Monday, 22 September 2014

Sustainable Fishing and Marine Conservation Reserves ...


Now we are still a United Kingdom, thankfully!, I can happily say that that conglomerate of countries is surrounded by some of the most productive seas on the planet.

 
Brixham Trawler, by William
Adolphus Knell (1801 - 1875)
Little wonder that seafood has been part of these islanders’ diet since prehistoric times ... there are some very large shell middens around our shores, showing how important the sea was to the hunter-gatherers of the day.

Shell Midden


Commercial fishing dates back a thousand years, when small day boats worked close to the coast … employing methods used since time immemorial … nets, spears, hook-and-line, and traps.



As the population grew and settled further away from the shores … the fishermen in the latter Middle Ages (9thC – 15thC AD) began to experiment with mobile fishing gear, rowing trawl nets and dredges behind sailing boats.


For centuries these methods served their purpose … there were plenty of fish, which could easily meet demand. 

Railway line along the Devon coast

The Industrial Revolution changed all that … the population grew, railways forged their way across our lands and continents … demand for food and then profits surged …


With recent developments we (humans) can fish til we drip – 24 hours a day, further afield, reaching deeper and deploying bigger, more robust fishing gear, searching by ‘sat nav’ … almost pulling the plug on the oceans …


Those shoals of fish in earlier times were attended by armadas of dolphins, porpoises, whales, tuna, sharks and seabirds guiding the fishermen to their quarry …


The armada of seabirds ... 
The trawls and dredges have transformed much of the UK seabed from areas crusted with sponges, seaweed, sea-fans, anemones, corals and sea-nettles, to open expanses of sand, gravel and mud.



Grilled Dab with lemon butter
sauce on fresh wilted baby spinach
Plaice, dabs and flounder flourish on these open habitats, while previous occupants which need complex habitats with plenty of shelter, like cod, halibut and conger eels have been ousted.


The transformation of the ocean that is underway, from rich and complex to simple and denuded, is a global phenomenon.  Economic catastrophe could so easily occur through this oversimplification … leaving our oceans less able to function effectively in the face of climate change and escalating human pressures.


Lightly cooked Halibut steak
We have lost many of our large, slow maturing species of fish … like skate and halibut … caught before they were fully mature … while dabs, gurnards and whiting are abundant, live fast and die young.



Marine conservation areas are being preserved … and being networked … so vulnerable fish can find refuge, habitats can recover and breeding fish can thrive undisturbed.


Lundy Island - Britain's first Marine Conservation Area
Some frightening facts:

  • 70% of the earth’s surface is ocean
  • 80% of all life on earth lives in the ocean
  • 2.8% of the ocean is currently protected

  • 75% of the Mediterranean is overfished
  • 39% of the north east Atlantic is overfished


Charles Clover, the son of a farmer and founding member of the Soil Association, has always been interested in pesticides, the destruction of greenbelt spaces … but then fish stocks took over …


Global Trawler
… he had accidentally walked into a lecture in Dutch! on beam trawling in the North Sea … to find that the lecturer Han Lindeboom described beam trawling as the equivalent to ploughing a field seven times a year … as a farmer’s son he knew that would be catastrophic to anything that wanted to grow and live there.


As an environmental journalist and a fisherman, he wrote a book … describing that overfishing was contributing to one of the greatest crises of our time … eventually Ebury press took a chance and agreed to publish it (7 years later).

The film from the book
The End of the Line was published in 2004 – it became a huge success, turned into a film in 2009 … advocating that fishermen should catch the right numbers and catch them intelligently … it’s just not saving the fish, but saving the livelihoods of fishermen.  No fish mean no jobs.


People now care if their seafood is sustainably sourced … we are starting to make more informed decisions, while brands have made sustainability a key part in their brand marketing.

 
In the 1880s:
Charles Napier Hemy -
the Fisherman (1888)

Fishermen across the UK have turned a corner in the last ten years by becoming engaged in trying to conserve fish …


Charles Clover says he’s learnt that one of the best ways to achieve goals is for conservationists and fishermen to work together.


The Foundation's Review (see below)
He has helped establish the Blue Marine Foundation in 2010 – a charity – whose vision is to have “A world in which marine resources are valued, carefully managed and used sustainably.



