The European Union, the U.S. and Japan, along with a few other countries are providing subsidies totaling $27 billion a year for companies to fish on the high seas. According to the Global Ocean Commission, this is bad for the economy and for the environment. Environmentally it’s a bad idea because fish with long gestation periods often spend time in the high seas to replenish their population. If they are fished out there, they won’t make it back to the coast, disrupting the livelihood of fishermen in developing areas. Economically, it makes no sense because fishing in the high seas would be much too expensive and wouldn’t be possible without government subsidies.
Seafood consumption in Japan has decreased steadily over the last two decades as meat consumption increases. Now, the government and the fishing industry are working to reverse this. In 2006, meat consumption exceeded seafood consumption for the first time ever, but only by less than one gram a day. Since then, the gap has widened to nearly ten grams. In order to boost seafood consumption, the government and the fishing industry are focusing their efforts on younger generations.
Philippe Cousteau, a special correspondent for CNN International and environmental advocate writes about restoring our oceans by re-learning how to appreciate and respect it. We have the ability (and the technology) to protect our oceans, we just need the motivation.
Scientists report that New England can expect to experience a “moderate” red tide this coming spring and summer. The red tide, caused by the toxic algae, Alexandrium fundyense, can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and typically occurs every year along parts of the coast of the Gulf of Maine. Predicting the severity of the red tide helps coastal resource and fisheries managers better prepare for the coming seasons. With effective management, there haven’t been any reported case of shellfish poisoning in recent years.
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