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Don't take that tuna sandwich for granted [We're running out of oil AND FISH]
Capital Times ^ | 4-19-06 | Robert Ovetz

Posted on 04/19/2006 5:44:22 PM PDT by SJackson

It's common knowledge that we are running out of oil. What's not so well known is that we are also running out of big fish.

The harsh realization that catches of big fish marlin, sharks, swordfish and tuna are declining rapidly is beginning to sink in. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization considers about 75 percent of all fish fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted.

The crisis can be seen most extremely across the Pacific, the world's largest source of tuna, where catches are shrinking along with the average size of the fish. Today a 70-pound swordfish which is too young to have even reproduced is considered "a good-sized fish" and can be legally landed in the U.S. Just a few short decades ago the same fish averaged 300-400 pounds and could be caught close to shore with a harpoon.

In the past two years, the Pacific has seen quotas, restrictions on catches, freezes on effort and even moratoriums. The U.S. longline fleet had to shut down for the second half of 2005 in the Eastern Pacific. Japan and China were not far behind.

Just last December, the new international body with the unwieldy name Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commission imposed a freeze on further efforts to catch bigeye and albacore. Throughout the Pacific, it is widely documented that these two species have recently joined the lucrative southern bluefin tuna on the overfished list. In fact, southern bluefin already has a step up on its cousins and is considered an endangered species by the World Conservation Union.

Shameful shark finning has caused numerous shark species to plummet as well, and a few sharks such as the great white to be considered vulnerable to extinction.

All told, recent scientific reports document that the biomass of these large fish has declined by about 90 percent in the Pacific since 1950 about the time that new technologies allowed us to fish further from shore for longer and catch more fish. Since then, technology has eviscerated those last areas of the ocean safe from us only because we were unable to reach them and stay there.

The announcement last month by the U.S. government that yellowfin tuna is also being overfished in the Pacific will undoubtedly send a shock wave throughout the U.S. and the Pacific.

We are now faced with incontrovertible evidence that the lions and tigers of the sea the ones we feed our children for lunch are disappearing fast.

Imagine the day when cans of tuna, a staple food source for millions of Americans, can no longer be found. According to the warning signs, that day may already be here.

That's bad news for the dozens of impoverished Pacific island nations that have leased their national waters for pennies on the dollar to foreign industrial longline vessels to catch and export their fish primarily to the U.S., Japan and the E.U. For some of these nations, these meager licensing fees contribute as much as 70 percent of their GDP. When greed and waste finally lead to the collapse of these fish, millions of people throughout the Pacific will sink even further into poverty. Canneries are already cutting their hours or even shutting down for want of fish. Stories of crews mutinying or being abandoned in foreign countries by captains who couldn't pay them abound.

The days of three cans of tuna for a $1, a vivid memory from my childhood, are long gone.

The way out of this crisis is to catch less and pay more while staying out of critical areas of the ocean. It only seems fair that the countries with the resources should receive a far larger share of their $2 billion-a-year resource and still have some of the big fish around to attract far more lucrative game fishing tourism.

The U.S. has taken the right step by restricting longline fishing for tuna in the Eastern Pacific and banning it on the West Coast. Now it's time to put the pressure on other countries to do the same.

Otherwise we may start having to add these fish to the endangered species list.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anicepieceoffish; fish; tuna; tunafishsandwich
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1 posted on 04/19/2006 5:44:24 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: Iowa Granny; Ladysmith; Diana in Wisconsin; JLO; sergeantdave; damncat; phantomworker; joesnuffy; ..
If you'd like to be on or off this Midwest outdoors and rural issues list, please FRmail me.

Robert, you live in Wisconsin. There are plenty of fish. Splurge, go out this Friday night.


2 posted on 04/19/2006 5:45:53 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: SJackson

Time to switch to dolphin.


3 posted on 04/19/2006 5:45:53 PM PDT by blueminnesota
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To: blueminnesota

>>>"Time to switch to dolphin"<<<

You need to try Sea Turtle!

TT


4 posted on 04/19/2006 5:49:37 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: SJackson

Well, the Japanese are doing their part to save the fish...
by making fewer Japanese.


5 posted on 04/19/2006 5:51:45 PM PDT by VOA
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To: SJackson

Farm raised works for me.


6 posted on 04/19/2006 5:52:32 PM PDT by Bubba (I'll take my part of that Japanese raw fish... Southern Fried.)
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To: SJackson

See... we are ready for a pandemic or thermonuclear war. When it is over, there will be more fish than we need.


7 posted on 04/19/2006 5:52:44 PM PDT by Paloma_55 (Which part of "Common Sense" do you not understand???)
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To: SJackson

they have tuna in the Great Lakes now? Cool!