As the website states:  Overfishing costs 50$ billion a year in lost income worldwide ….


Networking is what it’s all about … KENZO, the Paris fashion house, approached the Foundation to partner with Blue … and dedicated its Spring/Summer 2014 collection “BLUE” …




As the models strutted down the catwalk this autumn dressed in sweatshirts emblazoned mysteriously “NO FISH, NO NOTHING” … the tweeters were saying Blue's ruling the catwalk ... 



The creative directors had grown up around the Ocean so were passionate about Marine Conservation and particularly the Foundation’s active do approach.


Their 2013 pdf Review gives you more information – about where they’re working around the globe and with more specifics …


Ocean trawling - denuding the seas
The transformation of the ocean that is underway, from rich and complex to simple and denuded, is a global phenomenon.  


Economic catastrophe could so easily occur through this oversimplification … leaving our oceans less able to function effectively in the face of climate change and escalating human pressures.


Sustainability for all flora and fauna – each species contributes something to its surrounds, or other species … we all depend on nature in some way – and if we mess, as we are doing, with our seas as well as our earth – we are in for a dire time.


This is why it is so vital that we rebuild life in the sea and establish some areas off limits to all fishing.


The Ocean touches nearly every aspect of our
lives - making it essential to the economic, social
and economic well-being of  everyone, everywhere
c/o Ocean Publications
We need to understand the vital need to balance conservation with human development – an essential to our survival.


Blue Marine Foundation website – and see their 2013 Review …


Charles Clover’s “The End of the Line” book (check out the blurb) and film …




Their future
Enjoy life ... but think – where did it come from … am I wasting resources … can I source nearer to home … the butterfly effect applies here … each tiny flutter and change will help our grandchildren and their future … 



 Some new information that's come to light from Bish Denham's blog " Random Thoughts" on plastic in the ocean - here's the link .. and the TED talk by Boyan Slat, a Dutch youngster, is amazing - he's pursued his dream through sheer determination, giving up his studies and his social life, crowd sourced ... and is engineering to clean the oceans of plastic ... very well worth watching the 17 minute video. 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

65 comments:

Mason Canyon said...

I never realized so little of the ocean is protected. Sad that we destroy that which gives us life. Hilary, I always find your post entertaining, informative and a delight to read. We should do more for our environment. I like your butterfly effect reference. Hope you have a grand week.

Gattina said...

It's a pity that sea world has changed so much and fish species are dying out. And being a fisherman today is a real hard job.

Karen Walker said...

This is so sad and scary. Charles Clover sounds like one of the heroes of our time.

Bish Denham said...

And it's not just about over fishing... It's also about the plastic in the oceans which doesn't biodegrade and is being eaten, and can't be digested and thus is killing ocean life.

We HAVE to do something about plastic!

Paula Kaye said...

Ver interesting. My g-kids are both in debate and their topic this year is all about whether the US Government should use the military to explore and develop the ocean. So needless to say I have been hearing a lot about the ocean so far this fall.

NASHVILLECATS said...

It is sad that so little of the ocean is protected, having lived in Weymouth and now Bournemouth like you know important it is for our fishermen to earn a living and be safe when out to sea.

Have a great day.

cleemckenzie said...

I remember when we ate fish because it was the cheaper source of nutrition. Today, I'm paying $25+ a pound for a good fresh fish at the market.

We're so slow to "get the picture." Our resources are vast, not unlimited.

Great post as always, Hilary.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That little is protected? Where, the Arctic Circle?
And very happy Scotland is remaining with the United Kingdom. I think it was a wise decision.

Clarissa Draper said...

My son was telling me that most of the food in the world is wasted. SO not only are we over-fishing, most of what is fished is thrown away. I'm glad people are doing awareness movies and such.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mason - I hadn't realised either, but I did know that the seas as struggling .. as well as the environment .. and thanks re the butterfly effect ...

@ Gattina - the Oceans are in a poor state .. as per Bish's comment ...

@ Karen - I'm not sure I've heard of Charles Clover before I heard about his book and film .. he should be a hero of our time, shouldn't he ..

