Home > NewsRelease > New Trump Trade Agreements Can Help Save Ocean Wildlife: Limit Industrial Fishing, End Subsidies as Fisheries Are Depleted
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New Trump Trade Agreements Can Help Save Ocean Wildlife: Limit Industrial Fishing, End Subsidies as Fisheries Are Depleted
From:
Danny Quintana -- Oceans & Space Explorations, Environmentalism Danny Quintana -- Oceans & Space Explorations, Environmentalism
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Salt Lake City, UT
Sunday, February 12, 2017

 

With the prospect of President Trump seeking to renegotiate existing trade agreements, it is possible for amendments to include measures to curb the effects of industrial fishing on ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems. Danny Quintana, founder of the Global High Seas Marine Preserve and author of Space & Ocean Exploration: The Alternative to the Military-Industrial Complex, penned the following article to encourage the new administration to take a close look at how industrialized nations are operating on the high seas and in territorial waters.

Not many people are aware of the reality that approximately half of the wildlife in the oceans is gone and 90 percent of the top-of-the-food-chain marine predators have been slaughtered. Ten nations, which include the two most powerful economic blocks, the European Union and NAFTA, catch 70 percent of the fish yet only constitute one percent of the fisherman. Studies indicate that by mid-century the world’s fisheries will be fished out, which will effectively kill the world’s fragile marine ecosystems.

Coral Reef ocean life that is threatened by overfishing of major marine predators.

The Trump Administration can save the fisheries by amending existing trade agreements with industrialized nations. This can be accomplished with amendments on the types of fishing vessels allowed to operate on the high seas, banning long-lining, by-catch, purse netting and, above all, an end to tax subsidies for national fishing industries.

Prior to 1950 the world’s fisheries were in reasonably good shape. Certain species and fisheries like the Cod banks off New England had been harmed by over fishing. But by and large most of the world’s oceans still had plenty of fish. This changed when industrial fishing emerged with updated technology and the creation of giant fishing vessels. Current versions, essentially floating fish processing factories, have nets that are so large they can fit two 747s. This is not “fishing” but wholesale slaughter with tools that can strip the oceans of life quite rapidly. Without generous government tax subsidies, these ships would not be profitable.

The killing of the wildlife is not necessary for protein for the rich developed world. These tax subsidies and over fishing occurs so rich consumers can have seafood as a food choice. Eliminating these tax subsidies is not going to cause people in rich countries to go hungry.

The fishing industry generates approximately $80 Billion in annual revenue. This is not a large amount of money. Approximately 200 million people are engaged in some capacity in this global industry. Walmart has gross annual revenue of approximately $440 Billion. Many large public companies have gross revenues in excess of $80 Billion annually. The shark fin soup trade generates its own billions but at a cost of 230,000 dead sharks each day. This slaughter of the top predator in the food chain has to stop for obvious environmental reasons.

Add tens of thousands of tons of plastic garbage to the oceans and we are creating a human and environmental disaster. If, or rather when, the fisheries collapse, the one billion people who depend on the oceans for their protein will face hunger and possible starvation. They will migrate but nobody wants them. So there will be more political instability, violence and environmental migrants.

This bleak future can be averted. If the administration will amend the trade deals to demand an end to all subsidies for fishing, end all industrial trawlers on the high seas, no long lining, no shark fining, no nets- the fisheries will recover. In ten-years the fishermen will have more fish and the consumers will have a food resource that will last into the next several generations. How can these changes be accomplished?

The United States needs to ratify the Law of the Seas Treaty and amend it to create a Global High Seas Marine Preserve. The goal of this global marine preserve is to take 70 percent of the oceans off limits to industrial commercial fishing. This creation of a nature park on the high seas will place humans and the environment on an equal footing. Future generations will forever be able to enjoy the wildlife in the oceans.

Can this be done by an administration that is widely viewed as “anti-environment”? Yes, it clearly can be accomplished. The Trump administration cannot be attacked by the extreme right. Just as only Nixon could open the trade door to China, only the Trump administration can close the trade door to shark finning and over fishing. Japan is notorious in their destruction of the wildlife in the oceans. Trump can bring about changes to Japanese wildlife destruction through trade amendments.

Japan kills whales, Blue Fin tuna and overfish, we can demand this stop because we are one of their largest trading partners. The United States can set an example for humanity on how to co-exist with nature. This can all be accomplished by amending existing trade deals to demand that the world save the wildlife in the oceans. We can talk trade or we can actually do sensible amendments to existing trade agreements. We cannot continue on our present path. No there are not plenty of fish in the sea, not anymore. We have just about fished them out and the fisheries, the sharks, dolphins, whales and other creatures all need a break.

The sensible environmental solution is for this administration to take a hold of this important issue and deal with it. The piece meal approach of the Obama administration put band aids on a gushing wound. The Asian countries, the Europeans, Russians, Indonesians and others still have to sell their goods and services into our huge NAFTA market, the world’s largest not only by trade volume but by dollar value of over $21 Trillion. Requiring our trading partners to do a better job of protecting the wildlife in the oceans is doable right here right now. They will either comply with the changes in these trade agreements or the consumers can boycott them in the marketplace. I guarantee you, boycotts not protests work to make substantive change.

The benefits for this public relations nightmare of an administration is better relations with the environmental movement and young people. We cannot discount youth and their future by neglecting to address the collapse of the fisheries and protection of the wildlife on land and sea. Their concerns have to be taken seriously and they are rightly worried about their future.

Ending subsidies, industrial fishing, long lining, shark fining, purse nets and cleaning up the garbage in the oceans is long overdue. If we can clean the swamp in Washington, we can certainly clean up the oceans and save the wildlife in the process. All of this can be accomplished by this administration by amending our trade agreements to protect the wildlife. The fish, sharks and other wildlife don’t have a voice in how they survive or are slaughtered. It is up to the consumer and governments in other parts of this small planet to be their voice and that of youth and their future.

For more info go to www.SavingOceans.org and for media interviews with Danny Quintana contact E.B. GO Vision Media at c@ebgoinc.com.

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