Pesca (Continuación)

La piratería frente a las costas del África oriental ha ocupado los titulares en los últimos años, pero hay otro tipo de piratería a la que se ha prestado demasiado poca atención. La pesca pirata en todo el mundo está costando a los pescadores sus empleos e ingresos y está causando graves daños al medio oceánico.

La pesca pirata, con frecuencia llamada pesca ilegal, sin registrar ni reglamentar, priva a medio millón, aproximadamente, de pescadores respetuosos de la ley y a sus comunidades de hasta 23.000 millones de dólares al año en pescado y, como unos tres mil millones, aproximadamente, de personas dependen del pescado como su fuente primordial de proteínas, la pesca pirata tiene también importantes consecuencias antihumanitarias y para la seguridad alimentaria.…  Seguir leyendo »

Weighing up to 80 tons and almost twice the length of a school bus, the massive fin whale — known as the greyhound of the sea for its swimming speed — was the victim of decades of commercial slaughter that killed the whales by the tens of thousands each year. Then, in 1986, with the species on the brink of extinction, the nations of the world agreed to a moratorium on commercial whaling, and this magnificent animal got a reprieve.

Except, that is, in Iceland. Today, over a quarter of a century after the moratorium took effect, Iceland is escalating its hunting and trading of fin whales (and other whale species), in disregard for international law, economic reason and ecological sanity.…  Seguir leyendo »

“What's the deal with fish oil?”

If you are someone who catches and eats a lot of fish, as I am, you get adept at answering questions about which fish are safe, which are sustainable and which should be avoided altogether. But when this fish oil question arrived in my inbox recently, I was stumped. I knew that concerns about overfishing had prompted many consumers to choose supplements as a guilt-free way of getting their omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show lower triglycerides and the risk of heart attack. But I had never looked into the fish behind the oil and whether it was fit, morally or environmentally speaking, to be consumed.…  Seguir leyendo »

A desolate island in a frozen sea brings the world’s nations together with a new type of agreement: one giving an international commission the right to govern a landmass through unanimous vote. The year was 1912; the subject was the island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Ocean. Thereafter, it and the surrounding archipelago were to belong to no nation, its natural resources open to all.

That agreement was no doubt on the minds of the drafters of the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed to much fanfare 50 years ago Tuesday by 12 nations: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union and the United States.…  Seguir leyendo »

Some of the best political decisions happen for the worst reasons. No clearer case can be found than the announcement by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France that he will support a ban on the international trade in bluefin tuna, a fish as endangered as the giant panda but far more palatable. The bluefin has been over-fished to near extinction within the borders of the European Union under the indifferent eyes of its fisheries inspectors.

The great irony underlying Sarkozy’s conversion to conservation is that it is France’s technically advanced but politically uncontrollable fishing fleet that is principally responsible for over-fishing the giant bluefin.…  Seguir leyendo »

It is not often that a bureaucrat makes a major scientific discovery. So hats off to Peter Power. The European commission's spokesperson for trade, writing to the Guardian last week, has invented a new ecological concept: excess fish. Seeking to justify policies that would ensure that European trawlers are allowed to keep fishing in west African waters, Mr Power claims that they will be removing only the region's "excess stocks". Well, someone has to do it. Were it not for our brave trawlermen battling nature's delinquent productivity, the seas would become choked with these disgusting scaly creatures.

Power was responding to the column I wrote a fortnight ago, which showed how fish stocks have collapsed and the people of Senegal have gone hungry as a result of plunder by other nations.…  Seguir leyendo »

A lo largo del mes de agosto han venido sucediéndose las noticias sobre un conflicto pesquero entre Cantabria y el País Vasco. En lo dicho por unos y por otros se echa de menos algún dato referente a la legalidad aplicable. Al fin y al cabo, más allá de las cuestiones técnicas o de los intereses afectados, se trata de una actuación de los poderes públicos.

Es una lástima que circulen conceptos como «veto a los pesqueros cántabros en las aguas interiores vascas» (EL CORREO, 23-8-08) sin que ninguno de los actores intervinientes se tome la molestia, al parecer, de explicar lo que sucede y de demostrar que, como es de esperar, la actuación de la Administración autonómica está plenamente ajustada a la ley y al derecho...…  Seguir leyendo »

All over the world, protesters are engaged in a heroic battle with reality. They block roads, picket fuel depots, throw missiles and turn over cars in an effort to hold it at bay. The oil is running out and governments, they insist, must do something about it. When they've sorted it out, what about the fact that the days are getting shorter? What do we pay our taxes for?

