The report outlines the health pros and cons of eating fish, summarises the environmental damage caused by both industrial fishing and fish farming, and lays bare the contradictions in government policy at both UK and EU level.
Written in 2005, this report outlines the health pros and cons of eating fish, summarises the environmental damage caused by both industrial fishing and fish farming, and lays bare the contradictions in government policy at both UK and EU level.
Scientists are increasingly aware of just how little is known about how the marine environment functions. The grand scale, which has always created the impression of limitlessness, has coloured what humans expect from the sea. Until the last two centuries, it may well have been true that human activity was not significant enough to affect the resilience of marine life, but there is undeniable evidence that humans are now a serious threat to the survival of many marine species.
Fishing is the human activity most damaging to the seas, and only global-warming can match fishing in terms of the scale of the harm to the oceans. Fishing has been transformed from a local industry that supports coastal communities, into an exponentially larger industrial operation, complete with startling quantities of waste, pollution, and disregard for environmental effects. This problem has been able to reach such a crisis point due to the invisibility of the effects. Until fish populations become extinct, there is no obvious signal of what is going on. Since current scientific research now allows us to know more about the extent of the problem, it is time to accept the facts and work to preserve what life remains beneath the waves. The seas are the largest commons in the world and, without adequate and enforced regulation, this may result in the world's largest tragedy of the commons.
1) The boundless oceans?
2) Fish and health
3) Fishing and the marine environment
4) Fish farming
5) Jobs in the fishing industry
6) The European Union Common Fisheries Policy
7) What can you do?
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