Fish Depletion a Toxic Undercurrent for the Fishing Industry

Overfishing by large commercial fleets is killing the industry; and fish may soon become an unknown delicacy for many of our children. Already, buying quality local fish in the store is an expensive mealtime option. I refuse to purchase the cheap fish in my supermarket that is imported from around the world, because, I think, it supports unsustainable fishing practices. I love eating fish, but it seems that we cannot be trusted to manage this resource with any fair minded sense. It is all about making money today and there is no thought for tomorrow.

I have always said that capitalism cannot be trusted to be the determining factor in the food and health industries. By this I mean that the profit motive will not ensure lasting stocks of fish, will not guarantee the sale of healthy food and will not look after the best interests of both rich and poor when it comes to their health. That is why we have governments and their agencies to protect the interests of the powerless and the silent. Fish need to be protected from rapacious commercial fishing outfits. Fish populations are declining in many of the world’s fisheries. A debt collection agency will not be able to return this valuable resource to humanity’s future generations.

Over half of the globe’s fisheries are being fully exploited, and a third are, either, overexploited, declining in stocks or recovering from depletion. Overfishing is the result of destructive commercial fishing practices, poor management by fishery bodies, subsidised fishing industries and foreign fishing fleets overfishing in the waters of developing nations due to exploitative fishery partnership agreements. Fish species such as the orange roughy, blue ling, monkfish and Patagonian toothfish have had their populations depleted to dangerous levels. Deep water fishing by trawlers are destroying valuable fish stocks in record amounts.

Aquaculture, fish farming, is producing 41.9 million tonnes of fish, compared with the 92.4 million tonnes garnered through marine capture, according to statistics provided by the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture report in 2010. Fish depletion a toxic undercurrent for the fishing industry is right on the money; and the effects on biocultures and communities dependent on fishing are going to be huge. If we as a collective species do not intervene we will fish out the oceans and what a sad day that will be for future generations. Manage the industry properly now and we may have a chance to rectify this situation. Sustainable fishing practices must be enforced across the globe.