Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thoughts on Sustainable Fisheries

First of all, I would like to mention that I am a full fledged Pescatarian - which is sort of a lazy vegetarian. In nutshell, a pescetarian diet shares many of its components with a vegetarian diet, but it includes fish and shellfish. Consequently, the idea of sustainable fisheries is very important to me.

The first time the issue was brought to my attention was when I stumbled upon the video the End of the Line. It really made me think about how my diet effects the today's world and the future ecosystem. Some "fun" facts for you to make note of:
  • Globally, some 75 per cent of wild marine fish are now said to be either fully-exploited or overfished, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation1
  • In European waters, some 80 per cent of stocks are recorded as overfished, according to the European Commission.2
  • The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012 report notes that the sector is a source of income for 55 million people. 
  • The problem is that in Europe some 50 per cent of the quotas set by politicians are higher than scientists say are sustainable.3
If the fact that we are having such a negative impact on earth doesn't stunt you, then perhaps the negative impact the destruction of the oceans will have on our lives will.

The warning signs are everywhere, as the scientists cry out for the governments to take active action and pay attention to this serious issue. UN is on-board with the scientific community as well :UN report urges improved fisheries management to help ensure food security . The information is out there and the red flags are all over the place - so to speak.  However, the more I speak to people about this, the more hope I loose in humanity. People just do not care. Let's look at some of those excuses:
  • I have other problems to deal with.
  • What can I do? I am just one person. I can't make a difference.
  • We'll cross that bridge when we get there.
  • Let others/scientists worry about this. I'll worry about being good at my job specifically.
  • I don't make enough of a negative impact to try to fix the problems others have created.
  • I don't eat fish. 
One thing all of these people have in common is that they are missing the point! The point is that if you (specifically) don't take the responsibility for your actions, the oceans will become barren desserts - the effect of which no human will be able to escape. 55 million people will be out of jobs,  can one really genuinely believe that this will not effect everyone else? Talk about mass unemployment... . All of these 55 million people will be after new jobs, the jobs like the one you have now! That's only the economic factor.

What about the environmental effects? Have you ever heard of the food chain? I don't even need the scientific facts to know that once the oceans are empty, the ripple effect through the food chain will be catastrophic. Perhaps  you don't care because you'll be dead by then. Don't count on it. "Leading scientists such as Daniel Pauly suggest that if we continue to catch and eat fish at the current rate, the oceans and seas will be empty within 40 years" -Sea the Truth So in 2048, the oceans will be empty if we keep going at current rate. Thus it is very likely it'll happen in your lifetime. If not, it will definitely happen within the lifetime of your children. Don't we care about the legacy we are leaving to our children.. it'll be a harsh world to bring your kids into.

So what can YOU do, as a one single individual? Well, nations are made up of single individuals... . If everyone starts taking the responsibility for their actions and take action to prevent a catastrophe then CHANGE WILL HAPPEN. Here's how you can do your part:

If you like to eat seafood: 
  • Find & buy sustainable seafood : http://www.seachoice.org/search/ .
    • Very useful search engine! Takes only one second to check if the seafood you're serving for dinner is sustainable. Don't be lazy. You use it and do your part. 

If you like to fish then :

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