@ Bish - yes I should have added about the plastic pellets - in fact I've been wanting to post about the way pellets are created, and how much damage they do ...

I agree we HAVE to do something ..

@ Paula - it's interesting your grandchildren are discussing whether the US military should explore the Ocean - not sure about that. Sounds like you've heard some facts from the kids ... it's good they're engaged ...

@ Nashville Cats - good to see you here ..

@ Lee - yes, I think we fell into that category .. and I always loved fish. I go down to our 'hard' and get fish from the shore - one advantage of living by the sea ..

Sadly - we are slow to "get the picture" as you say .. and resources are there, but need to be carefully managed ...

@ Alex - I guess the few countries/continents that have set up marine reserves ...

Thank goodness re Scotland .. still it's interesting times politically ..

@ Clarissa - your son too .. discussing fishing .. and he's right we, here in the European Union, have had to throw fish overboard when it doesn't match the quota system ... crazy?! However we all buy too much - and throw food away ... or it doesn't match what's required ...

We are trying to address that issue here in the UK .. and certainly I don't throw food away ... I use everything somehow ..


Thanks everyone - I know my post didn't cover all aspects .. there's so much we can do to raise awareness ..

Cheers Hilary

Jo said...

Monterey Bay Aquarium is also working very hard in this field. It is certainly a vital subject. One of the things that worries me is the garbage islands created in the middle of the oceans. Countries need to get together to deal with it. The sea creatures are being choked on our plastic refuse too.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sadly, we're to the point that ocean-caught fish is not very healthy due to pollution. Farm-raised is much safer and it doesn't affect the ocean's population.

Teresa Powell Coltrin said...

We waste so much and don't appreciate what is given to us each day by nature. The oceans seem big but in realty we can bleed them of life. Great post!

Betsy Brock said...

Very interesting post. I do love seafood...and we had grilled tuna tonight! I didn't realize so much of the ocean is unprotected.

Munir said...

Love this post. If I keep reading your posts and keep watching Neil Degrasse Tyson's "Cosmos" I am a happy camper.
Cheers!

Robyn Campbell said...

WOW, Hil. I had no idea so much of the earths oceans are that unprotected. I feel ashamed that I didn't. I am from the Keys and should better understand all of this. Awareness, awareness, awareness!! Thank you for helping e to be aware.

Inger said...

Yet another well-researched post about a subject we should all care about. I grew up on the Baltic Sea and fish was a major part of our diet. In the summers we boated from island to island in the archipelago, fished for our dinner, usually the Baltic herring, and then fried it over an open fire. It gives you a certain appreciation for the sea and the oceans, growing up like that. And it is sad that so little is being done to protect them. Just think of that huge mountain of trash out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Anyhow, thanks for this, I enjoyed it or it shook me up or both.

dolorah said...

",,one of the best ways to achieve goals is for conservationists and fishermen to work together."

This quote can serve for any environmental aspect. I don't believe humans are a pariah upon the earth, but enlightenment can keep us from arbitrarily destroying it also.

Good post Hilary. Thanks for sharing your research.

bazza said...

Hi Hilary. I just got back from Alcudia,northern Mallorca where some restaurants were offering certain fish at 60 Euros per kilo! I would have thought that price was enough to preserve the stocks!
I am a fish lover and we eat it at least four times a week - perhaps we should be more enquiring about the source of it!
Listening to Julian Bream playing some of the Villa-Lobos Preludes (which has just ended!).
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Denise Covey said...

Even in Australia we were a little concerned/amazed/surprised that at this crucial time in history, Scotland would think of severing ties with England. I get the love/hate relationship, but I think Mr Salmond was quite wrong. Here's to the UK!! And their lovely fruitful seas.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Hi Hilary,
As an outsider I had no stake, but still very glad UK remains UK. :)

And your insight re oceans/seas is timely and important. I come from the Ganges estuary, where fish/seafood has been a staple for millennia, and breeding seasons were protected through social/religious taboos. With the profit/export/big corpn culture those are eroding too fast for comfort, and our ecosystems are threatened in a way that is beyond scary.