8 posted on 04/19/2006 5:54:17 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Delicacy, precision, force)
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To: TexasTransplant

Interesting article in this month's Stanford alumni mag on fish. turns out, importing fish is second only to oil in our current accounts deficits. so, after working out the problems, the Bush administration will soon propose fish farm leasing in the waters off shore. That will produce lease revenue to the government and bring our fish industry home.


9 posted on 04/19/2006 5:54:55 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: Bubba
Farm raised works for me.

Capitalist pig!

Besides, the third world can't do that.

As though the third world subsists on tuna and swordfish steak.

10 posted on 04/19/2006 5:55:26 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: ClaireSolt
...the Bush administration will soon propose fish farm leasing in the waters off shore

Wasn't aware of that. Please ping me if you post/see any articles.

11 posted on 04/19/2006 5:56:34 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: SJackson

siolent geen...is PEOPLE!


12 posted on 04/19/2006 5:57:07 PM PDT by patton (Once you steal a firetruck, there's really not much else you can do except go for a joyride.)
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To: blueminnesota
Ya mean this?

FRegards,
PrairieDawg
13 posted on 04/19/2006 6:00:01 PM PDT by PrairieDawg (I moved to NY to vote against Hillary!)
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To: SJackson
"We are now faced with incontrovertible evidence that the lions and tigers of the sea the ones we feed our children for lunch are disappearing fast."

Lions & tigers & bears! Why are some people feeding their children to these sea creatures? Is this some kind of cult?

14 posted on 04/19/2006 6:01:14 PM PDT by Left2Right ("Democracy isn't perfect, but other governments are so much worse")
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To: Paloma_55

"See... we are ready for a pandemic or thermonuclear war. When it is over, there will be more fish than we need."

LOL!

I love it when someone can cut through the BS and go right to the truth of the matter.


15 posted on 04/19/2006 6:03:10 PM PDT by EEDUDE (Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.)
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To: SJackson
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization considers about 75 percent of all fish fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted.

I guess eating fish is "exploiting" them....Oh...wait, this is The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

'Nuff said........

FMCDH(BITS)

16 posted on 04/19/2006 6:04:52 PM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: SJackson
The way out of this crisis is to catch less and pay more

World population continues to rise. GM crops have met much of the increased demand for food, but the tuna crisis will not go away; fishing will continue and pick up the pace. Farm fish may be the only solution, and GM fish at that.

17 posted on 04/19/2006 6:05:58 PM PDT by RightWhale (Off touch and out of base)
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To: ClaireSolt
"the Bush administration will soon propose fish farm leasing in the waters off shore"


And then subsidize the fish farmers if they promise not to grow anything.
18 posted on 04/19/2006 6:07:43 PM PDT by EEDUDE (Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.)
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To: patton
siolent geen...is PEOPLE!

Don't know about that, but SoylentGreen IS people!!

FMCDH(BITS)

19 posted on 04/19/2006 6:08:19 PM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: RightWhale
Farm fish may be the only solution, and GM fish at that.

Seared catfish with ginger?

Not sure if progressives will go with that.

20 posted on 04/19/2006 6:09:55 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: nothingnew

darn...another language, I can't spell in. LOL.


21 posted on 04/19/2006 6:14:04 PM PDT by patton (Once you steal a firetruck, there's really not much else you can do except go for a joyride.)
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To: SJackson
Because it makes sense to me:

World Population, 1950: 2,556,517,137

World Population, 2005: 6,451,058,790

(US Census Bureau)

2.5x the population. Has the population of Tuna, Swordfish, etc increased at the same rate?

Can't we assume that populations of fish (and other food sources) are being depleted just because of the sheer size of humanity?

I think another posted somewhat sarcastically, that we're due for a pandemic or a nuclear war. He's got a point. In terms of evolution, species that grow faster than their food supply are often decimated by disease, cannibalism, and out and out starvation, to bring things back into harmony.

Why should we expect man, an animal in its own right, to be any different?
22 posted on 04/19/2006 6:16:05 PM PDT by bushbotbasher (Who the hell is BushBotBasher?)
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To: RightWhale

Deep sea farms are becoming more popular. They anchor huge netted cages that can later be brought up to the surface.


23 posted on 04/19/2006 6:17:30 PM PDT by TheLion
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To: bushbotbasher
Can't we assume that populations of fish (and other food sources) are being depleted just because of the sheer size of humanity?

Yes. As others have noted, we'll have to grow fish. A relatively simple task which American's will do. And if we have to reduce the tuna or swordfish catch, fine, no one will starve and other countries will harvest them for us.

24 posted on 04/19/2006 6:19:42 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: bushbotbasher
He's got a point. In terms of evolution, species that grow faster than their food supply are often decimated by disease, cannibalism, and out and out starvation, to bring things back into harmony.

