Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fish stocks dwindle as trawlers empty Asia's seas

Terra Daily via AFP: Overfishing in Southeast Asian seas has left garoupas and sea bass in dire straits, searching for mates on denuded seabeds, according to experts alarmed by ever-declining catches. Marine scientists and fishermen say that popular fish species -- especially the large and valuable ones -- have been caught indiscriminately, causing numbers to plunge dramatically.

For big fish "finding a mate is a difficult task. They have to swim a long distance to find one," said Edward Allison from the World Fish Center in Malaysia's northern resort island of Penang.

One of the culprits is bottom trawling, which involves dragging huge, heavy nets along the sea floor. Large metal plates and rubber wheels attached to the nets move along the bottom and crush nearly everything in their path. Allison said the habitat for young fish, or fry, is also shrinking because the mangrove swamps which provide food and protection are being obliterated by coastal development including tourist resorts.

Demand for top-quality seafood, from Southeast Asian nations themselves and from Hong Kong and China, is another major factor behind the emptying of the seas. According to World Fish data, there were 10 times more fish in the Gulf of Thailand in 1965 than 30 years later…

Bonito Fishing on Choshi Bay (Province of) Shimosa, by Shotei Hokujiu, between 1820 and 1830

1 comment:

health quotes said...

When those seas are empty the trawlers will go to other areas and there will be war over fishing rights until the seas are completely empty except for plastic garbage.