25 November, 2008

To be saved: the Fish or the Fishermen?

There is no doubt, that the World's waters are being over fished; be it in rivers or lakes or oceans. In many parts of the world, there is already very little fish to catch. But the ICCAT, which states that 'Science underpins the management decisions made by ICCAT', has brushed aside recommendations by its own scientists to opt for catching more fish. From the WWF:
  • The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, for the past week, brushed aside its own review’s description of its management of the bluefin fishery as “an international disgrace” to endorse a total allowable catch (TAC) of 22,000 tonnes for next year.
  • ICCAT’s own scientists had recommended a TAC ranging 8,500 to 15,000 tonnes per year, warning there were real risks of the fishery collapsing otherwise. The scientists also urged a seasonal closure during the fragile spawning months of May and June, while today’s outcome allows industrial fishing in practice up to 20 June.
I wonder: without enough tuna in the seas, what will the fishermen catch? It's such short sighted decisions, that is now driving California's trout and salmon to extinction. And with dynamite being used to fish along the shores of East Africa and overfishing rapidly depleting fish stock in most of East Africa's lakes, especially now with the Nile Perch stock dwindling in Lake Victoria - there won't be many fish to catch. Unless sustainable measures and policies are put into action - it won't be long too, before most fishermen in most parts of the World are put out of business.

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