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The majority of fish populations have been reduced by 70-95%

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IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT SEAFOOD FOR SUPPER -- IT'S NEARER THAN YOU THINK

By Andrew Purvis, The Observer UK

The majority of fish populations have been reduced by 70-95%

-- and global demand keeps rising.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/138874/imagine_a_world_without_seafood_for_supper_--_it%27s_nearer_than_you_think/

What the organizers must know, but are keeping mum about, is that the oceans are in a parlous state. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 70% of the world's fisheries are now fully exploited (ie, fished to the point where they can only just replenish themselves), overexploited or depleted. The majority of fish populations have been reduced by 70-95%, depending on the species, compared to the level they would be at if there were no fishing at all. In other words, only five per cent of fish are left in some cases. In more practical terms, fishermen are catching one or two fish per 100 hooks, compared to 10 fish per 100 hooks where a stock is healthy and unexploited - a measure of sustainability once used by the Japanese fleet. In England and Wales, we are landing one fish for every 20 that we landed in 1889, when government records began, despite having larger vessels, more sophisticated technology and trawl nets so vast and all-consuming that they are capable of containing 12 Boeing 747 aircraft.

Where have all those other fish gone? In short, we have eaten them. "Tens of thousands of bluefin tuna used to be caught in the North Sea every year," says Callum Roberts, professor of marine conservation at the University of York. "Now, there are none. Once, there were millions of skate - huge common skate, white skate, long-nosed skate - being landed from seas around the UK. The common skate is virtually extinct, the angel shark has gone. We have lost our marine megafauna as a consequence of exploitation."

Then there are the devastating effects of bottom trawling around our coasts, which began with the advent of the steam trawler 130 years ago. "Sweeping backwards and forwards across the seabed, they removed a whole carpet of invertebrates," Professor Roberts says, "such as corals, sponges, sea fans and seaweeds. On one map, dating from 1883, there is a huge area of the North Sea roughly the size of Wales, marked 'Oyster beds'. The last oysters were fished there commercially in the 1930s; the last live oyster was taken in the 1970s. We have altered the marine environment in a spectacular way."

Worse still, after stripping our own seas bare, we have "exported fishing capacity to the waters of developing countries", Professor Roberts warns. Off Mauritania, Senegal and other West African countries, fleets from the rich industrial north are "fishing in a totally unsustainable way with minimal oversight by European countries". In return for plundering the oceans, which deprives local people of food, and artisanal fishermen of their livelihood, these vessels pay minimal fees that impoverished countries are happy to accept. "It is a mining operation," Professor Roberts says, "a rerun of the exploitation of terrestrial wealth that happened in colonial days. This is colonialism in a new guise, albeit with a respectable cloak in the form of access agreements."

and some attention whores have 14 children.... wtf are they gonna eat in 20 years you cow :smoke2:
"We really see the end of the line now," said the author Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, at the time. "It will be in our lifetime. Our children will see a world without seafood, if we do not change things." Many imagined a world where there would be no fish protein left to eat apart from jellyfish and marine algae.What the study did not make sufficiently clear was that some fish populations had bounced back as a result of drastic measures by the authorities. In countries such as Iceland, Norway, the United States, New Zealand and Australia, fisheries management has been strengthened by controls that limit fishing effort (the number of boats out there, the time they spend at sea and the areas where they are allowed to fish). Another management approach, especially in Europe, is to control output (the amount of fish landed) using Total Allowable Catch quotas, or TACs. These are designed to maintain a stock's biomass - the estimated weight of fish left in the sea after fishing and natural deaths are taken into account. It should never be allowed to fall so low that a species is unable to spawn a healthy generation the following year.


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