Record Earnings From Endangered Ocean Harvest

The fishing industry brought in a record $71.5 billion last year, most of it from ocean fisheries that lack ecological oversight. Now, a new report from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization finds that 25 percent of ocean fisheries are virtually depleted, and 52 percent “fully exploited.” This comes on the heels of a study last year that predicted a complete collapse of ocean fisheries worldwide by 2050 without reform of fishing practices and curtailing pollution. Fish Farmer Magazine reports that with the record harvest, wild fisheries have “levelled off” even as aquaculture becomes the “world’s fastest growing food production sector.” Sources:
“Record high for global seafood trade”
Fish Farmer Magazine, March 5, 2007
“Ocean fisheries maxed out”
Inter Press Service, March 5, 2007

FOCUS: Tsunami Ecology

Research by Allison Bloch, Intern, and Michael Stoll, Guest Editor 
In response to the question of why stories about nature don’t usually become front-page news in the mainstream media, Frank Allen, a veteran journalist who had written for The Wall Street Journal once said, “Environmental stories don’t break, they ooze.” So it follows that when news does break, it has nothing to do with the environment. Or does it? The day after Christmas, several environmental stories were spun out of a major event — a tsunami that swept the shores of 12 Asian countries and killed as many as 150,000 people. Most readers, naturally, assumed it was a human tragedy unrelated to the ecology.