Friday, March 04, 2016

Fish on Friday

People wonder why I don't eat fish. This is why.

Modern fisheries are decimating every single fishery in the world except (allegedly) the North Pacific pollack fishery.  These are redfish being scooped up in Icelandic waters in the North Atlantic.

 Modern purse seines, long lines, and drift nets have nothing to do with "history" or an ancient tradition. These are miles of monofilament net, put down with the help of fish sensors, GPS, and underwater mapping software. The entire rig is coupled with floating flash-freezing factory ships.

And the result?  

It's the last buffalo hunt, where wild game is being depleted with frightening speed, entire biomes are cascading to crash, and no one is even paying much attention.

Over at the IUCN Redlist they detail the fish seen being harvested here:

Sebastes mentella is widely distributed in the North Atlantic Ocean and the adjacent Arctic Ocean. It has has a slow growth rate, age of first maturity of around 11 years, and a longevity of at least 75 years of age. Generation length is estimated to be 20–22 years; however spawning stock biomass (SSB) trend data for all four stocks present in the assessment region are only available for the last 12–25 years. In three of the four stocks, population declines ranging from 30–95%; only the Norwegian stock has been increasing. After weighting the population trend of each stock by the recent maximum SSB estimate for that stock, there has been an estimated 70% decline of S. mentella in the assessment zone over the past 12–25 years. There is no current indication that all of these stocks are being fished sustainably.


JoeMama said...

Additionally, switching to "farm raised" fish does little to relieve the pressure on the wild. The primary component in most commercially prepared fish food is....protein from wild-caught fish.

So now even the roughest and boniest of fish are being depleted as these can be ground up and fed to Atlantic Salmon, catfish(and other species) being raised in close confinement.

If there is an upside, it is that fish have tremendous reproductive potential. WWII showed that fish stocks are very resilient and will recover quickly...once we remove the pressure. Sadly, this is unlikely to happen as most countries subsidize subsidize their fishing fleets.

Yup, that is right. These ships (and their nations-of-origin) are losing money fishing and they won't stop.

Rick said...

I think the catfish and other species one may find in a closed loop aquaponic garden might be sustainable.

PBurns said...

As noted, even farmed fish is fed a lot of fish stock down the line. This may be sustainable, but there are other concerns even with fish that will live on corn, soy, and offal (catfishm tilpia, carp. The main issue is that to be economically viable they have to be crowded into ponds with massive aerator systems and antibiotics. What is created is a perfect stew-pit for drug resistant strains of almost everything, and when birds land on those ponds, that stuff shoots around the world. It't not at accident that most of the human flu, which is related to bird flue, comes out of Asia where fish farms are common. Posts on this here >> and here >>, and here >> A bit I wrote, back in 2003, is up over at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Still about true, though numbers have obviously shifted. >>