Disclaimer: I hate fish. I hate the taste of it. I hate the texture of it. I hate the smell of it. But I love the ocean. I love to eat the bottom-feeders (crab, lobster, clams) and the soft, squishy marine animals like squid and octopus.
Growing up in the 80s, I became aware of the over fishing problem along the US’s coast. But it didn’t stop there. Fisherman had to travel farther and farther afield to net even a small catch.
There is both scientific and circumstantial evidence that points to protecting the High Seas (these are international waters, not owned by any one country) from these huge fishing vessels can help restore fish stocks in every oceanside country’s water.
Of course, there are 5-10 countries who will be harmed by having this huge nature preserve in our oceans. And yes, there will be food shortages, too as these harvests amount for 10% of some countries stores.
But the benefits are an increase in oxygen given off from the ocean and a return of fish to many coastal waters, reviving some of the economy in those regions hit hard. And if fishing isn’t your thing, there is also tourism spurred on my the presence of so many pretty fish. What’s more, is the nations that currently fish this waters will save money by eliminating the hundreds of millions of dollars they put into subsidies to allow these fishing companies to profit.
How likely is it to happen?
Mexico and New Zealand have lead the way into making the High Seas off-limits for fishing. They’ve actually been there and benefited from abstaining. The arctic has already benefitted from such a treaty by those nations and the UN voted in December 2017 to draft an accord and have it in effect by 2020.
While there are likely to be naysayers (Humans as a rule don’t like change, and big business/big money doesn’t like threats to its wallet and power), this provides a great opportunity for capitalism to show its mettle. Fortunes will be made solving the problems that arise along the way, keeping society in flux and stopping any one set of moneyed elite stifling opportunities. Mom and Pop small businesses can take advantage of tourism and fishing opportunities (Small businesses employ more people than big businesses ever could). And lastly, the independence of small entrepreneurs are fundamental to health of our economy and essential to a functioning democratic society.
Until next time!