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An estimated 100 million sharks are being killed every year -- 70 million of them just for their fins alone. Tod Bensen, former Chairman of WildAid, talks about the global threat of overfishing our oceans and educating people about the brutal practice of shark finning.
It may be hard to stomach, but your tuna sandwich, your sushi, and even your cat food may be directly connected to modern-day slavery on the other side of the world -- and there's very little you can do about it.
Cod were once so abundant in the Gulf of Maine that they propped up many of New England's coastal economies. Those financial boons, though, came with a heavy price.
Porto San Giorgio, Marche, Italy, The Adriatic Sea Last week was like spring in Italy! I was able to enjoy long, relaxing walks by the seashore....
I figured the series would run for one season and then be pulled in favor of something else that would be less brutal and more in line with good conservation practices.
"You could see the impact of the waste. I remember thinking that this couldn't last," recalled Bill Hogarth Hogarth, the head of ocean fisheries under President George W. Bush and now the director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography. I caught up with him recently when I went to Florida.
To give our oceans the best chance of remaining resilient, we need networks of protected areas in the places where the ocean is most alive - places like the Bering Sea canyons.
It's startling that with something as important as hunger, something so basic as food supply still isn't universally understood.
Striped bass are declining. That's particularly bad news because this species was once considered the success story for how an acutely depleted fish population could recover from years of overfishing.
Starting January 1, fishing within two bluefin tuna breeding hotspots in the Gulf of Mexico with a particularly destructive kind of fishing gear during their peak breeding months will be prohibited by federal rule. The new rule is a big step in the right direction for Atlantic bluefin tuna and a great victory. But there is still more to do.
While there is no silver bullet to the global challenge of overfishing, a market-based program like the Marine Stewardship Council has an important part to play to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the bounty of our oceans.
What we have here is fishing as an exercise of international power, the implementation of which needs be indifferent to treaty, law, international policy, or limiting regulation.
The situation for New England's iconic fish is sad. It is sad that it has come to this. And it is sad that there is so much distrust among scientists, managers and fishermen in New England. But there is a lesson to learn here.
We hope that citizens will use this tool to hold their elected officials accountable for managing fisheries sustainably and for enforcing fishing rules. And fishermen, whose livelihoods depend on healthy fisheries, can show that they are doing their part to sustainably manage our ocean's resources.
Throughout the years I tried to learn as much as I could about the marine ecosystem. I felt I needed to do my part to keep the Adriatic and the life that dwells within it safe, for the sake of humanity.