If our food supply consisted only of fish, you might have a point.
25 posted on 04/19/2006 6:27:07 PM PDT by A Balrog of Morgoth (With fire, sword, and stinging whip I drive the RINOs in terror before me.)
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To: TheLion

Agriculture is a major industry, maybe the major industry. Fish is also an agricultural industry of sorts, as is forestry, but fish are not so visible. Fish should be possible to industrialize completely, although I haven't looked at the business from the economic standpoint.


26 posted on 04/19/2006 6:35:31 PM PDT by RightWhale (Off touch and out of base)
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To: bushbotbasher
You just signed up to use that screen name, didn't you?

Welcome to FR from a kindred spirit.

27 posted on 04/19/2006 6:38:00 PM PDT by manwiththehands (I'm a single issue voter this year: illegal immigration.)
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To: SJackson

yummy... "free pie and chips?" couresy of Geico :-)


28 posted on 04/19/2006 6:39:08 PM PDT by Trajan88 (www.bullittclub.com)
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To: bushbotbasher
Because it makes sense to me: World Population, 1950: 2,556,517,137 World Population, 2005: 6,451,058,790

You failed to post the figures from 1900-1930-1950. The same was said back then. This planet can't hold anymore people. Guess they were wrong back then, huh?

We'll just add more dolphin and sea turtle to our diet.

Circua 1880: The world will soon be dark as the whale oil is soon to be depleted.

29 posted on 04/19/2006 6:45:27 PM PDT by phil1750 (Love like you've never been hurt;Dance like nobody's watching;PRAY like it's your last prayer)
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To: SJackson; Diana in Wisconsin
The U.S. has taken the right step by restricting longline fishing for tuna in the Eastern Pacific and banning it on the West Coast. Now it's time to put the pressure on other countries to do the same.

Now it's time to force major chain restaurants like Red Lobster (actually RL in particular) to start buying locally and not from the non-US longliners.

Otherwise we may start having to add these fish to the endangered species list.

Small business commercial fishermen (AKA watermen) are already on the endangered species list, especially in the mid-atlantic region.

I wonder how many of the anti-WalMart FReepeers are frequenters of such places as Red Lobster, LoneStar and other such chain venues - who all get their seafood from the rapers of the water, as opposed to getting it locally from people that respect what they are doing?

30 posted on 04/19/2006 6:51:42 PM PDT by Gabz (Smokers are the beta version)
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To: SJackson

How about catfish sushi....nigiri or a spicy catfish roll?!! We've laughed about this as we LOVE sushi but one day we just might have it on the menu! Luckily the husband loves uni and mackerel which isn't for the tastebuds of all.


31 posted on 04/19/2006 7:05:28 PM PDT by YouGoTexasGirl
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To: SJackson
Last time I went back to WI, I had some beloved smelt (schmelt). It didn't taste right. Is it still safe to eat fish from Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes or is it too polluted already?
32 posted on 04/19/2006 7:48:33 PM PDT by phantomworker ("Feel the rain on your skin.No one else can feel it for you.Only you can let it in."---Unwritten)
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To: SJackson

It's that dern Mike Leavitt's fault. After he pointed out that keeping tuna under my bed would protect against bird flu I rushed out and bought two cases of it. There's probably a shortage of powdered milk by now as well, which I'm sure is putting a strain on powdered cows.


33 posted on 04/19/2006 7:49:41 PM PDT by KarinG1 (Some of us are trying to engage in philosophical discourse. Please don't allow us to interrupt you.)
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To: KarinG1

LOL!


34 posted on 04/19/2006 7:57:57 PM PDT by phantomworker ("Feel the rain on your skin.No one else can feel it for you.Only you can let it in."---Unwritten)
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To: EEDUDE

NO, you don't get it. Illegal mermaids and water sprites will work the fish farms off the books as cheap labor. Outside the 3 mile limit, no labor laws will apply.


35 posted on 04/19/2006 8:33:24 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: A Balrog of Morgoth
I was thinking of the peoples who would be hardest hit by this-- the peoples of the island communities in and around the Pacific where fish is their main food.

Obviously it won't have much affect on the American diet.
36 posted on 04/19/2006 9:08:47 PM PDT by bushbotbasher (Who the hell is BushBotBasher?)
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To: manwiththehands
It seemed like a good screen name to use. I figured I'll offend somebody's sensibilities with my posting at some point, I figured I'd just get a head start by choosing a politically offensive (to some) screen name.

:-)
37 posted on 04/19/2006 9:10:50 PM PDT by bushbotbasher (Who the hell is BushBotBasher?)
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To: YouGoTexasGirl; SJackson
How about catfish sushi....nigiri or a spicy catfish roll?!!