The latest people to join these surreal protests are the world's fishermen. They are on strike in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Japan, and demonstrating in scores of maritime countries. Last month in Brussels they threw rocks and flares at the police, who have been conspiring with the world's sedimentary basins to keep the price of oil high.…  Seguir leyendo »

Shiver me timbers, boys and girls, we is awash in a sea of pirates down here in the Southern Ocean and it's time for a parley to do a little 'splaining on the subject. This ocean now rivals the 17th century Caribbean for reported acts of piracy. The only thing lacking is the Sea Shepherd member Orlando Bloom.Japanese whalers are accusing the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Greenpeace crew members of being pirates. Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace are accusing the whalers of being pirates. The whalers and Greenpeace are accusing Sea Shepherd of being pirates. The Japanese government is throwing the word piracy about as freely as the governor of Jamaica once did.…  Seguir leyendo »

The change in public opinion about whaling has been dramatic. Thirty years ago Australian vessels would hunt sperm whales with the government's blessing - but just two days ago an Australian customs ship, in Antarctic waters to video Japanese whaling activities, played a key role in winning the freedom of two anti-whaling activists. The hostage crisis began when they boarded a Japanese harpoon boat on Tuesday. Because Paul Watson, the leader of the conservation group Sea Shepherd, refused to cease his disruption of the whaling fleet, the Japanese refused to return the activists. But the stalemate was broken two days later when the Australian ship agreed to accept, and transfer, them.…  Seguir leyendo »

The fish lay on a table. The crowd at the barriers stood six deep. They held up cellphones and cameras to take its picture.

The fish had been bled, cleaned and beheaded. Alive, it had weighed about 500 pounds. What remained was still huge: a cylinder tapered at both ends; a cold, fat cigar; a suspended teardrop. It shone like polished steel. It was an awesome sight, one of the most prized fish in the ocean: a bluefin tuna.

Two days earlier it had been swimming off Spain. Now it was in a Japanese supermarket in Edgewater, N.J. A man with a microphone and rubber gloves patted its smooth belly and flexed its fins.…  Seguir leyendo »

By George Monbiot (THE GUARDIAN, 03/04/07):

If these animals lived on land there would be a global outcry. But the great beasts roaming the savannahs of the open seas summon no such support. Big sharks, giant tuna, marlin and swordfish should have the conservation status of the giant panda or the snow leopard. Yet still we believe it is acceptable for fishmongers to sell them and celebrity chefs to teach us how to cook them.A study in this week's edition of Science reveals the disastrous collapse of the ocean's megafauna. The great sharks are now wobbling on the edge of extinction.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Xabier Ezeizabarrena, abogado y doctro en Derecho (EL CORREO DIGITAL, 20/07/06):

Mientras la flota cantábrica de bajura sigue sumida en una profunda crisis estructural, la Política Pesquera de la UE continúa sin diferenciar debidamente las problemáticas pesqueras de las distintas flotas en el contexto comunitario, optando hasta la fecha por pautas de reflexión incompletas que desdibujan cualquier aproximación de contenido social real al fenómeno pesquero en clave de sostenibilidad. Buen ejemplo de ello es el caso de la escasez de capturas de anchoa junto a la necesidad de establecer un cierre de la pesca de esta especie, los intercambios ilegales de cuotas entre Francia y Portugal o la proliferación, aún hoy, en aguas atlánticas de redes de deriva prohibidas formalmente desde enero de 2002.…  Seguir leyendo »

Iñigo Agirre es coportavoz de Berdeak-European Greens; Jean Lissar es miembro de Les Verts du Pays Basque y consejero de la Región Aquitania; Michel Daverat es responsable de Océano de Les Verts Aquitaine y consejero de la región de Aquitania, e Ignacio González es portavoz de Los Verdes de Asturias (EL PAÍS, 08/06/06):

Las masivas intervenciones regionales, estatales y comunitarias destinadas a rejuvenecer la flota pesquera en esta última década habrán conseguido, sin duda, incrementar la eficiencia y capacidad del esfuerzo pesquero de las distintas flotas de bajura y altura. Sin embargo, este desbordante potencial extractivo junto con el incesante mercadeo de cuotas pesqueras nacionales en el ámbito de la Unión Europea no han contribuido sino a dilapidar unos recursos marinos que se asumían como eternamente inagotables.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Borja Bergareche, abogado (EL PAÍS, 05/06/06):

El pez grande se come al chico, y el hombre se los come todos. El caso de la anchoa del Cantábrico es el cuento de la civilización que no escucha las advertencias de sus Casandras, la historia de la especie que no reacciona ante pequeñas señales de alarma y sólo lo hace cuando ya es demasiado tarde. Pero es también una metáfora de sistemas políticos que no funcionan, del desierto en el que claman los científicos y de la inexorable defunción de ciertos mitos vascos por muerte biológica.

"Es un problema global que ya ha causado enfrentamientos armados entre países pesqueros, tiroteos entre pescadores y hambre en el mundo en vías de desarrollo.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Philip Armour, the former editor of the Swedish edition of Outside magazine (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 23/05/06):

When the International Whaling Commission convenes tomorrow, its worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling will be under attack. It should be. The time has come for regulations that recognize that whaling, handled right and in moderation, can be sustainable.

The moratorium, in place since 1985, has accomplished a great deal. Most countries, including the United States, have given up whaling, and as a result, many species that were dwindling are now on the rebound.

But there are also loopholes that a handful of persistent whaling nations have managed to slip through.…  Seguir leyendo »