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Tuesday
Jan152008

Plenty Of Fish?

plenty of fish-thumbnail.jpg
Endangered cod
Plenty Of Fish is the name of a wildly successful free online dating site set up by the Canadian mathematical genius Markus Frind. He runs the site on his own from his apartment, gets millions of hits a day and is the top-earner on the Google Adsense program - reputedly making over $10,000 a day. I've written about it elsewhere on this site.

But that's not what I want to talk about here. Are there really plenty of fish in the sea? The kind you eat with chips.

According to a report in The New York Times there aren't plenty of fish in the sea at all. In fact there may not be too many fish left if we keep raping the oceans the way we are.

"Fish is now the most traded animal commodity on the planet, with about 100 million tons of wild and farmed fish sold each year. Europe has suddenly become the world’s largest market for fish, worth more than 14 billion euros, or about $22 billion a year. Europe’s appetite has grown as its native fish stocks have shrunk so that Europe now needs to import 60 percent of fish sold in the region, according to the European Union.

In Europe, the imbalance between supply and demand has led to a thriving illegal trade. Some 50 percent of the fish sold in the European Union originates in developing nations, and much of it is laundered like contraband, caught and shipped illegally beyond the limits of government quotas or treaties. The smuggling operation is well financed and sophisticated, carried out by large-scale mechanized fishing fleets able to sweep up more fish than ever, chasing threatened stocks from ocean to ocean.

The European Commission estimates that more than 1.1 billion euros in illegal seafood, or $1.6 billion worth, enters Europe each year. The World Wide Fund for Nature contends that up to half the fish sold in Europe are illegally caught or imported...

If cost is an indication, fish are poised to become Europe’s most precious contraband. Prices have doubled and tripled in response to surging demand, scarcity and recent fishing quotas imposed by the European Union in a desperate effort to save native species. In London, a kilogram of lowly cod, the traditional ingredient of fish and chips, now costs up to £30, or close to $60, up from £6 four years ago."

Read the rest of this sad story here at The New York Times.

It's obvious there is no longer plenty of fish in the sea.

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