Reports On Pirate Fishing Tells Only Half Of The Horrible Crisis Ocean Fish Face

Reports On Pirate Fishing Tells Only Half Of The Horrible Crisis Ocean Fish Face

Headlines around the world herald the horrors of pirate fishing that is destroying what remains of global ocean fish stocks.

But the same pirate fishing reports are strangely silent on the far greater destruction of ocean fish due to the CO2 driven collapse of ocean plankton pastures upon which ocean fish depend.

Ocean plankton pastures are the base of the ocean food chain. It has been well established in decades of scientific reports that the collapse of ocean pasture life has been proceeding at a rate equivalent to the loss of an entire Amazon rainforest of ocean life and biodiversity every five years. This rate of destruction has been taking place silently and with nary mass media mention for those many decades.

As Walt Whitman once said, “All beef is grass,” so too I say “All fish is plankton.”

The collapse of ocean plankton pastures is responsible for many times the loss of fish from the collapses of the bottom of the food chain than are those that overfished.

But on with the story about the usual suspects, they are indeed a wreaking terrible havoc on the last of the fish the dying ocean pastures sustain.

Fish caught illegally, not reported to authorities or outside environmental and catch regulations a new report states, represents as much as $10 billion to $23 billion in global losses each year.

The report comes out just as the US’s top leaders in fishery management come together at the 2013 Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries Conference in Washington, D.C. to discuss science and sustainability.

According to recent estimates provided in the timely Oceana Report, illegal fishing accounts for 20 percent of the global catch, 11-25 million metric tonnes. (Editor note- many times this tonnage of fish simply have not been able to grow.)   It contributes to economic losses of US $10-23 billion, while also threatening 260 million jobs that depend on marine fisheries around the world.

There are good political ideas to try to slow or even put a stop to pirate fishing. We ought to push forward with those political debates and implement the changes to international agreements and treaties to mitigate the pirate fishing crisis.

But while we are as horrified as everyone reading the information in this report, we’ve been working on this topic for decades.

Our solution has not been to write a report and call out the usual suspects. And then engage and change the international governance process.

We have developed and demonstrated the solution to the largest part of the problem ocean fish face. Our ocean plankton pasture replenishment and restoration project in the NE Pacific has been done and hundreds of millions of ocean measurements are being studied. Direct observations of the spectacularly restored plankton pasture showed that sea life was supported, sustained, and flourished in the bloom.

Reports from this winters commercial fishing activities in our ocean pasture area are coming to us with astonishing stories. One group of village fishermen has reported, “the best fishing in 45 years.” Another, “the fish are almost twice the size.”  And, “those fish are surely getting a good feed, they are bigger, healthier, the very best quality ever, and we are getting top dollar.


You can read all about our work at 

Where have all the plankton gone, long time passing.

Where have the plankton gone, long time ago.

It’s not too late to replenish and restore the ocean plankton pastures.

Here’s a video by Pete Seeger singing his original song about things going passing. Just use your minds ability to replace the word flower with the word plankton.

OK it’s a bit of a lame idea, but hey I’m a grandfather, cut me some sentimental remembrance slack to indulge and share with you some high points of my younger days. There is magic in music.