A while ago we thought we might eat less meat and more fish. That was until we saw the Forest and Bird Best Fish Guide, where all the fish fall into the categories of ‘amber — concerns’ or ‘red — worst choice’ and the ‘green — best choice’ category is empty.
Then in November 2006 this disturbing report appeared:
There will be virtually nothing left to fish from the seas by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a major scientific study.
Stocks have collapsed in nearly one-third of sea fisheries, and the rate of decline is accelerating.
So I’m thrilled to read that bottom-trawling is to be banned in some areas of the Pacific, with restrictions that may lead to its total collapse:
[The agreement] will close to bottom trawling areas where vulnerable marine ecosystems are known or are likely to exist, unless a prior assessment is undertaken and highly precautionary protective measures are implemented.
The delegation from New Zealand, whose fishermen are responsible for 90% of bottom trawling in the South Pacific high seas, said the restrictions would “severely constrain” its fishing vessels.
“Because of the cost implications of the necessary research and assessment and observer requirements, it may even have the effect of putting an end to bottom trawling,” it said. …
In addition to the weighted nets and rollers which crush coral reefs, bottom trawling targets slow-growing species of fish, such as orange roughy, which take decades to reach breeding age.