Monday, June 7, 2010

Stupid humans and poor fish

The 2009/10 financial year ends in 23 days time. NGOs know June’s the peak month when citizens – including Sweetheart Vivienne and me [1] – make charitable donations. So lately the mail’s been loaded with their literature. One leaflet – from the Australian Marine Conservation Society [2] – is simply a list of what it calls ‘The fishing crisis: some facts’. Here are some of those facts:

1. An incredible 80% of the world’s fisheries are overfished, depleted or fished right up to their limit.

2. In 2006 scientists predicted the world’s fisheries could collapse by 2048.

3. Globally bycatch’ (unwanted/unintended catch) is about 20M tonnes a year, or a quarter of the worlds’ annual catch.

4. Orange roughy live up to 150 years and don’t breed until 30 years of age., yet we target these vulnerable fish on their fragile underwater sea-mount habitats with deep sea trawlers.

5. The long lines set globally every year would circle the globe more than 550 times.

6. Over 70M sharks are killed each year for their fins.

7. Each year we feed 14M tonnes of wild-caught fish to pigs and chickens around the globe. That amounts to 17% of all the wild fish we catch.

I don’t know if donating to the AMCS will improve these facts. But there’s no downside. So will we be doing it? You betcha.

1 comment:

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

It does feel a bit like pulling on your boot laces as you fall out of the plane doesn't it, but if we don't try, who will?