Fishy business on the seas. Over 20% of the world’s fish that we eat today is stolen – nearly $24 Billion worth, so says the WWF. So if you eat fish, and most do, most likely you are dealing in stolen goods. Who says its stolen? The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, who has as of October 2012, 164 countries as its signatories. The primary illegal act is to fish in another country’s sovereign waters and over fishing.
What does it matter? This is a major loss of income to coastal countries and communities. This is especially the case for some of the world’s poorest countries, which depend on fishing for food, livelihoods and revenues. Pirate fishing undermines legitimate competition, driving down prices and robbing opportunities from those that abide by the regulations. Some of the biggest offenders come from illegal pirate fishing activities from country offenders of China, Taiwan, South Korea, the US and the EU. So in a sense once again, the rich countries are stealing from the poor – sound familiar?
Still don’t care – after all its just poor people. The fact of the matter is that the there’s some evidence that we could hit “peak fish.” World fish production seems to have reached its zenith back in the 1980s, when the global catch was higher than it is today. One recent study in the journal Science warned that, without conservation measures, commercial fish stocks could find themselves on pace for total “collapse” by 2048 — meaning that they’ll produce less than 10 percent of their peak catch. Check out these charts here, here and here. So if you want to continue to have fish on the menu, we better start thinking. It seems like every time one looks into a single issue in our current economic system structure – we see a frightening future.
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