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Raping the Sea

Updated on December 24, 2014

Save the Fish from This Disaster

This 142 meters long, 962 tonnes vessel will soon sail into Australian waters to fish our local small fish stocks to the tune of 17,500 tonnes per year. The fish they are targeting is essential food for tuna and other predators including endangered bird species i.e. albatross, whose stocks may collapse if this is allowed to take place. (Photo and information from this protest site)

Protests have already started but the government has given the green light to this pillage. The Canberra Times reported that "Its Dutch owners are changing its flag of registration from Lithuanian to Australian. By spring, it is scheduled to be roaming between the Tasman Sea and Western Australia in pursuit of 17,500 tonnes a year of small fish."

UPDATE: 35,000 signatures or names printed on paper makeral fish was presented to the Minister of Fisheries, Joe Ludwig, on Wednesday, 15th August, 2012,. The matter was also raised in Federal Parliament and the rights to fish here for this ship is now under consideration and review.

Further Update September 7th, 2012.

This ship is currently in Australia at Port Lincoln. It is being renamed and will fly the Australian flag as one of our own. Despite the partitions and the protests there is as yet no way the government can stop this vessel as our antiquated fishing laws need changing, This will only happen if and when politicians make it their business to do that, Meanwhile the sea is now open for the activity of this and many other ships like it. One politician from the government's side will introduce a private members bill into parliament next week to try to get the law updated and changed. Here's hoping she is successful.

September 13th UPDATE

Parliament has today passed a bill to stop this trawler fishing Australian waters for a minimum of 2 years while scientific investigations of its impact on fish stocks and bicatches are assessed. Included in the research will be assessments of survval of many endangered species including birds and animals that feed on pelargic fish, the main target of the vessel.

Please leave a commnent in the Guest Module at the bottom of the page so others can see what this means to you. Thank you for your visit.

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Greenpeace activists at work
Greenpeace activists at work

Plunder and Rape of the Sea

This ship is unstoppable because it can far exceed the allowed quota of pelagic fish, its main target, without being found out. It has already devastated much of South Africa's fishing industry and was recently booted out of New Zealand because of the plunder over and above its quota. In any case what fish stocks can survive this type of rape?

The New York Times states that: "stocks of jack mackerel have dropped from an estimated 30 million metric tons to less than a tenth of that amount in just two decades." This ship or others like it have operated off the American and Canadian coasts.

Pelagic fish live near the surface or in the water close to coastal estuaries and in lakes. It is here that 11% of known fish species live. They are listed as either coastal or offshore classifications; they are the fish that support the local fishermen and their catches for local markets.

Not so long ago a journalist interviewed a jailed pirate from the horn of Africa where the problem of piracy of ships and kidnapping of sailors is rife. He explained that he was once a fisherman but the big boats from Europe had taken all the fish and now the people have no fish. He and his colleagues have no income so they have turned to piracy. We hear little of that side of the story,

A television documentary recently showed the ocean around Easter Island where locals cannot catch a fish. The sea around the island is completely devoid of any form of sea life. There are not even any shellfish, corals or predators present and the bird life has disappeared as well. A few hundred miles away there is a fish sanctuary set up by the Chilean government and here the story is completely different.

So how long can these trawlers rape the sea before massive protests stop them? While they are freezing their catch into batches these frozen fish parcels are now being sold into West Africa and elsewhere where the locals have no other resource besause, there too, fish stocks have disappeared. This is devastation on a massive scale and it must be stopped.

As an Australian who has appreciated the wonderful coastal pursuits of fishing and sea sports it is devastating to think that this may happen here. It is even more devastating to realise that Australian politicians are actually planning to allow it. One wonders where their brains are.

What are Your Thoughts

Should this trawler be allowed to squander the fishing industry of communities.

See results

It's Big

Is the eonomy and a few jobs worth more than preserving our fisheries and the future of so many ocean species? That is the question facing Australians right now,

Amazon Spotlight Personal Review

An easy to carry and store fishing pack. Great for aircraft travel and other forms of transport where carrying fishing poles and other gear is awkward.

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit
Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit

Great travelling pack for the avid fisherman and suitable for the busy business person who finds themselves at a loose end when in an away from home situation.Don't sit in a hotel room wishing that you had your fishing gear because with this pack you can take it with you,. Handy for tourists and for carrying in a small boat prior to use,

Pelagic fish and giant trevally
Pelagic fish and giant trevally

Birds are Also Affected

Humans don't live on this planet in isolation. Everything is dependent on and supports the life of other species. The ocean is the source of a large majority of food for animals and birds. This picture is from Wikipedia.

