is greg stone, associate director of the new england aquarium for conservation programs. aquariums originally presented fish and animals to people in a very victorian sense, kind of like an animal inside a picture frame. in the original cases it was an aquarium box. then the new england aquarium was the first major aquarium of this size, and we presented the fish, the animals and the ecosystem in which they lived. and now, the next generation......PLANE in BG..TAKE 2 ........aquariums in the first wave, which was the early part of the century, presented fish in a very victorian sense -fish in a box of water -and that was fascinating to people then. and then, about 25 years ago [car honking in the bg] aquariums began a new wave which was lead by the new england aquarium, where they presented fish in their ecosystems. and now we are starting the next generation which i think is terribly exciting, where we show the fish, the ecosystem, and the relationship of that fish and that ecosystem to people or human society. and it's that connection we have to make between people and the natural world in order to conserve it and stop a lot of the rampant problems we have today due to' population growth. blc people are interested in themselves and other people primarily. and if you can draw relationships between people and the natural world, you get the message across. and it's not always a bad message.
41:13 AC: what is that message in relation to oceans and biodiversity?
GS: well the main message is that people, whether you live on the coast, and are pulling fish out of the ocean every day to eat or whether you live in the middle part of the united states are entirely dependent on the oceans for their health, their well-being -the maintenance of our planet as a place that can support us is completely dependent on the oceans and the oceans are 99% of livable volume on our planet is the oceans. If someone came in from outer space and zoomed by the earth, and didn't have time to stop, and just kept on to the next planet they would make a note in their notebook that said: 'earth, marine habitat', they would leave it at that. the marine habitat dominates the biosphere, the biosystem of our planet far more than anybody realizes. and that to me is the major take home message that we try to get across to people through aquarium experiences. and they are open to it -you see that this is one of the happiest places in boston. people are thrilled with the animals and the aquatic world that they are able to see.
42:24 AC: we are talking in this particular part of our story
in -this particular part of..........we are on our way to Georges bank, this aspect of our show has to do with fisheries and overfishing. how does that work into your museum. i noted before that the exhibit -perhaps conditions have changed a little since the exhibit on fishing went in [gs: yes].
43:05 gs: well our -the major message that we get across to people through some of our exhibits and other outreach programs and forms we run, is that fish are wildlife, and that's a concept that most people don't understand. fish are not like the wheats we grow in kansas, in the midwest -they are not like the corn and the vegetable we grow... [pause: airplane ac: that's a great concept... ] the main thing that we try to get across to people is that fish are wildlife. they are not like the cattle that are raised in nj, they are not like the corn that we raise out west. a better analogy would be the african savannas where we got these wild systems out there, that are existing on their own, and we are coming along on the edges of it, and harvesting this wildlife, bringing it back and eating it, and what has happened is that we reached the limits of that. what the capacity of the wildlife system here to sustain is basically hunting that we have been pursuing over the last 100 years, and in the last 25 years its been the worst part of this hunting. and people don't know that. when they sit down to have their fish and chips over there it's comparable to eating wild boar from the woods or zebra from the great plains of africa. it's the same principle. and we really have to start looking at our marine ecosystems as multiple use wildlife areas. And i think of the atlantic ocean, again using the africa analogy, 50 years ago we thought the african savannahs were untouchable by human activity, and today it is a wildlife park, and we watch what wildebeests migrations go from one country to another and back again. and the oceans are now -we are reaching the same paradigm, where we've got the tuna herds are now like the savannah grass animals, and the whales are like the elephants, and the fish are these counter part, and we have to start looking at that ecosystem in the same way. end of interview -45:20
bg: kids playing around, yelling... inside the aquarium to see the sea lion show with "mugs"?
***1:05:56 good, strong sea lion ROAR!
***1:06:17 -1:06:24 good, strong, sea lion ROAR!
***1:06:43-1:0 little sea lion barks
***1:06:58-1:07:16 low, rumbling roar and barking
***1:07:57 HUGE, loud sea lion ROAR!
1:08:57 sea lion splashing around
ac asking people what they think of biodiversity in the oceans