Thursday, November 09, 2006

Piracy on the High Seas

Capitalism rules the high seas, eye matey tis true....

Study: World's Fish Population to Collapse in 50 Years; 'The Last Century of Wild Seafood'

Because of this....

Overfishing, technology making fish species increasingly rare in Mediterranean

Many small fishing companies are waging a desperate battle against large, sometimes multinational ones, which see the sea only as a source of money.

The number of fishermen has halved to about 50 000 since 1990 in Spain, which has the largest fishing fleet in the European Union (EU).

At the same time, improved technology has increased the size of catches, leading to an unscrupulous pillage of the sea's resources.

Many Spanish and French fishing companies have used EU subsidies to overhaul their fleets, installing sonar systems and new engines.

Fishing boats may have engines four times as powerful as the law allows them to have in the Mediterranean, according to El Pais.

They also use banned gear such as drift nets, which haul up vast quantities of unwanted fish and other marine life, and target juvenile fish despite size restrictions.

Large companies even use radar and spotter planes to track down schools of bluefin tuna, the consumption of which has been fuelled by the growth of the global sushi market.

Tuna are fattened in special ranches around the Mediterranean for the Japanese market, and taken away by Asian ships which pick up the cargo off shore without informing the authorities, according to media reports.

About 50 000 tons of bluefin tuna are captured annually in the Mediterranean and Atlantic, more than three times as much as what experts consider a sustainable amount.

And in Canada the Government continues to be in a state of denial of the fact that overfishing is the result of the industrialization of the sea; floating processing plants with dragnets.

Suddenly the Newfie Joke that is our Fisheries Minister realizes that climate change is affecting the oceans. That of course is the cause. Just like seals were the cause of the cod depletion. Not overfishing or new dragger fleets. Oh no. Its climate change. Something that concerns the Tories. Not.

Of course the fishing stalks will be depleted just about the same time the Tories hot air act comes into effect in 2050.

Fisheries Minister accepts link between climate, declining stocks

Federal Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn reluctantly acknowledged yesterday that climate change could be hastening the depletion of fish off the coast of Newfoundland.

Mr. Hearn said his department was taking seriously a study published yesterday in the journal Science that predicts a collapse of the global seafood industry by midcentury if current fishing trends continue unabated.

But the minister also defended his decision not to sanction a United Nations moratorium on bottom trawling, a fishing technique akin to clear-cutting trees on land and sharply criticized by scientists and nature conservationists.

"It's not just a matter of overfishing or the use of certain technologies," Mr. Hearn told reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons.

And let us not forget that Hearn says Canada's allies on this issue are Spain, Norway, Iceland, and the other illegal mass fishing violators of the high seas. We are in fine company. Historically of course the Maritimes and its politics has been a port for privateers, pirates and the European fishing fleet.




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