When the bottom-trawling was first deployed on mass in nineteenth-century Britain, fishermen protested and petitioned for its ban. No manner of fish can escape the trawl, they knew, and the oceans have never been the same. Since then, whole generations of apologist marine biologists have grown up thinking the ploughed, soft, silty bottoms of the Northern shelves are the norm: we have no baseline, we've never known what is natural...
But ain't it cool! Oh, the anticipation as the engines groan while lugging in the haul. The silvery mass of fish n' net rising to the surface. The gulls hovering eagerly. Everyone's face taut and anxious. Is it a big catch? Did we catch anything rare or maybe endangered?
We trawled and dredged nearly every day in Croatia for a week. One of those things, that despite the sun, the roll of the sea, good people, and the inherent interest of a new culture, it made me think: "I don't belong here. This is wrong."
On the bright side, everyone likes my new tan!
I celebrated my 26th birthday in Split, the Croatian capital. I'm now legally an adult. I left my adult life back in Canada. I look forward to graduating.