August 8, 2008 Leave a comment
Species of Cod and Tuna which were once plentiful in the world’s oceans are being brought to near extinction. As one-quarter of all the fish species are being pushed over the edge towards extinction there is another full 50% which are being completely exploited worldwide. As the oceans are being raped to feed our growing population there is no one who can predict the upcoming dire consequences for the citizens of the world so dependent on the once bountiful harvests brought from the ocean depths.
A German environmental Minister Sigmar Gabriel that by the middle of the century the world’s oceans will become barren of the lifeblood of billions of inhabitants who receive their nutritional sustenance from the sea.
If some action is not taken worldwide to stem the ever decreasing tide of disappearing fish species the consequences will be catastrophic. The United States just last week for the first time in history has imposed a ban on salmon fishing for the entire Pacific coastline. This coupled with the European Union placing a ban on tuna fishing in the Mediterranean small steps are being taken.
Experts in the field are calling for further actions to be taken such as banning cod fishing in the North Sea.
The Institute of the German Economy viewed as a conservative right wing organization and not an environmentally friendly association at that has taken to issuing urgent warnings. The consequences are in their view dire and their belief is that the fishing industry is nearing the brink of being threatened with Extinction.
As our society has grown so has the appetite to feed the masses across the globe and technology in the fishing industry has become more efficient at harvesting the coveted species needed to feed the ever growing world’s populations with devastating effects.
While certain species have been endangered for about fifty years in certain over-fished regions primarily the Baltic and North Sea areas where even during the 1960 period herring populations were in a steep decline now the reality is beginning to emerge.
Even during these chaotic times various countries are still on the hunt as they compete for the largest quotas issued by the European Union as one region dries up and maybe another is found the competition rages on with little regard to the future of our planet.
Scientists and Environmentalists are doing their part by attempting to implement restrictions and educate the public at large as well as foreign countries and the fishing industry to try to stem the growing tide of dwindling fish species.
Yet the beat goes on as growing wealthy countries buy up the catch of the week to feed the growing mass of human beings inhabiting the planet which is rapidly approaching the 7 billion population mark.
As health experts applaud the nutritional accolades of a diet rich in fish the populace has listened in Germany there has been a twenty percent increase in just ten years.
The technological advances of today have allowed fishing fleets to keep up with the world’s thirst for fish by delving to depths unheard of until now, almost one mile deep into the ocean bottom.
There has also been a consolidation of the fishing fleets and with that consolidation the remaining conglomerates have become more powerful as well as more global. Today only 1% of the world’s fishing fleet is responsible for 50% of the fish caught worldwide endangering the smaller less powerful fishing operations.
Even now the drive to fill these ever larger vessels with the catch of the day are turning violent with rudimentary Molotov cocktails being thrown into the mix.
Pirate fishermen are also plying across the ocean and they answer to no one and are responsible for a full one-third of the annual catch. These Pirate fishermen have no restraints or cares and are not willing to abide by any environmental preservation policies that might be in place to lessen man’s impact on dwindling ocean species of fish.
While some maritime organizations are attempting to regulate the industry there are many more that deliberately enforce no rules whatsoever, the pirates fly no flag other than the thirst for monetary gain with no thought to the consequences.
Political concerns are also in play from historically strong fishing regions of France and Spain where the government is fearful of a political backlash if they implement any type of fishing regulations on the countries maritime industries.
While some in the game have inspection programs in place there are too few inspectors and the world’s oceans are to massive police properly without a worldwide concerted effort which has yet to materialize.
Germany does have programs in place however Greenpeace states that the programs and inspections are inadequate. The environmentally conscious organization believes that the worldwide fishing catches should be reduced by 50%. They are also calling for conservation zones to be created were fishing would be banned allowing species time to regenerate rather than face extinction.
Greenpeace has its presence felt in the Mediterranean where it sails the fishing vessel the Rainbow Warrior II where Bluefin Tuna in now nearing extinction thanks to the appetite for Sushi.
Even organized criminal syndicates are in the act with the Italian and Japanese mafia battling it out on the high seas as they destroy what Tuna are left in the region. There are stories circulating where European Union Fishing Inspectors have arrived in Sicily and upon checking into their rooms they find a Return ticket to be used the same day. World Wildlife Fund WWF activists have found a White Lily on their beds in their hotel rooms as well, the White Lily is considered to be a mafia death threat.
Unregulated fish farms have begun to sprout across the region where young specimens are fattened up for the slaughter and later sale on the market. However mystery surrounds many of these farms as no clear line of ownership can ever be found.
Nevertheless the term Aquaculture or artificial fish farms where species are raised for the seafood industry may be the savior for the rapidly dwindling worldwide fish population. These fish farms have grown 10% annually since the early part of 1990.
There are those that are hopeful that what was done in the field of agriculture can be replicated with the advent of Aquaculture. It has been shown food production quadrupled when advances in agriculture came into play during the 1950’s era.
One can only hope that the fishing industries across the globe along with their governments can come up with a viable relationship that will benefit everyone including the endangered fish species of our planet.
So before you throw away those leftovers or clear your plate by throwing the excess into the garbage can think twice about what you are about to waste.
Up till now you have blessed with being brought into existence and have had the joy of experiencing life as we know it.
Please think of future generations and your children and loved ones as well. Remember that meal that you are about to take part in is because another living entity gave its life so that you could continue to exist.
Please don’t take that sacrifice lightly, cook less food so you don’t have to throw away unwanted surplus food. Maybe on occasion you might think how that chicken, cow or fish whose life was taken so that you could live on and be thankful for their sacrifice.
Human beings consider themselves to be on the top of the food chain however if we eat all of the food whatever shall we do then?