Unsustainable Seafood Demand
The world's demand for seafood has driven the fishing industry to catch and kill unsustainable numbers of fish. In a nut-shell, it is human want for more seafood that threatens the ocean species. It comes down to; a lust for more, growing human populations and a rape and pillage fishing attitude. The problem of "Supply and Demand" is that the demand for more seafood is outstripping sustainable fishing quotas.
In Australia, we export significant amounts of seafood overseas and are part of a strong export trade. While this helps the Australian's balance of trade, it threatens fish stocks simply by world demand. The question needs to be asked, "Does Australia need to export direct ocean catches to the world?" Or "Is there another way to take the demand off our Oceans?"
Possible options to consider for reducing demand
- Australian Marine Conservation Society, promotes Ocean Refuges. Their campaign encourages the Australian Government to reinstate and not to take ocean refuges for the benefit of all marine life. It's a bit like Ocean National Parks. Queensland fishing zones are part of this way of thinking, now time will tell if this approach works. However, it does little to slow demand for seafood but stops fishing in these areas. Ocean refuges allow fish to populate and then move into other areas. While this may happen, some species do not migrate.
- The Federal Government has promoted Aquaculture as an alternative to ocean harvesting. However, the environmental effects of water pollution caused by faecal, uneaten fish feed, chemicals and antibiotics is a concern. The fish meal and fish products are also still harvested from the ocean as feed. Aquaculture industry needs to address these issues before it become part of the solution.
- Restriction of the seafood market, make direct ocean seafood a non-exportable product. Limit it to environmental controlled aquaculture or value- add fish farming methods.
- Set up nationwide "no fishing periods" in spawning seasons. Or no fish take in spawning in commercial and recreational fishing.
- Ban all fishing for endangered species like Orange Roughy and make the commercial sale a criminal offense.
- Increase the dollar value of seafood, limit the seafood for sale and add value to it to increase the cost and slow the demand.These suggestions are "food for thought" simple ways to slow or minimize demand on seafood. It's about fishing for the future and using sustainable fishing practices, to slow and occasionally limit the fish we take. Fighting the villain of Demand