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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Fisheries in 2030

The FAO Sofia Report, which examines current fish stocks and fishing practices and makes projections up to 2030, has this to say about the future:

The simulations provide an image of gradual and uniform evolution of the sector. Unfortunately, this is not likely to be an accurate reflection of the future for world fisheries and aquaculture. Despite the tendency of globalization to lead to uniformity, the future fisheries world could be expected to remain diversified in terms of performance, within the range outlined below.

1. Areas of significant progress in countries with sufficient economic and institutional capacity (policy-reformed countries). Fishing capacity will be reduced significantly, stocks will rebuild (although not always as planned) and environmental impacts will be reduced. Catches will decline in weight but increase in value. A number of fishers will be redirected to other forms of livelihood.

2. Areas of stagnation or "“controlled"” degradation, where economic means and political will follow the Â"too little, too late"” principle. Rebuilding will be uncertain and chaotic, and strongly dependent on natural oscillations. Overcapacity will remain rampant. Catches will stagnate or drop progressively (with some possible collapses) and the catch quality and value will continue to decrease. Fishers' livelihoods will hover around non-sustainability, with acute crises and temporary periods of remission.

3. Areas of governance collapse, where for reasons largely external to fisheries (e.g. droughts, wars) pressure on resources will escalate, pushing more fisheries towards rapid decline and, possibly, collapse. Catches will definitively decline in quality and value. Fishing communities will face repeated crises and the disappearance of their livelihoods.

Personally speaking, I think 2 is about right. Barring, of course, global climatic change, which just may get fish stocks as fucked as 14 year-old girls in Iraq.

And, if I may take this unpleasant analogy one horrible step further, the Americans are the number one source of the greenhouse gases--to produce such requires oil, which, in the minds of madmen, requires control of Iraqi oilfields, which requires occupation, which always leads to civilians getting murdered and raped--that are altering the climate with really negative consequences for not only humans but also fish, who haven't raped anybody but are being punished in the most biblical of manners.



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