The End of the Line
Posted: 24 June 2004
Author: Charles Clover
Ebury Press, London, 2004, Â£14.99 hardback
The demand for fish by an increasingly health and fashion conscious public is ever growing, while the battle over the world's waters between hi-tech trawlers, local fishermen and environmentalists rages on. But while the politicians fight it out an environmental catastrophe is at hand, as Charles Clover makes brilliantly clear.
He also travelled to Dakar, Senegal, where the EU pays the government Â£42 million a year for access to its waters, thus robbing the local fishermen in their ancient pirogues of a livelihood. He examines the new technology that has been developed internationally to make large catches certain but with devastating effects on fish stocks and looks back at the 20th century debate between scientists, politicians and fishermen about what sustainable fishing means - and why it is so much harder to achieve than scientists and politicians expected. He analyses the contents of the British lunchtime staple, a can of tuna, an investigates the cookery books and kitchens of some of our best known chefs.
More hopefully, Charles Clover talks to people trying to stop pirate fishing for tuna and Patagonian toothfish in the Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. He describes how, in New Zealand, a marine reserve set up on the north island in 1975 has seen the local waters transformed. The sea bed is host to lace corals, sponges and anemones, the waters abundant with snapper, blue cod and butterfly perch, while families picnic on shore and snorkel to their hearts' content.
In Iceland, cod stocks have been restored by actively involving the local fishermen in the marshalling of its waters while such is the vigilance in Alaska that its fisheries are some of only a few in the world to have been approved by the Marine Stewardship Council.
With such success stories, Charles Clover proves that if we act now the threat of marine disaster can be averted.
- Goodbye to Planet 21
- Voices from Planet 21
- Commentary: 20 years on - and time runs desperately short
- Coral bleaching likely to intensify
- Coral Triangle under threat
- Cambodia to create its first Marine Protected Area
- Australia creates world's biggest marine park
- Joining forces to save the seas
- 'Free-for-all' decimates fish stocks in the southern Pacific
- COMMENTARY: Act now to save life in and above our seas
- Coral reefs
- Maldives President outlines progress on carbon neutral plan
- Study identifies most threatened sea turtle populations
- SPECIAL REPORT:
Gulf fishermen struggle as stocks decline.
- Poor nations turn to dolphin meat