View Full Version : Deep Sea Fish Stocks 'In Crisis'

Saturday, July 3rd, 2004, 05:39 PM
Deep Sea Fish Stocks 'In Crisis'

BBC News

Over-fishing in the north Atlantic is seriously damaging fish stocks, which are being "mined" at over twice the recommended rate, say conservationists.

Fishing vessels currently catch stocks of blue whiting to feed farmed salmon.

The North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, which fixed the last quota for blue whiting at 650,000 tonnes, says fishermen caught 2.3m t in 2003.

Stocks of the fish will cease to be sustainable if current practices continue, says conservation body WWF.

Blue whiting, a deep sea relative of cod, tend to be caught in international waters, from north Africa to the Barents Sea.

Urgent need

The majority of fish caught are used as fishmeal, with a small number being caught for human consumption.

A precautionary fishing quota of 650,000 tonnes was set in 1994, but the system broke down in 2000.

Since then a diplomatic dispute between the EU, Norway and Iceland has prevented a new limit being set.

In the absence of a regulatory system, the number of blue whiting caught in a year swelled to over two million in 2003, according to figures from the commission.

Experts say current practices will cause the stock to become unsustainable as there will soon be too few fish left for fisherman to catch.

Kjartan Hoydal, secretary of the East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, told BBC News Online: "A quota needs to be agreed so that the current system comes to an end.

"Stocks are being reduced at such a rate that it will soon cease to be commercially viable to try to catch the fish."

Slow growth

And WWF - formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund - is calling for the sale of blue whiting as fishmeal to stop.

Louise Heaps, of WWF, said: "At the moment stocks are being 'mined' in a way that is tantamount to a free-for-all and it is having a significant impact.

"We feel very strongly that blue whiting should not be used as fish food at all until it is properly managed."

The countries involved in the diplomatic row will meet in Brussels in July in a bid to establish a quota. Current practices have also been condemned by Greenpeace.

A spokesman for the conservation group said: "Destructive and unsustainable fishing represents the greatest threat to our ocean ecosystems.

"Deep sea ecosystems are particularly vulnerable because they are often made up of slow-growing species which cannot withstand commercial fishing pressure."



Saturday, July 3rd, 2004, 07:49 PM
The modern world is an absolute disaster for the environment. Imposed limits on fishing harvest do nothing, because there is no method for checking boat by boat. The fishermen are ignorant and just looking to make some extra money, unaware of the ecological tragedy. The Patagonian toothfish (better known as Chilean sea bass) is being harvested at over 4 times the legal rate. Most of what you receive here in the US is illegal, though no one knows and people wouldn't care anyway. New England, the British Isles and Scandinavia have already damaged cod and haddock stocks to the point of disaster. Most Atlantic salmon here is farm-raised, because the wild stocks are too depleted and unreliable. Something needs to be done, and soon.

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005, 02:17 AM
Original: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050919/wl_canada_nm/canada_environment_canada_fish_col

Depleted Canada cod stocks face devastation -- WWF

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Severely depleted cod stocks in the Grand Banks off Canada's east coast face being totally wiped out by illegal fishing, the World Wildlife Federation said on Monday.

The conservation group said mainly foreign-registered boats were disguising their catch of cod as bycatch -- a term used to describe the accidental capture of fish that are banned from commercial exploitation.

The WWF report reflects the dire state of the once-rich cod fishery off the Atlantic province of Newfoundland, which was shut down almost 15 years ago to let it recover.

"Illegal fishing disguised as accidental catch of fish banned from commercial use is threatening to wipe out remaining cod stocks in the Grand Banks off Canada's east coast," the organization said in a news release.

"In 2003 alone, 5,400 tonnes of cod were caught as bycatch in the southern Grand Banks -- about 90 percent of the total population in that area and a 30-fold increase in bycatch since the fishery was closed," it said. Portuguese, Spanish and Russian vessels took the majority of the cod, it added.

According to the WWF, fishing boats are allowed to keep -- and sell at a profit -- a small percentage of prohibited fish caught accidentally. It said this had level to massive abuse of the system.

"The current level of cod bycatch clearly means that this species has little chance of recovery in the Grand Banks," said Robert Rangeley of WWF-Canada.

The Grand Banks are managed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), an international grouping of fishing nations that has its headquarters in Canada.

The WWF accused NAFO of doing a bad job and called on the Canadian government and other NAFO nations to cut the bycatch of cod on the southern Grand Banks by 80 percent.

The Canadian Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans said Ottawa was paying attention to the bycatch issue and supported the general tone of the report.

"(We) are actively working on certain initiatives to work on bycatch," said spokeswoman Sophie Galarneau, adding that Canadian vessels were required to come up with plans for cutting bycatch levels.

"We have observers on (Canadian) vessels to monitor this and we have the power to close down fisheries when bycatch is at the level that has been set," she said.

When pressed as to what Canada could be doing to cut illegal fishing by foreign vessels, Galarneau said the issue was being discussed at a NAFO meeting this week in Estonia.

Last year Canada said it would spend an extra C$15 million to boost patrols off the Grand Banks and would board more foreign vessels.

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005, 02:17 AM
Foreign fishing crews are responsible for this, but I can't blame anyone for the situation except Canada. The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the weak-kneed government's from the latter half of the 20th century.

Allowing liberals and corporate whores to run your country destroys both the people and the land itself. Take heed. Even if you don't like conservatives, at least they usually won't sell your nation, and everything in it, down the river for a few bucks and an unnatural social agenda.

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005, 03:06 AM
Even if you don't like conservatives, at least they usually won't sell your nation, and everything in it, down the river for a few bucks and an unnatural social agenda.
If only. Better look South and see what the "conservative" bush the lesser is doing:speechles

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005, 03:07 AM
they're neo-cons ;)

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005, 03:14 AM
they're neo-cons ;)
No, they are neo-cohens:)

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005, 03:19 AM
:laugh: True. Thus, certainly not real conservatives.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Tuesday, September 20th, 2005, 06:40 AM
I saw a documentary on TV not long ago saying the cod were making a comeback and everything was going well. What happened? Cod are not anchovies, they are very important fish for humans. Besides, without cod, there is no such thing as Fish and Chips.