The threat and effects of Predatory Fishing

Life for a fisherman anywhere in the world is not easy. He (I say he, though I recognise that there are many fisherwomen, including myself, however fishing remains a predominantly male activity.) is dependant on many variables most of which are beyond his control.
The majority of artisanal fishermen on Brazil’s North East coast (of whom Neu is one) depend on the lobster season (June to December) to earn enough money to carry them through the rest of the year. In the past the men could earn a reasonable living from lobster, but sadly predatory fishing with the wide spread use of illegal fishing gear has brought about a serious decline in lobster catches. While Brazil has many excellent laws covering the fishing industry, there is a distinct lack of enforcement, which allows the illegal fishermen to continue their activities to the detriment of all.
Canto Verde has pioneered sustainable fishing practises and is unique in Ceará (and possibly beyond) in that all of the fishermen within the community fish using only legally acceptable, sustainably correct fishing methods.
We hope that the example set by the fishermen of Canto Verde will be adopted by other communities, that sustainable fishing will become the norm rather than the exception, but we recognise that there is a long way to go.
Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) and eco labelling (such as that done by the MSC) have a part to play in promoting sustainable fishing and consumer awareness, but the certification process in itself can be difficult to employ in developing countries and the creation of MPA’s without the necessary means to protect and effectively enforce the rules governing them, is futile.
In our own small way we aim to spread the word, to help people understand the realities of life for small scale fishermen, and the damage that overfishing is doing to our oceans and ultimately to ourselves.
Consumer preference can force change, it is important that we all become more aware of the food we eat, how it is farmed and sourced and the effects, both social and environmental.
Claire Pattison Valente.

For more information:

On Marine Protected Areas
www.mpanews.org

On Sustainable fishing
The marine Stewardship Council
www.msc.org

U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fish Watch programme www.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishwatch/

The World Wild Life Fund

wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/how_we_work/conservation/marine/sustainable_fishing/sustainable_seafood/seafood_guides/

Sites that help the consumer make informed choices about the fish they eat.

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx

www.fishonline.org/

eartheasy.com/eat_sustainable_seafoods.htm

For information relating to fish workers the world over
www.icsf.net
Our blog pages on this site  www.littlegreencorner.wordpress.com

©Claire Pattison Valente 2010

Please let me know what you think. :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s