The end of the line

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, March 8th, 2010 - 3 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment - Tags:

This month there is a series of screenings of The End of the Line around New Zealand. This acclaimed documentary looks at how overfishing is destroying fish populations and ultimately endangering the industries and cultures that depend on them.

The positive thing about overfishing is that, unlike climate change, the solution is relatively simple and low cost. Most fish populations can recover very quickly (most famously illustrated by the resurgence in fish populations on the Grand Banks when World War 2 made it unsafe for trawlers).

If only we would give them the chance, we could let fish populations recover to their original levels and the sustainable harvest from those larger populations would actually be much larger than what we can sustainably take today.

3 comments on “The end of the line”

  1. Bill 1

    It’s not quite that simple. The following scenario doesn’t apply to corporately owned boats which should be scuttled forthwith in my fair and humble opinion. And if that results in bankruptcy and squealing bankers, so much the better.

    But families who own boats are in hock to the banks. The banks demand repayments on loans that may well have used a home as collateral. The fisher knows that catches are diminishing. Somebody suggests bigger mesh nets so that only large mature fish are caught and over all numbers increase over time ( Short term this would mean diminished catches.)

    But the banks want their money back and they have your house should payments cease. So the fisher continues with the same size mesh and over time decreases the mesh size in line with every other fisher, who is in the same desperate position of having to chase a shrinking resource to extinction in order to satisfy the banks and hopefully, merely hang on to their family home.

    • Bright Red 1.1

      Technologically/systematically simple, compared to climate change. Politically, no not so simple.

      • Bill 1.1.1

        Short of either figuratively or actually throwing all the bankers and money lenders onto the corporate boats immediately prior to their being scuttled?

        No, not politically simple.

        Or unless we ascribe to the view that human will, and ecological need are more immediate, powerful and important than mere financial imperatives?

        No, not politically simple.

        Or, to put that last point differently, if we fail fully comprehend that our survival instincts are a liability when they grasp at elevated abstract matters rather than real world actualities?

        No, not politically simple.

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