Everyone apart from the finicky kid in the Kellog’s Rice Krispies advert who exclaims; “Fish! I hate fish!”, loves the slimy creatures that reside in our seas. However, everyone also knows that too much of a good thing can be bad. Consequently, on the dawn of a new decade, we find ourselves in a very fishy situation…
The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was first mentioned in the 1957 ‘Treaty of Lisbon’. The idea was suggested to maintain a healthy harvest of fish from what is a shared (common) resource; the seas and oceans of Europe. The policy has come under much criticism from fishermen, activists and politicians; as each party looks to fight a divided cause. There are understandable shouts from fishermen that say that such policies will ruin their livelihood, yet on the other hand they are prepared to admit that the current level of fishing is unsustainable (and that prices will rocket).
In 10 years, I don’t want to take my (future) children to a fish n’ chip shop, to find that a portion of cod is the cost of a car, and haddock a house. So, what’s being done?
‘Quotas’, ‘tariffs’ and ‘permits’ are all terms familiar to this problem. They are all terms, deficiently designed in a mahogany board room in Brussels to try to solve an ongoing ‘tragedy of the commons’. But, are a few fancy terms all we’ve got?
‘Sea Shepherd’ to the rescue! If the boys in Brussels are the brains (supposedly), then the marine-warriors at Sea Shepherd are the brawn. Combining intelligence and knowledge of the seas with “direct-action tactics”, they seek to achieve similar targets (to the CFP) of maintaining fish stocks for future generations. Having worked with many marine species, and in many areas of the world, Sea Shepherd are relentless in their quest for cleaner, friendlier and more sustainable seas. Recent projects included “ramming and disabling the notorious pirate whaler, the Sierra”, protecting the Galapagos, as well as defending Dolphins off the Japanese coast.
Their mission is serious;
“…to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.”
With the level of fishing increasing, and the manner worsening, the problem needs to be resolved sooner, rather then later.
Sea Shepherd will be visiting X in the City in October to spread the word, so give their stand (or their website: www.seashepherd.org) a visit to find out how you can help out.