Subject: Fish: Britain-Endangered Seas (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Wed, 14 Jan 1998 14:40:21 -0500 (EST)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 98 13:01:00 GMT 
Subject: Britain-Endangered Seas

Britain-Endangered Seas

 Associated Press Writer
   LONDON (AP) -- Governments must step in to prevent destruction of
the world fish population, Britain's Prince Philip warned Monday,
urging cuts in fishing subsidies and restrictions on fishing
   In an appearance to boost a campaign by the World Wide Fund for
Nature, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II said government subsidies
to fishing industries total $54 billion a year "and, of course,
the irony is the total fish catch is only worth about $70
   Environmentalists, during 1998's "International Year of the
Ocean," also hope to dissuade tuna fishermen from practices that
kill dolphins and other marine life, reduce the use of explosives
and poisons near South Pacific coral reefs, and cut quotas on big
fish like tuna and swordfish, whose populations are falling.
   The prince said the year "presents a wonderful opportunity to
initiate a campaign to ensure that there will be a reasonable stock
of fish for future fishermen and a reasonable supply of fish for
future consumers."
   As part of the fund's Endangered Seas Campaign,
environmentalists are teaming up with businessmen to give consumers
a "green choice" when they buy frozen fish, by certifying that
the products come from waters that are not over-fished.
   "Right now, it is a free-fall situation, where everyone just
goes to the sea and takes out what they want," said Carl-Christian
Schmidt, project manager for the Marine Stewardship Council. "The
result is too many fishermen chasing too few fish. That leads to
depletion of the fishing stock."
   The council, started last year, has drawn support from such
major companies as Unilever, British Petroleum and several British
supermarket chains.
   According to U.N. figures, worldwide fish harvests boomed in the
middle of this century, but have leveled off or fallen in the 1990s
because of over-fishing. Governments have banned fishing from
certain areas to allow populations of cod and other popular food
fish to recover.