Many kinds of fish/seafood that I have enjoyed as a child are now no longer available to my child, and another one is being overfished to an extent that it will disappear by the time he reaches fatherhood. It's not just eating/sourcing local for us, it's also the population pressure is huge.
Have a great day.
Nila.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jo - I see the Monterey Bay Aquarium is in California and is located on the old sardine factory site .. and I'm sure they'll be focussing on the garbage islands and the plastic pellets sinking to the ocean floor .. a serious worry for our ocean life ...

@ Diane - certainly farm-raised is an alternative .. but again that needs to be managed properly ... but at least it doesn't affect the ocean's population ..

@ Teresa - thanks .. we do waste way too much .. and I like your comment "we can bleed them of life" - frightening but true ...

@ Betsy - good to see you .. I love seafood - and I know I see your delicious meals!! Tuna is scrumptious .. I love it since I first tried it in the 70s, though it's not a fish from our waters ...

I hadn't realised so little was protected - but at least some of it is .. and more is coming on line as marine conservation areas ...

@ Munir - good to see you and I really appreciate your comment. Neil Degrasse Tyson's work is really good - and I must look him up a bit more ..

@ Robyn - well nor did I - so it's always good for me to write about subjects that affect us ... and yes if you were from the Keys - probably awareness needs to be promoted to all residents and visitors - reminding us of the fragility of the oceans ...

@ Inger - I can imagine you must have loved your early life .. just lovely to be boating from island to island and then having fresh, fresh herring - they are so good ...

As a Californian now - you'll appreciate how much we need to protect our seas, and that mountain of garbage that's growing in various places in the oceans - that's frightening ...

@ Donna - how wonderful you're back - and yes I did understand your reasons for this reincarnation ...

So glad you've reconnected!

Also you've highlighted something that we could use for all our 'work' and actions ... ie conservation and 'work': be it fishing, farming, charity ... if we all conserve and work together - life will improve for us all ...

Love your comment .. enlightenment can keep us from destroying the hope around us ...

@ Bazza - wondered where you'd gone! Gosh fish is really expensive isn't it ...I still buy it - it's so good .. but I can get down to the foreshore to purchase it ... and yes you're right we should check where our food comes from before purchase ...

I love Julian Bream - he's an amazing musician - great reminder ...

@ Denise - I expect you were watching very keenly from the sidelines about our Referendum ... it's been an interesting time and the anomalies are now outing themselves.

We shall see what happens ... but I'm glad we're still as one - life would be very different if the Union no longer existed.

Our seas are amazing ... we just need to keep them full of life ...

@ Nila - I honestly don't think anyone who speaks English didn't have a stake in the Referendum .. it would have affected all our ways of life in some way ...

The Ganges estuary must be an extraordinary place and as you say must have been the lifeline of your peoples for millennia ... and interesting that the breeding seasons were protected through social/religious taboos.

But profit culture doesn't consider the protection of the species in the Ganges - I note 140 fish species, 90 amphibian species and the endangered Ganges River Dolphin are all under threat. I hope the Ganga Action Plan, an environmental initiative to clean up the river succeeds and has (some) major support.

I've found that here in the UK too - the species are different, many are smaller, and some are very rare ... and I understand the population pressure is very severe ...

... in the days gone by - people would catch what they needed to eat .. there would be no waste ... and we'd all be healthier, we'd be thinner and more toned ...

Thanks Nila - great comment ..

Thank you so much - some enlightening comments and ideas here - I appreciate your thoughts .. cheers Hilary

paulareadman1 said...

It is kind of like the bees. We are leaving it a little to late before we realise how important all life is to us surviving ourselves. Brilliant posting once again, Hilary.

Patsy said...

I hope we can stop destroying our planet while there's still something to save!

Out on the prairie said...

As a naturalist I see ways to preserve our world and work to keep this dream alive. The prairie I tend was over 85% of the area I live in, now less than 1%.

Adura Ojo said...

Hi Hilary, Love your post. Educative and refreshing. Could it be that big money industries and lobbyists have a lot to do with so little being protected in our seas? To me, the conservationist issue is similar to the issue of drugs companies and the research for cures. Obviously there are a lot of layers in between the two issues but capitalism and its goals always seem to win at the end of the day - to the earth's own peril.

Lynn said...

