On today’s episode, I’m tackling R is for Rock Shrimp and Rising Oceans.
Listen here or download on iTunes or Google Play. If you want to read the full transcript, head to my Conservation blog.
Before I launch into today’s episode, I’m excited to share some terrific news!
I have been wanting to collaborate with another seafoodie nerd for the show. And today I’m happy to say I found that person.
Meet Heather Sadusky, writer and marine fisheries scientist.
Heather will be joining me on S2 of Green Fish Blue Oceans starting January 2018.
The format for the show will stay the same, A-Z, and we’ll tackle a seafood species or ocean challenge.
But in S2, we’re going to take a deep dive into the topics. If you’ve been listening to S1 then you know I have been just brushing the surface. Also, each episode will run longer. Think 25-30 minutes. Plus I plan to schedule interviews with chefs, scientists, seafood and ocean advocates.
So don’t forget to subscribe and share with your friends and family. With your help, I might just be able to buy a little red wine and be able to ship some sustainable seafood to my home here in Kentucky.
Thanks as always for reading and listening.
R is for Rock Shrimp
On the first half of the program, I dish all things rock shrimp—when they’re in season, where you can buy them, the best way to buy them, a few recipe ideas and more.
R is for Rising Oceans
So if you know me or have been listening to this podcast, you know that in an earlier episode, J is for Jellies and Jewfish, I read the first page of my dystopian novel, The Fish Thieves.
After that recording, I let the story rest.
A month or so ago, I opened the document again to review and revise. This time, I added depth and tension. Then I took a chance and submitted my first page of The Fish Thieves for review to The Kill Zone Blog’s First-page Critiques. They accepted it.
What follows is my updated revision.
Because the future of our beautiful blue planet is all about the water.
The Fish Thieves
It had always been about the water.
Trina and her twin brother Seth traveled through the woods to the water’s edge in the pre-dawn darkness. Trina knew the solution for feeding the growing global population was in the water just as she knew life after the tsunami would never be the same.
Seth hung back a few hundred yards, doubling as her lookout. Their monthly trips had produced nothing edible yet. Her future, their future, relied on finding a solution.
Trina hacked through saw palms, ducked under spider webs, and climbed over fallen oaks. She passed an overturned, rusted out SUV, its guts and doors removed, used for another purpose now. A mountain of trash, a baby stroller shredded and mangled, kitchen utensils, and plastic bottles, brought on by the tsunami, blocked her way. She picked her way around the mess—remnants from a previous life, a previous time not so distant in her past. The stench of decay tickled the hairs in her nose and she gagged, stifling a sneeze.
She paused in the semi-darkness, alert to the dangers of walking through the woods, but only long enough to listen to her surroundings. A slight movement in front of her stopped her short. A shadow of a person, maybe a child, was digging through a mound of garbage. Trina’s heartrate fluttered in her throat like a trapped bird in a cage. She didn’t have the time or luxury to stop and help anybody. And besides, a child could be a decoy. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Trina stepped up the pace circumventing the trash digger who showed no interest in her. Trina’s senses were heightened to the emerging predawn light, the guards, and the Exiles—the unfortunate people who, once the tsunami hit the Gulf coast and changed the land they once knew, were neither afforded a place in academia or could find work to sustain them. Those underprivileged, uneducated people who had it bad before The Big Rise, are now worse off. If that’s possible. Recent rumors at the University indicated Exiles are uniting and gathering strength.
The weight of the automatic on her hip offered security, but Trina struggled with the thought and the implications of what carrying meant if she were caught alone by a crowd of angry, hungry people. Of which there were plenty.
The lack of natural sounds, birds chirping, frogs grunting, still offended. But she tightened her core, brushed sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand and swallowed hard. Then she stepped over a No Trespassing sign, the tattered faded sign had been X’d out, another stark reminder that she wasn’t in Louisiana anymore. Or rather, the Louisiana she once knew. That discarded sign was another reminder that the laws that once governed the United States of America no longer applied. But she wasn’t deterred.
She smelled the briny water of the Gulf of Mexico. A blueish-green glow from the iridescent marine activity on the surface of the water lit up the area in front of her. She reached the edge of the cove. Water slapped at her boots. A massive swarm of tiny moon jellies flowed and ebbed on the surface. She prayed there was shrimp fry in the water too.
Long deep shadows like black swords cut across the water from the bank on her right. An alligator lay several hundred feet away, its beady yellow eyes glowed. Sweet pungent cannabis clung to the humid air. Trina knew all the guards and their habits. Most were stoners, but that made them reckless and dangerous, too. She had an hour before the guards changed shifts. This was their time to retrieve water samples, get back to the lab, and secure the canisters before the staff began their day at The University.
Trina removed the first of five small canisters from her shoulder bag. She activated the oxygen cartridge on the first canister and the timer began its countdown. She scooped up shimmering gelatinous jellies and the water, aware of the soft splashing she was creating and the gator on her right. She also knew if there was one gator, there would be many. Her night vision goggles told her one guard stood about 500 yards to her left. Seth, her twin brother was out there too. And she knew Exiles were close, but she couldn’t detect them. They covered themselves in the thick mud, as much as protection against the hybrid and lethal ticks and mosquitos as it was an act of evasion.
She capped the first canister and removed the lid on the second, repeating the process. The hair on her arms prickled. Someone or something was moving through the woods, approaching from behind.
Copyright Maureen C. Berry, 2017. All rights reserved.
You can read my original first page of The Fish Thieves, the critique and reader comments on The Kill Zone First-page Critiques. Then let me know what your thoughts are. I’d love to hear from you. Email me at maureencberry @ gmail . com or find me on Twitter @maureencberry. #TheFishThieves
Buying rock shrimp