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Sunday, October 18, 2009


We all live in a crowded theater

...and the snack bar is running out of food.


The European Union's executive body is calling for sharp cuts in the amount of cod fishermen can catch next year, pointing to estimates that the fish is close to extinction in some major fishing areas around Europe.

Scientists estimated that in the 1970s there were more than 250,000 tons of cod in fishing grounds in the North Sea, eastern English Channel and Scandinavia's Skagerrak strait. In recent years, however, stocks have dropped to 50,000 tons.

In the Mediterranean, bluefin tuna has been overfished for years to satisfy increasing world demand for sushi and sashimi. The tuna population is now a fraction of what it was a few decades ago, but the EU's Mediterranean nations last month refused to impose even a temporary ban.
And the problem doesn't solve itself:
Bouncing back from a collapse is also no easier for some fish than it is for financial systems. When Newfoundland's cod fishery collapsed in 1992 and Canada closed it for rehabilitation, many expected a quick recovery since cod reproduce so prolifically. But something went wrong, and Newfoundland cod still haven't returned to their pre-collapse numbers, despite a decadelong moratorium on fishing that was upgraded to outright closure in 2003.

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