Since I am of Scottish heritage, several people asked what I thought of Scottish independence before the vote. I truly had no opinion, but am interested to see the reactions of my blog friends in the UK.

Such an interesting post - it's very disturbing to read about the overfishing. Love the "butterfly effect" thought there at the end.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

So sad that the miracle that is the ocean is in such danger. How can we allow something so precious to be so under-protected?

Michelle Wallace said...

Scary. You posted some frightening facts/statistics...
Loved the Networking snippet...networking is so important and an integral part of marketing/promo and getting the word out there...
I also like your closing reference to the butterfly effect!

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Hilary. With so much of the earth being covered by water, it is sad that only 2.8% is currently protected. We must be mindful of how we use the resources that are available to us, so that future generations also have access to them. Thank you for another informative post.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Hilary
I love fish and mostly eat fresh water fish raised on farms. I'm a 1,000 miles from the Pacific and 2,000 from the Atlantic. It also seems to me that other wildlife depend much on the fish we are over harvesting putting them in jeopardy too. Great post.
Nancy

Al Diaz said...

It's so important to take care of the balance of the earth and the seas. Too bad people don't seem to understand the critical importance of this for human race survival.

Trisha F said...

It's terrible how humans have been dealing with the oceans for the past 100+ years. I know that many are fighting hard to rectify matters, but we're not yet doing enough. And I'm so ashamed of Australia's govt for what they are not doing - and even worse, what they're doing to make things so much worse than they already are. Plus, I live in the state where the shark cull has occurred, making things even worse than they were for many endangered species. :(

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Paula - it is kind of like the bees, and so many other things that get overdone by too many people ... we need to have better husbandry for all things.

@ Patsy - exactly .. you've said it right.

@ OOTP - I know your prairie land is just fantastic to see ... and it's wonderful to see you caring

@ Adura - sadly I'm sure a lot of it is big money and lobbyists ... too many looking after themselves, too many middle men and those layers of bureaucracy you mention ...

I think your words "to the earth's own peril" .. is a good descriptive phrase ..

@ Lynn - I'm just glad we stayed together .. it would have been a very serious mistake to separate away ... even if not for them, then for us - and we had no say in the vote.

It is good to know you appreciated the overfishing thoughts .. and that butterfly effect - an make us think ..

@ Keith - the oceans have been getting in a bad way for decades now - I hope the powers that be can get some consensus to protect our seas.

@ Michelle - at least the post highlighted some of the problem. Yes, the more we can do together the more can influence others ... and that butterfly effect does work .. look at us in the blogging fraternity.

@ Susanne - it is good to put some of the stats out there and remind ourselves of what's going on in parts of the earth/oceans we can't see ...

@ Nancy - I love fish too .. but being 1,000 miles from one ocean and 2,000 miles from another is difficult for me to imagine ...

... but you're right so much of life depends on another source ... be it fish or foul ... it's too easy to forget this terribly important fact ..

@ Al - yes that balance is critical isn't it .. and our personal education doesn't match up so often to our need to comprehend the dangers ...

@ Trisha - Australia does seem to be helping big business and letting disastrous things occur around your wonderful shore ...

I read about the shark cull ... and changing the balance of the eco-system is really unfortunate ... other species will suffer ..

Thanks everyone - lovely to see you .. and I like Adura's words ... whatever we do, should be seen in the context of NOT doing things to the earth's own peril .. a sobering thought - Hilary

Deborah Barker said...

I too am glad Scotland remains part of the UK Hilary - my husband is Scottish and the thought of independence brought up all kinds of issues - would he need another passport for instance - would he now be a foreigner? My children are half Scottish - dual passports? Enough, common sense has prevailed for now. Let's hope it also prevails in the rest of the world, on land and in the ocean.

scarlett clay said...

Those are some scary facts, I'm so thankful for the organizations that are working on preserving the seas and the life in them...And the butterfly effect certainly does apply..I'll have it in mind as I take to the grocery store today. We are actually having tilapia parmesan tonight...there are always choices..buy from different countries, which determines the cost, I'll have to pay more attention now! Im guessing right off that buying from our Gulf Coast where regulations are stricter would be the better choice even if the price is higher.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Those statistics are frightening. And without cooperation between all nations of the world, efforts at conservation will be ineffective.

