Before we even begin to asses our abilities as humans to cultivate and grow sustainable fish population enough to enable for a worldwide economic impact we must first come to an agreement on the health of our oceans. When developed and emerging nations continue to pollute and plunder the ocean without consideration for replenishment and or the nourishment of body of waters surrounding us it is useless taking about maintaining fish population. We have our illustrious superpower nations and their military machines dumping billions of toxic and nuclear waste in the ocean not to talk of aspiring nuclear nations! Then you have Japan and China indiscriminately pillaging the oceans fish stock with no thought for replenishment or sustainability, of course there are the developing nations not to be out done using the ocean as a dumping place for all their waste products. Right now the ocean is littered with billions of tons of non-biodegradable materials dumped by all countries, how then can we truly talk of sustainable fish stocking for world consumption without first coming to a worldwide agreement on maintaining the health of the oceans hmmm?
Not necessary, there are ways and tools for sustaining fisheries, how to keep good stocks healthy and restore depleted stocks and diminish negative effects. FAO Code of Conduct is a basic doc, Ecosystem based management, fishing fleet capacity and subsidies reduction, update processing as a tool for stock conservation, etc. - should be more actively intorduced in practice everywhere!
I agree with Dr. Sala, and if we move to a "green economy". UNEP just released "Green Economy in a Blue World" which looks at six different economic areas in the marine sector and provides recommendations on how to boost their potential by implementing green measures. You can view the report here: http://bit.ly/MWIUNEPBlueRpt
I'm with Tom Friedman on this, who in a recent column said something to the effect that we humans are quite smart and ingenious. We might be slow to act on pressing challenges like climate change or, in this case, overfishing, but won't in fact let our planet go to hell in a handbasket.
The health of the world’s oceans is in jeopardy from human activities. But surprisingly the greatest threat comes not from pollution, but from overfishing. Accordingly to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 85 percent of the world’s fisheries are in trouble. Scientists project that if current trends continue, all of the world’s fisheries could be beyond biological recovery in just a few decades. And the stakes are high. More than a billion people depend on fish as a key source of protein and hundreds of millions of people are supported by fishing activities for all or part of their livelihood. But what most don’t know and would likely objective to, is that we – the taxpayers of the world – are funding the depletion of the oceans. Governments around the world provide significant subsidies to the fishing sector for boats, fuel and other operating costs allowing their fleets to fish longer, farther, and harder than would be other possible. These subsidies are estimated to be at least $20 billion each year – approximately 20 percent of the value of the world catch. While the trend of exhaustion is inexorable, depletion is not inevitable---if we act now to eliminate the practices that are distorting both the economics and the ecology of ocean fishing.
it is not. We already know what it takes to restore fish populations and the fisheries they support. We only need (1) the right incentives, (2) the political will, and (3) a deep reform of the corruption structure that exists in fisheries management in many countries (that involves political courage, which has been missing)
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