“The Bahama Islands
Are filled with these seals.
Sometimes, one hundred a night,
Are killed by fishermen.”
H. Sloan, 1707
When Columbus arrived
Back in the year 1492
Their colonies were thriving
And now, their time is through
They had lived on this planet
For at least 15 million years
Each time a species vanishes
My heart and soul fill with tears
Columbus called them ‘sea-wolves’
And with his arrival, began their demise
They competed with man for fish resources
And now, they have vanished before our eyes
They were extremely docile marine mammals
Which made their wholesale slaughter so easy
And now, many of their relatives are in trouble
Which should not fill any of us today, with glee
They were known to us as ‘The Caribbean Monk Seal’
Another of our earthly neighbors now wiped out by man
Our seas are turning to plastic, and our fish are vanishing
Modern mankind seems to have extinction as its main plan
The Caribbean Monk Seal, also known as The West Indian Seal, was officially declared ‘Extinct’ by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) yesterday, June 6, 2008.
It is estimated that when Columbus first arrived, the Caribbean Monk Seal population numbered at least 250,000 strong. Today, that number is horrendously - 0.
They originally inhabited the beaches, cays, and reefs of the Caribbean, ranging from the Greater Antilles to the northern Lesser Antilles, the Bahamas, the northeastern coasts of Central America, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and the Florida Keys. The very last surviving colony of Caribbean Monk Seals is believed to have lived at Serranilla Bank, halfway between Nicaragua and Jamaica.
And two of its relatives are in dire trouble. There are fewer than 1,200 Hawaiian monk seals and 500 Mediterranean monk seals still remaining on this planet, and both of their populations are also rapidly declining.
All of these monk seals are particularly sensitive to human disturbance, and they have all been rapidly losing their food supplies to over-fishing and to water pollution, and their once pristine beaches to modern day shoreline development.
And once upon a time, the Caribbean, the Hawaiian Islands, and the Mediterranean Sea were all teeming with an abundance of god-given fish.
But today, that is very sadly no longer true . What we are doing to our once vibrant and life-filled planet today, truly makes me blue.
©2008, Mr. Ed