World News and Trends: World fish stocks threatened

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World fish stocks threatened

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Here are three of the latest warnings: "North Sea Cod Gone in Two Years, Say the Scientists," "Battle of the High Seas for Remaining Catches" and "Ecologists Warn of Impending Disaster as Overfishing Threatens the Survival of Species Such as Cod and Hake."

One particular quotation that pretty well sums up this whole difficulty: "Environmentalists warned that such a dramatic fall would spell disaster for many fishing towns. Canada has already suffered such a catastrophe. In the early 1990s cod stocks in Newfoundland collapsed. Fisheries were closed and 40,000 jobs lost. Vanishing stocks in other fishing regions have provoked clashes between international fleets.

"The problem has been exacerbated by modern fishing practices. The indiscriminate catching of young fish before they have spawned is common . . . The quantity of fish discarded has also increased, and by the time they are thrown back they are usually dead . . . Current estimates are that up to 50 per cent of cod and haddock caught is discarded." (Source: The European.)