A Cause for Hope

Dec 24, 2002
Fish Wars

Episode 1: Rise of the Coalition

Here's a hopeful article from the BBC News about cutailing illegal fishing in the face of plummeting oceanic fish stocks. Click here for the article. Heck, its a start.

Like Steve-O says "Ban bottom trawling!"

Just one wee obstacle to overcome yet, and that's for governments to differentiate growth from development, and economic from environmental sustainability.

Hit them where it hurts, and show them how much revenue is lost through illegal fishing. However, not everything, particularly development, is measured in terms of GDP. One can grow without developing, and develop without growth.

The only way to develop is to outlaw these weapons of mass destruction, bottom trawls, in areas that have not been already trawled (it is too late in areas that have been trawled). That would be true progress, and progress to me means to develop; growth is just exploitation in a supposed sustainably economic manner, but there's no economic sustainability/stability to be had if the so-called legal fishers continue to use the same-old barbaric techniques that threaten to destroy the habitat of the very thing that they are exploiting. Everything is interconnected ... the system is crashing.

As an aside, but an interesting parallel, I find it hilarious that governments today are concerned about invasive species, and spend millions on it to supposedly protect or be prepared to protect their indigenous biodiversity. Yet people today are driven towards homogenisation - one global trade, global economy, currency, religion and language. What then is so wrong with a global fauna and flora? It's hypocrisy. Only when it hits governments and business in the pocket, threatens their valuable trade, forests and aquaculture, are people in the least concerned about the environment, and concede that it is fragile, interconnected, and that even the smallest of perturbations, the introduction of a single 'invasive species', could really upset the balance. I must ask, WHY then don't they give a rats arse when we stuff up huge systems in the deep sea? That's equally, if not more so interconnected!

Invasive species, Homo sapiens!

Bottom trawling will be one day illegal. Ban Homo sapiens!!
That, is a most interesting point...invasive species, hmmm. You are on to something with that post.

Most governments, at all levels from local on up, think of progress only in terms of the money that any given proposed project will bring in. Sustainability is a term very few politicos really understand. Even if they are confronted with the fact that a specific action will in the long run bring harm to the environment and the people who live in it, they will almost always opt for the short term profit, particulary if it will help their re-election chances. They will push the no net loss concept of wetlands protection and allow coastal wetlands to be filled in so resorts, golf courses and million dollar homes can be built. They then build artificial wetlands in places inland where there will be no protection against coastal erosion, They bring in sand to replace vegetation that gives habitat to many species of wildlife, they allow riparian buffers to be removed so visitors or inhabitants can have an unobstructed view. They encourage shops that rent out speed boats and jetskis so more clueless tourists will spend more money and get their kicks, regardless of the harm they are doing to fragile shorelines, and they pave and they pave, and they pave, allowing more runoff of pollutants and destroying any flood protection the undisturbed land could have provided. And even if we aren't talking tourism we're looking at out of control sprawl, mini-mansions with their acres of herbicided, pesticided manicured lawns pouring pollutants into the watershed, requiring the infrastructure of more pavement, and septic systems that are usually not properly maintained by those homeowners who have come from cities or close in suburbs and don't know what they are doing. Then they drive into the city to work, spewing emissions from their hummers and suburbans which also end up in the water. And the politicos love it, because there are more voters to vote them back into office, and more wealthy residents to fill their political coffers. Rant, rant, rant!!!!!
Sorry, about that. It has very little to do with the original post. I was, in my own way, agreeing that we are the problem. There are too many of us, but in America at least, it is the consumer society, the idea that bigger is better and encourages us to acquire more, more, more, no matter the cost to anything or anybody else, that is driving a lot of these problems. If we would all try to live more sustainably and on a smaller scale, it would help. It wouldn't solve the problems, but it would help.
Parabola said:
Globalization won't work unless we think globally. Period.

Correct. America is going through the same problems as China right now...becoming part of a global economy. The paranoids out there scream about government takeovers, and the loss of personal freedoms, but the truth is that yes, we are going to have to give up some things we have always taken for granted, and deal with it. I believe in America, and that we, as a silly,friendly,somewhat juvenile culture will do so. More and more of us here in the states are learning to adapt to ways that are different, and modifying our needs and behaviours appropriately...I am quite confident that it will all work out for the best.
I stopped eating fish quite a while ago, and hung up my rods and reels and lures and flies...the wild animals need to be protected from our run-amok corporations at all costs...and I never really liked the taste that much anyway.

Just an evil suggestion:

Since governments are always complaining that they don't have the resources/money to enforce the law against piracy (in this case pirate fishermen), why not issue Letters of Marque to enterprising private individuals giving them legal authority - right down to maritime rights of salvage - to get the job done. Their plundered cargo ought to be confiscated, you don't want the privateers ultimately feeding the same market demand as the pirates they're supposedly taking-out, but how much might a captured pirate trawler itself fetch on the market? Even if stripped-down and sold for parts?

Human-rights organizations always have a major objection to these kind of solutions - look at Amnesty International's huge problems with direct-action anti-poaching approaches in Africa.
erich orser said:
Just an evil suggestion:

Since governments are always complaining that they don't have the resources/money to enforce the law against piracy (in this case pirate fishermen), why not issue Letters of Marque to enterprising private individuals giving them legal authority - right down to maritime rights of salvage - to get the job done.

Arrrrrrrr! A privateer's life for me!

:arr: :cuttle: :sink:

And here Righty was wondering why I'd want to breed s. apama to monstrous size! HA! It's all so obvious, now!

Well, piracy is a large movement, and growing larger in the Phillipines...perhaps we could tell them all that there are a LOT of reefs that need to be trawled there???
Fishermen, when cooked properly (we could as WK to use his bbq), taste somewhat like wild boar, so they say.

A feast at Tonmocon 2 ? :wink:

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