The greatest threat to sports fishing isnít Global Warming.
Over Fishing or Destruction of Habitat, but rather diseases people contract while working and recreating outdoors, that ultimately rob them of their health, career and lifestyle. Without people and revenue, the industry is in trouble.
Bacteria, Viruses and Parasites are at the root of the problem. They have invaded our bodies, homes, places of work and blood supply with deathly outcomes. Epic numbers of people are being eaten alive from the inside out resulting in a plethora of diseases. This silent epidemic is ravaging people with harrowingly complex groups of symptoms including arthritis, rhuematism, various auto-immune The greatest threat to sports fishing isn't Global Warming issues and cognitive problems which make recreating and working outdoors unlikely, if not impossible.
When we go outside we don't think much about being bitten by bugs. We grow up around them and they are nothing more than a nuisance, right? At least that's what we were told as kids. But the truth is that "Half of the US population may have been exposed to tick-born illnesses and co-infections and don't even know it", according to Lyme disease expert, Dietrich Klinghardt MD, of Seattle, Washington.
Biting bugs are nature's dirty needles, spreading disease. The United States CDC reflects in a report reviewed by "naturalnews.com" that 325,000 new people are infected every year with the tick born bacteria that literally infects virtually every tissue and organ in the body. It's severe and debilitating, even causing death. The seasonal migration of 650 species of birds in North America plays a major role in the spread of tick born illnesses and co-infections. One point five million Canadians live with illnesses of unknown origin, (as reported by Christine Heffer in The Observer). That's a lot of people not feeling up to participating in outdoor activities. That, in turn, equates to a lack of revenue and reinforces a downward trend in support of fresh water angling and river maintenance.
I believe that herein lies the possible answer to their mystery illnesses.
A number of seemingly unrelated factors, unique to the late twentieth century, are creating a perfect storm for infection. The rise of international travel, contaminated water supplies, increased use of day-care centres, the influx of refugee and immigrant populations from endemic areas, the return of armed forces from overseas, household pets, the popularity of exotic regional foods, the use of antibiotics and immuno-suppressive drugs, the sexual revolution, the spread of aids and inadequate screening of the blood supply are some of the factors at play.
"The spread of lyme disease is the most rapidly spreading vector-borne disease in the world", stated Dr. Ernie Murakami as he referenced a prevalence map of the World Health Organization at a conference called the Spread of Lyme Disease. Tick born illnesses are the great imItators and are often mis-diagnosed as ALS, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and more than 200 other possible illnesses. Lyme cases are grossly under reported and under diagnosed.
So if only 17 percent of people recall being bitten by a tick and therefore don't seek treatment, then imagine how many people are compromised by the numerous viruses and single-celled bacterium living on plants, insects and animals in the great outdoors. They won't know they have a problem until they do, which could be hours, weeks or even years after infection. Trying to diagnose these illnesses is difficult because symptoms can be similar and ever changing. Just as noteworthy is the idea that if you equally distributed the numbers of cases of parasitic infection, everyone in the world would have parasites. We are the equivalent of the Hilton hotel for bugs. They use up all the nutrition from our food and contribute nothing but harm to the host. If you start to reconcile stats for such illnesses it soon becomes clear that we need to do a better job of managing this seldom talked about pandemic.
"I have the sickness alright." The burning, driving need to walk an Atlantic Salmon river. Every season, (except this year because my disease made me sick), I loaded up my high tech gear and pursued the king of all game fish, the Atlantic Salmon. Our pilgrimage, (mine and the fish), is to some buggy, historic, Atlantic Salmon ecosystem where the fish are returning to their natal river after feeding off Greenland. Entire towns are supported by the Leaper's return. But something is very wrong. People like me are becoming sick working/playing outdoors. So sick, that we are unable to get out of bed. The consequences are far reaching, economically and socially.
It took 5 years for Doctors to understand that Bacteria, Viruses and Parasites were making me chronically ill. By this time I ended up with a deep seated infection that may or may not be cured.
Am I still an outdoorsman if I'm too sick to go outdoors? I don't have all the answers, but what I do know is if you ignore the illnesses caused by Parasites, Bactria and Viruses, great damage will be done to the sport fishing world and our outdoor heritage.