Friday, September 25, 2009

When all the fish are gone?

Here is a great picture and memory:

After a good night’s sleep, you awake to a great sunny morning and reflect upon the wonderful relaxing experience that you enjoyed last night. The memories of that great meal you shared with your special someone rests in your mind. The feeling of comfort and closeness you discovered, over the candle light casting shadows at your secluded table while soft music played, is still fresh in your thoughts.

The seafood was the best choice, it sure made a hit. The succulent flavors blended well with the mood and with the wine, bringing a mutual feeling of pleasure and satisfaction that a good dinner often brings. It was a night to remember, that brought you the same age old enjoyment that good friends, good food and good wine, has done for years. Yes it was great you say. Let us thank the folks that made it possible.

Now Picture this:

You have some slack time and you are wondering around the internet, reading about things that mean something in your life and you are gathering a better understanding of the world. In keeping with your concerns and important issues, the state of the world’s food supply, the quality of food and the price of food are all issues that you read about because you know that they will make an everyday difference in your life. After reading and researching on the subject for awhile you come upon information relating to one of the world’s largest sources of protein and nutritious food, which is fish and seafood.

This maybe is where your bad day starts, as you realize that humankind cannot any longer count on or rely upon wild fish stocks to meet the demands of the future or even satisfy the demands of today.

Perhaps you also wonder where all the fish have gone? If you do, you can also take some satisfaction in knowing that you are not alone. Many of the world’s scientist, governing bodies and think tanks are grappling with the crisis and are searching for alternative ways for making the best of our ocean, river and inland lake fish resources.

It is now written in “factual stones” that the populations of worldwide wild fish and shellfish (stocks) are continuing to be depleted at a rate that surprises even those scientists that made dire predictions a few short years ago. The huge hunting and gathering efforts that has long dominated the World’s supply of seafood are failing. Even with today’s increased overall fishing effort and increased focus upon catching and substituting less desirable fish species, collapse and failure of the wild fishing industry is near, and the lack of sustainability of the fishing effort against available wild supplies is impossible to escape.

Now picture a light:

Once one contemplates the facts and reviews the information it becomes obvious that we should endeavor to do more with what we have and employ a level of husbandry to reduce our reliance upon capture fisheries in the same manner as we reduced our need to hunt and gather other food supplies like grain and animals. Yes I am talking farming.

Fish farming is now supporting over 50% of the entire world’s supply of fish and seafood. The reason for this is very simple, it is the best and most sustainable method to meet the demand that our population creates. Without Aquaculture the wild stocks of fish would have collapsed years ago, as the demand for supply has far outpaced the ability of wild stocks to produce and it has done so for numerous years.

There has been much written of late on the reports of poor populations of many of our fisheries. TAC (total allowable catch) predictions for next year look downright scary. If we continue to ignore solutions to the problem we will continue to have the problem.

If one were to have to "wonder around" today and gather the grains, cereals, poultry, beef and other products needed to ensure survival, it would be a much different world.

In order to meet the demand for high protein foods we have to continue to supplement the available supply by controlled husbandry to help achieve a better yield from a diminishing resource.

Yes we need to continue farming fish and we are learning how to do it much better than before. That learning curve is also called growing, like our plants, animals and fish we have also grown and gained a better understanding of how to do things right, and we will continue to grow and fill the need.

Robert Freeman

1 comment:

moreclick said...

Thanks for sharing, I love reading you should post more often...