And we all know how well the nations of the world cooperate ...

I'm glad that the UK remains united!

Morgan said...

Whoa… those statistics are crazy… Hilary, I had no idea! This is something I've never read up on before. As always, I love learning from you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Debbie - yes your family would have have had lots of changes made .. thankfully common sense did come to the fore and as you say - that's what we need for the rest of the world ...

@ Scarlett - there are some incredibly dedicated people reminding us to care for our life ... I love the idea of the butterfly effect ...

We do need to pay attention as we buy ... possibly it may cost more, but is probably slightly better for us - enjoy the tilapia parmesan - sounds good!

@ Dianne - the stats can somewhat pull us up short can't they - these did ..

Co-operation is another essential for our way of life - we certainly need a great deal more ...

I'm glad we're still glued together ...

@ Morgan - it was an idea that came through and I thought would be interesting to write about .. I've learnt too ..

Cheers and thanks - the word is spreading ... cheers Hilary

M Pax said...

I'm glad they're finally moving to make protected areas. I'm sure to buy only sustainable seafood. There's a list online somewhere.

Brian Miller said...

kinda some scary statistics...also why i fear off shore drilling and the damage it can cause...too many disasters out there...tool much life on the brink...

Sara said...

As usual, when I read this post, I ended up having to do my own research:~) I had to look up "shell middens" and got quite a good education about them. I guessed what they were from your post, but wanted to know more. It was interesting.

As I live in state known for fishing activities, I hear a lot about the the need for sustainability in our waters, as well as the frustration of commercial fishermen.

You are absolutely right...something has to give. Technology can be both a gift and a weapon if misused.

Today's fishermen have amazing technology for locating fish and the ability to bring in large amounts of this fish. But anyone with a brain should realize unless you give time for a population to recover, you will decimate it. That is what's happening globally.

Thank goodness for the rays of light, like you, focusing on this problem and bringing important attention to it. This was an excellent post, Hilary.

BTW I visited another friend's post today about resiliency. You were the first person who came to my mind as being really resilient. I just thought I'd share that with you.

Enjoy the rest of your week and have a great weekend:~)

Julia Hones said...

Excellent post, Hilary.
I've been thinking of writing a blog post about the pollution of oceans for quiet some time...
In fact you give us some good sources of information here.
Ocean health is about our future. Mankind should not stop ignoring this relevant matter.
Thank you, Hilary!

L.G. Smith said...

Hugely important topic. Thanks for blogging about sustainability and protecting out oceans.

D.G. Hudson said...

So late, but had to comment, Hilary. I belong to an organization intent on preserving resources and species(Greenpeace) and although they stir up a lot of trouble their intent is to save what we have from the big Mega Corps who only see the dollar. This is an excellent post on how industry and people can work together. It is happening worldwide and some of the worst offenders base their diets on fish and the oceans.

Bravo for you highlighting another way the UK is ahead of the other countries! Canada seems to lag behind while they push the business sector. David Suzuki, our best conservationist, is still making appearances, but is getting older. The younger generation needs to start working on the problems of the planet.

loverofwords said...

Scary to see so many fish on the "don't eat" list because of their ingestion of all the chemicals that are dumped in the ocean. Another stellar post, Hilary!

Vagabonde said...

What is happening to the sea, fish and its environment is a tragedy. Over-fishing is the same as over-hunting – the species die. I remember when I was a child there were so many fishermen leaving Normandy and Brittany still to fish at “Terre-Neuve” or Newfoundland for cod. When we went to St Pierre et Miquelon, a piece of French territory in North America in front of Newfoundland, I read about the end of cod fishing. The problem is that even with restrictions on cod fishing, there will never been as much cod because the small fish the cod ate have disappeared. Many fishing villages along the coast of Newfoundland are deserted. I wrote about this in one of my posts on St Pierre et Miquelon in 2009, see http://avagabonde.blogspot.com/2009/08/destination-st-pierre-et-miquelon-part.html . From 1647 until 1750 about 8 million tons of cod were caught but it only took from 1960 to 1975 or 15 years instead of 103 years to catch the same amount. The collapse of the cod industry is the result of greed, pure and simple. I am pleased you are bringing this overfishing problem to the attention of your readers.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mary - that's good that you're aware and buying sustainable fish ..

