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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Monbiot on Omega Oils and Fishing

Okay, I'm a leftie activist and occasionally read Monbiot now and then. Here's an excert from a recent article of his entitled Not Enough Fish in the Sea, which, of course, begs the question of "For what?" For our greedy consumption and another 30 years of commercial fishing or a planet sustainable for both the oceans and the apex predator? Anyway, the excert...

Three years after Ransom Myers and Boris Worm published their seminal study in Nature, showing that global stocks of predatory fish have declined by 90%(19), nothing has changed. The fish stall in my local market still sells steaks from the ocean’s charismatic megafauna: swordfish, sharks and tuna, despite the fact that their conservation status is now, in many cases, similar to that of the Siberian tiger. Even the Guardian’s Weekend magazine publishes recipes for endangered species. Yesterday, the European Fisheries Council reversed the only sensible policy it has ever introduced. Having dropped them in 2002, it has decided to reinstate subsidies for new boat engines(20). Once again we will be paying billions to support over-fishing. Franco rose to power with the help of the whalers and industrial fishermen of his native Galicia. Somehow the old fascists in Vigo – the centre of the European industry’s power – still seem to exercise an extraordinary degree of control.

If fish stocks were allowed to recover and fishing policies reflected scientific advice, there might just about be enough to go round. To introduce mass medication with fish oil under current circumstances could be a recipe for the complete collapse of global stocks. Yet somehow we have to prevent many thousands of lives from being ruined by what appears to be a growing problem of malnutrition.

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