Here's another one for you. Had some catfish cakes in Mississippi that were as good as, if not better, than any crab cakes I'd ever had.

38 posted on 04/19/2006 9:17:38 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: phil1750
You failed to post the figures from 1900-1930-1950. The same was said back then. This planet can't hold anymore people. Guess they were wrong back then, huh?

Me thinks you read way too much into my post.

I merely stated that the population has grown significantly in the past 50 years. Then I asked if the Tuna and Swordfish populations had grown at the same rate.

The earth can hold as many people as it needs to.
39 posted on 04/19/2006 9:22:25 PM PDT by bushbotbasher (Who the hell is BushBotBasher?)
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To: SJackson

More pictures of fish please!!!


40 posted on 04/19/2006 9:23:47 PM PDT by Junior_G
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To: SJackson
Then why is tuna cheaper than ever?

For some of these nations, these meager licensing fees contribute as much as 70 percent of their GDP. When greed and waste finally lead to the collapse of these fish, millions of people throughout the Pacific will sink even further into poverty.

Which is whose fault? Would they have been better off if no one had paid licensing fees to them and their GDP had been 30% of what it is now all along?

41 posted on 04/19/2006 9:35:30 PM PDT by TigersEye (Sedition and treason are getting to be a Beltway fashion.)
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To: nothingnew

"I guess eating fish is "exploiting" them."

Why yes, it is... :

exploit verb |ik?sploit| [ trans. ] make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource)

And many of the worlds fisheries HAVE been over-exploited.


42 posted on 04/19/2006 9:35:30 PM PDT by LiveBait
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To: bushbotbasher

How much salt, pepper and tartar sauce do you have?


43 posted on 04/19/2006 9:48:43 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: phantomworker

As a kid growing up in Milwaukee I remember going down to the lake front at night with my parents. It was a festive scene with lots of men woking in pairs with nets. They walked into the dark water and drug back lots of the shiney little smelt. My parents bought a bucket full from one of the men. We stayed up late cleaning fish. I loved em too. I liked smoked chub from Manitowoc a little better though.


44 posted on 04/19/2006 10:12:47 PM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: Bubba

I never eat farm raised seafood anymore

was warned a few years ago it is full of chemicals that are harmfull, much more than wild

most of the problem is from their feed

http://www.albany.edu/ihe/salmonstudy/pressrelease.html


45 posted on 04/19/2006 10:24:00 PM PDT by Lib-Lickers 2
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To: Cold Heart

How cool. What a vivid image. My brothers did the same thing with the nets. Somehow I got tricked into cleaning the smelt, too.....

Manitowoc!! Hardly ever see that name online. But never heard of chub. Is that like carp?


46 posted on 04/19/2006 10:27:26 PM PDT by phantomworker ("Feel the rain on your skin.No one else can feel it for you.Only you can let it in."---Unwritten)
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To: ClaireSolt
NO, you don't get it. Illegal mermaids and water sprites will work the fish farms off the books as cheap labor. Outside the 3 mile limit, no labor laws will apply.

We will end up with sweat lagoons!!!!!

Pssst. By the way, go short on Star-Kist...

47 posted on 04/19/2006 10:31:29 PM PDT by Experiment 6-2-6 (Admn Mods: tiny, malicious things that glare and gibber from dark corners.They have pins and dolls..)
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To: bushbotbasher
I was thinking of the peoples who would be hardest hit by this-- the peoples of the island communities in and around the Pacific where fish is their main food.

No, we'll just revert back to cannibalism like we did before...

48 posted on 04/19/2006 10:32:50 PM PDT by Experiment 6-2-6 (Admn Mods: tiny, malicious things that glare and gibber from dark corners.They have pins and dolls..)
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To: TexasTransplant; blueminnesota
And manatee steaks. Those are really delicious.

Especially with a side of snail-darter sauce.

49 posted on 04/19/2006 10:34:33 PM PDT by Allegra (13 days...)
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To: SJackson
It seems when I shop at the local supermarkets recently, the fish are coming from some South American countries. They are not as tasty. I don't think I'll be buying them much anymore. I like the American variety. Especially the salmon, Norwegian is good too, I think it's the cold water. In fact, with no prejudice, I like most things from America. I think that's what made us famous, and healthier too. But that was the olden times, I guess. I really like American made products in general. Those Chinese products just don't have the same spirit, and I have had many more things fall apart, fade, or shrink lately and sometimes have a musty smell. I don't like the square shoulder's and the straight side seams. It's nice to have a little American style and pizazz, even in the lower priced items.
50 posted on 04/19/2006 11:39:41 PM PDT by truthpls
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