A recent David Attenborough documentary on migrating shoals of sardines demonstrated how the birds are dependent on these migrations for food and to rear their young. The fish follow the cold coastal stream from the Southern ocean close to the shore. They are trapped into this corridor by the warmer water and the coastline; so it is easy for fishing vessels to target this stream at the right time during this migration and to virtually wipe out the lot. This is the fear that most conservationists have right now.

The birds dependent on fish include the albatross, penguins, gannets, and a host of others. Without this food source they will be wiped out. The point is what are we facing here?

One company has worked out a way to wipe out the fish stocks and sell their catches to those they deprive of them. But what happens to the ocean and all the other animals, birds and other life that depends on it? Please join the protest and help stop this rape and murder of our future and of the local fishing industries,

The coastal waters off Chile once saw massive runs of anchovies but not anymore. The anchovy fishing industry there has now closed as that species has been wiped out, This is a story repeated around the world so how long will we allow it to continue before action is taken to stop this type of greedy harvest and rape of the sea?

Australia has some wonderful fish runs along the coastal regions including the salmon, sardines and whitebait. These are prey for many predators including dolphins and other animals. How can anyone put them at risk?

Operating 24/7

Is this sustainable? This ship operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week and targets fish runs in season and then moves on to the next source of massive catches. Note how few people there are working this ship compared to the massive profits being made here. Is this our future or our death? Note the size of the fish they have caught, They are not herrings, sardines or anchovies.

Do You Want Fish to Survive?

Are fish important to you?

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Sydney Fish Markets

The number of fish species available at this market is awesome. These facts are taken from its own website and are edited to avoid plagiarism.:

Sydney Fish Market Pty Ltd engages in and promotes rigid environmentally sustainable practices throughout the industry.

It focuses on promoting the availability of, and trade in, quality seafood from ecologically sustainable wild fisheries and environmental best practice aquaculture.

It also promotes and stands by the rigorous scientific research into the sustainability of fisheries. It is a partner with OceanWatch Australia (OWA) which works with seafood suppliers to safeguard aquatic habitats while minimising the environmental impacts of seafood production.

This fish market is the destination for around two million visitors each year and it "seeks to minimise water run-off from the site, prevent pollution, and maximise the recycling of paper, plastics and fish waste."

The most fish sold in Australia are sardines, the very fish being targeted by the super trawler. They are prominent from northern Queensland along the NSW coast to the waters of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, Salmons and trouts account for the second biggest quantities sold,

Still images from Dreamstime - click here

Purple Star

A beautiful purple star was given for this work and it is also a pay forward tribute to all the lensmasters whose stories and lenses are featured here. Thank you Robin and Bonnie who do such a great job awarding these little beauties. Hugs

Did you enjoy your visit here. If so please scribe a little note about what you think of this lens. Thank you.

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PS - did you sign this petition

© 2012 norma-holt

Before You Leave

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You are an excellent researcher, teacher and your social responsibility brings you to shouting about the atrocities in out world, may the small pelagic fish be valued for more than being a catch!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      important topic. years of over-fishing and marine pollution have stripped our oceans of much of their life force and productivity. without expeditious action, ocean ecosystems will continue to decline. signed the petition.

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 5 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Yep, I signed the petition. Too important not too I feel! Thanks for going out of your way to raise awareness of this issue.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      I'm amazed that anyone would begin such a venture. It is well known that the supply of fish remaining in the oceans is insufficient to make this ship economical. The investors are going to lose a fortune.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      One would suppose that due to the immensity of the oceans, pollution problems would be minimal. Such is not the case. On February 19, 1970, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson warned of potential disaster to our oceans. He said: Like all other systems of the planet, the sea is a fragile environment. ... Upset the intricate ecological systems of the ocean and you run the grave risk of throwing all natural systems so seriously out of balance that the planet will no longer sustain any life."

      We are already on the way to causing drastic and lasting damage to the ocean and environment.

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 5 years ago from WNY

      Thanks for helping to spread the word. What we are doing to the earth is downright disgusting. I will quote Mark Twain "If the Eiffel Tower were now representing the worlds age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle-knob at its summit would represent mans share of that age; and anybody would perceive that that skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would. I dunno."

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 5 years ago

      Great lens, very catching title for your lens. It really caught my attention! Also, I like the layout of your lens.

    • jasminedessy profile image

      jasminedessy 5 years ago

      what amazing lens ...:)

      nicely done, and you are the man

      I like it