Below is some of the recent news in regard to the Sustainability Of The Seafood Industry including news from Professor Ray Hilborn’s visit, links to the Ray Hilborn – Bob Kearny paper and some news from New Zealand.
Below are links to the news coverage from Prof Ray Hilborn’s visit
News from New Zealand Seafood Industry can be viewed below
NZ seafood is ‘green protein’
NEW Zealand seafood is rated as the ‘green protein’ a new report on the environmental cost of New Zealand food production has found. Entitled The Environmental Cost of New Zealand Food Production the study measures the environmental impacts of harvesting wild fisheries with results showing fewer impacts than the production of alternative forms of animal protein. The report’s author, Professor Ray Hilborn, said that when considering the environmental impacts of harvesting New Zealand seafood an obvious comparison is the country’s dairy and meat industries. “This report looks at all the studies we could find on the environmental impacts of New Zealand fish, dairy and meat production to either the farm gate or the dock and the results are readily apparent; wild fisheries simply do not impact the environment in many ways.” Chief Executive of the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council, Peter Bodeker says the report’s findings set the environmental record straight, adding: “New Zealand seafood is an excellent protein choice not only for its obvious health attributes but also for its low environmental impact. “
Report rating seafood the ‘green protein’ draws criticism
Thursday, February 16, 2012, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
A report on the environmental impact of New Zealand food production has rated the country’s seafood as a ‘green protein.’ But a conservation group has serious reservations about the report and believes it overlooks the deaths of thousands of animals caught as by-catch every year by the fishing industry.
The report, called The Environmental Cost of New Zealand Food Production, measures the environmental effects of harvesting wild fisheries. Researchers found that fishing has fewer impacts than the production of alternative forms of animal protein such as dairy and meat, according to the Seafood Industry Council.
“This report looks at all the studies we could find on the environmental impacts of New Zealand fish, dairy and meat production to either the farm gate or the dock and the results are readily apparent; wild fisheries simply do not impact the environment in many ways”, report author and Professor Ray Hilborn said.
Hilborn heads the school of aquatic and fishery sciences at the University of Washington and has a long association with the NZ seafood industry and government departments, The Nelson Mail reports.
He also commented that even though all animal protein production has some environmental effect, any changes caused by harvesting the marine environment are significantly lower than those stemming from land-based production, and that the changes are not permanent. While fishing cuts abundance of fish by up to 70 per cent and affects diversity of species, land farming cuts species numbers by 70-80 per cent.
“Marine ecosystems have not been modified anywhere near the same extent as those on land. The potential recovery time of marine ecosystems to their pre-harvested state is far less than the recovery time for forest ecosystems converted to agriculture”, he explained.
But Marine Conservation Advocate Katrina Subedar is not convinced.
“This report is extremely weak and very thin on key New Zealand references. The most obvious omission in the council’s report is by-catch in the New Zealand fishing industry”, she asserted.
“It’s nonsense to produce a report that claims commercial fisheries are environmentally sustainable, and yet fail to mention the thousands of seabirds, hundreds of New Zealand sea lions and dolphins that are killed every year by fishing”, she added.
The report also noted that the nutrients generated during the production of protein on land pose significant adverse environmental impacts, particularly on waterways, when compared to the effects from nutrients on oceans generated in the harvest of seafood.
“In harvesting seafood there is no significant use of fresh water, fertiliser, pesticides or antibiotics”, Hilborn noted.
And, just to show that even WWF is not beyond criticism from other green groups
WWF is prioritising money over the sustainability of krill, green group claims
Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 04:30 (GMT + 9)
Since 2009, WWF Norway has been collaborating with Norwegian fishing and seafood processing company Aker Biomarine, which runs the biggest krill fishery in the Antarctic Ocean. Aker Biomarine has been paying off WWF with USD 178,000 per year for the privilege, Blue Planet explained.
It warns that the deal is taking place even though fishing for krill, a keystone species, in the Antarctic could be environmentally risky. Scientists do not yet know what the effect could be of fishing for this species in that location.
“Even WWF are worried about krill,” Blue Planet wrote on its website.
In a report called “Blue Whales – Under Threat,” WWF wrote about krill stocks and their falling numbers.“The problem of declining krill threatens most of the Antarctic food chain, but it is especially serious for the blue whales because there are so few of them,” the report reads.
Stuart Chapman of WWF even called for action.
“When you get this kind of warning shot that indicates something is going terribly wrong in the Antarctic, we need to sound the alarm,” he wrote.
Blue Planet is thus accusing WWF of sending mixed messages – and of suffering from loose morals.
The Fund may just be made up of “mere opportunists who garner funds from leaping on the nearest bandwagon,” Blue Planet quipped.
The group has thus come up with a petition that supporters can sign to pressure WWF to quit its endorsement.
Blue Planet believes that krill exploitation in the Antarctic Ocean is dangerous and should not be pursued.
“The Antarctic krill fishery is in its infancy and could still be nipped in the bud. WWF’s endorsement not only encourages the expansion of the fishery, it lends respectability to the commercial exploitation of the whole Antarctic region,” the group added.