Thursday, October 21, 2010

CancunCocoon#12 - Overfishing: Who Cares!

It awakens my concern to realize the way in which our fishing industry deals with our common marine resources. A tragedy of the commons indeed. At the pace we are extracting fisheries, many species will be decimated to endangered levels or even to extinction.

It could very well be that some are not aware of that. It could also be that some are aware but don't care, and even others that are aware and do care. The way market forces operate, tendencies indicate that the first two groups of people have a leading voice in hyper-consumption.

Some hard facts:

-More than a third of the animals extracted from the oceans are dumped back -dead- because they have no market value, because they were caught unintended, or don't meet market standards (species, size, volume, etc.)

-According to Conservation International, in the last 50 years volume of fish caught has grown four times, from some 20 million tons per year to almost 90 million tons per year. In the same period of time, volume of available fisheries has decreased 50%.

-Ninety percent of large species of fish (sharks, cod, tuna) have disappeared.

-For every pound of wild-caught schrimp, ten pounds of other edible seafood is discarded as waste.

-some 1000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die EACH DAY in trawl nets. []

-According to "Science," at prevailing trends of overfishing, we will run out of wild seafood in 2048. []

Now, who cares? If you didn't know, how can I expect you to care? If you knew and did not care, what would make you react? Knowing you won't be able to afford some seafood in a few years, or it simply won't be available anymore? Who cares!

I do not eat seafood. In fact, I do not eat animals. The environmental cost of our unsustainable agribusiness of meat, poultry and seafood motivated me to suspend -if only temporarily- to stop consuming meat of any kind. I have never felt this healthy before and I only felt cravings during the first 11 days, and three or four times per year only. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to undertake with pleasure.

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