@ Brian - the other points about drilling and mining the oceans is another very scary factor .. too much life on the brink - could well become true ..

@ Sara - many thanks .. well I'm glad you took the time to do a little research - I do that when I find things I don't know or want to know a little more.

We have a brain don't we - but so often we're polarised black and white -and can't see others' arguments or more importantly reasoning ... somehow we need to work together for the common good - but the demand of nation populations is another worrying story unfolding ..

Thanks so much for the comment re resiliency .. I hope I match up and think perhaps I do ...

@ Julia - I hope you do write your post about pollution in our oceans - as I didn't really cover that here - it was more about our British fish.

Ocean health, as well as earth health are both essential to life on earth ...

@ Luanne - a blog post can jog others' memories re our own coasts and waters ... and thus protection ..

@ DG - I belong to Greenpeace too, so I get information and understand a little more of the imbalance that humans create.

That's what I liked about learning about Charles Clover's work .. getting both parties to take care of their main source - the seas and fish ... helping each other.

We need activists, of the intelligent sort, people who can be inclusive and lead ... as you point out about the younger generation in Canada and in other parts of the world.

@ Nat - yes chemical imbalance in the oceans is another serious problem .. we just need to be aware all the time and try and influence others to eat sustainably.

@ Vagabonde - thank you for highlighting your own post on St Pierre-et-Miquelon .... it was a very informative read ...

I felt like I was reading about Cornish fishing (my home area) - which in a way I was .. and the mention of the Bretons, the Basques etc ..

I thank you for adding to the conversation .. over-fishing needs to be curbed and the fish and sea-floors need to be protected somehow.

Thanks everyone - it's great to have all your comments and thoughts, and extra insights ... it's a wonderful blogging world .. cheers Hilary

Suzanne Furness said...

'Understanding the need to balance conservation with human development,' A very true statement. We all need to try and do our bit to save our vital resources and our planet.

Sai Charan said...

Hi Hilary,

Thank you for writing on this topic, it is very informative. I love sea food but I am against over-fishing and I strongly support marine conservation.

Governments must encourage commercial fish farming in huge tanks or enclosures and start banning fishing in areas where people have already over-fished. Aquaculture methods need to improve leading to reduction in wild capture.

When livestock is able to meet the food(dairy & meat) needs of the world, I am sure aquaculture when practiced more widely can stop abuse of natural water bodies - rivers, seas and oceans.

You have presented this topic very well, it sure makes every reader think twice before buying sea food from now - to check whether the food was responsibly sourced or not.

Cheers,
Charan :)

Diana Wilder said...

Hilary -

Those are, literally, stunning statistics. And I am stunned and pleased to see that there is some momentum building with the push to preserve ocean resources.

...I wonder if the cavalier attitude toward the ocean came from the long-ago notion that it was fathomless. Who can say.

Thank you so much for this post (and for your others)

Diana

Marja said...

Fantastic post I am quite worried about the over fishing and another devastating effect is caused by global warming as because of the rise of sea temperature many coral reefs die, causing extinction of fish. Not many people seem to be aware but there are so many negative effects that I feel sorry for the next generations.
Love that cute picture of the kids

SittieCates said...

A very factual post. Alarming statistics you have here. It's good that you and the Blue Marine Foundation continues to generate awareness for this. I hope more people would help in the conservation of the marine areas to ensure a good, balanced and safe world for everyone.

Kim Van Sickler said...

Some eye-opening statistics. Only 2.8% of the oceans are protected? Short-sighted on our part.

helen tilston said...

Hello Hilary
A sobering report on extreme fishing. What a mess we have got ourselves in. Is it also true that with the EU membership countries have traded their fishing rights to neighbouring countries.
Enjoy your Sunday

Helenxx

Juliet Batten said...

I was getting really sad reading this post, and then came the good news. It's so uplifting to hear about what one person with a vision can do. Thanks Hiliary. Over fishing is a serious issue here in NZ too.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Suzanne - it is getting that balance at all times and in all the small ways - let alone global political interferences ... looking after our vital resources ... such as the sea beds.

