Monday, October 13, 2008

Alaska pollock fishery near collapse: Greenpeace

Reuters: Stocks of Alaska pollock, a staple of the U.S. fast food industry, have shrunk 50 percent from last year to record low levels and put the world's largest food fishery on the brink of collapse, environmental group Greenpeace said on Friday. Taina Honkalehto, a research fishery biologist with the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, said pollock biomass in U.S. waters was down to 940,000 tons from 1.8 million tons last year.

Pollock is used in McDonald's fish sandwiches, frozen fish sticks, fish and chips and imitation crabmeat. It also helps feed fur seals, whales and the endangered Steller sea lions. Pollock stocks have been unable to reproduce quickly enough to recover from yearly catch of 1 million tons, environmentalists say.

"Just as the financial institutions on Wall Street collapsed due to poor oversight and mismanagement, the pollock fishery is on the fast-track to collapse as well," Greenpeace said. A collapse of the fishery would have hurt Alaska's commercial fishermen and coastal communities that depend on the sea for income….

Walleye pollock, NOAA, Wikimedia Commons

No comments: