Wasteful Fishing, Heathful Fish
That conclusion, and many other statistics and observations, comes from a new report by the Marine Fish Conservation Network. Here’s what the report, called “Turning a Blind Eye: The ‘See No Evil’ Approach to Wasteful Fishing,” says about the so-called bycatch issue:
Fishermen often throw these organism overboard because they are either too small or have little or no economic value. In the majority if fisheries, however, most discards are mandatory; federal regulations require that bycatch be returned to the ocean, as unharmed as possible. This action is intended to prevent the wanton overexploitation and potential decimation of populations of fish and other marine life, including not only finfish, shellfish and crustaceans, but also birds, turtles and marine mammals. Unfortunately, bycatch restrictions are often not implemented or enforced, and even if they are, a high percentage of the fish and other species that are caught and returned to the ocean do not survive.
The report is here. The Narragansett Baykeeper blog says it points up the importance of reauthorizing the Magnusson/Stevens Act, which regulates bycatch.
And in case you didn’t see it, here’s what the New York Times (with an assist to Environmental Defense) says about fish that are safe to eat because of low levels of contaminants.