How Fishing Cooperatively Saves Species

I was reading an article in the New York Times, written by Aaron E. Hirsch, a biologist and researcher, about the fishing practices of the people in the Bay of Los Angeles, down in Mexico.  One very strong point presented was that fishermen who have a vested and local interest in the area are less likely to fish an area out than commercial vessels from another country who know that they may never come back to harvest from that region again.

Over the years, overfishing has been responsible for the severe decline or extinction of several species of marine wildlife, from fish to inverts.  It’s not just the large fish which have fallen.  Crustaceans, many varieties of shellfish,  sea cucumbers, these join with grouper and other fish with numbers that are a mere fraction of their numbers from just a score of years ago.  Consistently, the guilty party is overfishing.

When fishermen go out together, fishing collectively, they retain that pride and personal investment.  They are out there every day, so they can see trends and respond to them quickly.  They have a vested interest in maintaining a healthy breeding population.  Japanese fishing vessels, on the other hand, are there for the maximum profit in minimum timeframe, and may not have recognized the depleted numbers (if they’d have cared in the first place.)

This approach may simply be Capitalism, expressed in another way.  Regardless, it’s working –very well. Waters fished by people who have a vested interest in those waters’ productivity are consistently healthy in their numbers.  Meanwhile, toxic waters and overfishing, reef destruction and other factors caused by human indiscretions are causing species to drop like flies.  Fishing coops may be the only functional solution.  So long as the unprincipled rape of the oceans is perpetuated by the Japanese for their own greed, declines will continue.  The governments of those countries need to protect their waters from such volatile exploitations.

Only by protecting the ocean can we bring life and health to ourselves.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *