David Levy – Is there anyone who knows the truth about fish stocks? – Sep 15

Here is a question : I ask anyone to inform me of the organisation which has at its command the original data which informs Ministers and their Ministries what levels of quota can be given for each stock of fish globally?

Within Europe, ICES is attributed with holding this data. But on examination this body does not have the data for the majority of fish stocks in the NE Atlantic, and virtually no data at all for the Mediterranean. So the question is : who does?

If the answer is nobody, then it is all guess work.

Consequently, how can a responsible meeting of Ministers for Europe make quota for the fishing rights within each nation’s sovereign waters?

Truly, I cannot understand this behaviour. Certainly it would matter less if the picture was thought to be healthy, but in this instance the Precautionary Principle would advise be cautious, don’t issue a quota against scientific advice.

So when Ministers gather with the brief from their Ministries to fight their corner for our nations’ quota, scientific advice is abandoned. This is the current situation and all contracted parties are ruled not by the urgency, and not by the science, but by national greed to not give an inch.

This behaviour by each country’s Minister and the failure to provide accurate data sets for our fish stocks leads me reasonably to reaffirm that all of the reform has been half-hearted, and the system is still employed to fail. In other words, deliberately designed to fail.

The Mediterranean Sea is a completely lawless body of water with stocks depleted to dangerous levels. It is frequently called the watery Sahara, a desert of marine life. So where is the monitoring agency, the over-riding body which controls fishing quota in these waters?

Globally the agreements which have been agreed often depend on self-enforcement. When fish landings can be made at any port, who will monitor the situation? The answer is : there is no organisation, and this is regarded as a historic right of the industry. The question whether this should remain so has not been properly addressed within the UN, and so the issue of enforcement is avoided.

This is a summary of what is designed to be complicated beyond understanding. This facilitates lawlessness and eventual meltdown of eco-systems and habitats. If the Devil was on the Planet, he could not do better than our own greed to destroy our food basket.

I shout this observation from the rooftops before it is too late.

We are within decades of this scenario.

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