@ Sai - like you Sai, I love sea-food and strongly support conservation ...

I'm sure commercial fish farming is a possibility and is being developed now - then it's making sure the seas still aren't overfished ... allowing the wild fish to recuperate their stocks ..

Similarly livestock - if we could eat less meat, one or two more vegetarian meals a week, then that would help the environment a great deal ...

Thanks for your endorsement and like you I hope we all check to see if our food is responsibly sourced ...

@ Diana - yes the stats were a bit of a shock ... we do seem to be realising that we need to look after our lands and seas ... and people go where they can make money, or profits - many goaded to do so ... by a desire to be rich without a thought for their workers, or the environment being fished/farmed ...

@ Marja - there is such a lot of over-fishing and without a care of the damage being caused - I'm sure in NZ you see a great deal of it.

The oceans are being affected by toxic waste and by rising sea temperatures ... corals, an early sign, are dying off and thus fish are losing their habitat.

We 'forget' if we're not directly involved - I hope the next generations have as bountiful a life as we've been lucky to have. The grand-kids need us to look after our world for them ...

@ Sittie - thanks - the Blue Marine Foundation and similar enterprises are certainly bringing the plight of the oceans and seas more and more to the fore - and let's hope our politicians can strike a better balance .. and not go for big business all the time ...

@ Kim - good to see you - the 2.8% protection of our oceans surprised me ... and it is, as you say, very short-sighted on our part.

@ Helen - the EU aspect is something I wasn't going to get into - as I don't fully understand it .. the horse-trading etc for fishing rights ... I'd have thought we should be able to trade that sort of thing.

Now you're in Southern Ireland - you'll be finding some different viewpoints ..

@ Juliet - at least someone is doing something - that is good news, and now there are organisations working along similar lines - I think all fishing nations have major problems keeping the seas pristine and not over-fished ...

Thanks to you all - and it's good to know we are all concerned and understand the implications. Cheers Hilary

Rhonda Albom said...

Well done Hillary. It is really sad what we are doing to the planet. This is such an eye-opening piece, and so was that trailer. Thanks. And, I am glad Scotland stayed in the UK.

Nas said...

It's sad that we are the ones destroying our children's and future generations heritage.

Theresa Milstein said...

Important post--well done!

Listening to the news about Scotland was pretty exciting. I'm glad they had a choice, and it seems to be the choice most people are happy with in other places too!

It's scary how we treat the oceans and its inhabitants. So much needs to change to protect our world in our lifetime.

~Sia McKye~ said...

For so many years people looked at the earth and sea as unlimited sources of food. Sad fact is, while it is on a renewable cycle it does have to have time to replenish itself and people haven't been doing so. So many areas of the earth on the brink of disaster. It IS sad because it all could be avoided with a bit of thought...

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rhonda - thank you .. as you've visited so many countries you will be more aware than many about life on this planet. I'm pleased you were able to check out the trailer ...

Yes Scotland stayed with us thankfully ...

@ Nas - we are destroying our children's future .. I hope we can pick the pieces up ...

@ Theresa - glad you enjoyed it .. thanks. The Scotland scenario was interesting ... but if it had happened it would have been very costly and time-consuming .. I don't know that it's going to be much easier now ... but at least we are still united.

Protecting our world in our life-time looks like its becoming more and more difficult ... I hope we can tip the balance somehow.

@ Sia - yes, you're right - resources were limitless apparently ... we may well be on the brink of worse to come for our children and grandchildren ...

It could all be avoided with a bit of thought - but we're not all at the same level of development or education - and other things .. that throw up all the challenges ...

Let's hope and do our best to protect the planet's future ...

Thanks so much for commenting ... cheers Hilary

Empty Nest Insider said...

It is unbelievable how little of the ocean is protected. We really do have to work together to save our planet. Thanks for sharing this thought-provoking trailer, Hilary.

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Julie - for stopping by and noting how much we need to do to save our planet ... I'm glad you checked out the trailer - I too found it thought provoking ... cheers Hilary

Julia Hones said...

Hi Hilary.
Here's a TED talk about how we wreck the oceans:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0VHC1-DO_8