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TOPIC: fishing


The Unsustainable Future Of Fish Farming — On Vivid Display In Turkish Waters

Currently, 60% of Turkey's fish currently comes from cultivation, also known as fish farming, compared to just 10% two decades ago. The short-sightedness of this shift risks eliminating fishing output from both the farms and the open seas along Turkey's 5,200 miles of coastline.

ISTANBUL — Turkey's annual fish production includes 515,000 tons from cultivation and 335,000 tons came from fishing in open waters. In other words, 60% of Turkey's fish currently comes from cultivation, also known as fish farming.

It's a radical shift from just 20 years ago when some 600,000 tons, or 90% of the total output, came from fishing. Now, researchers are warning the current system dominated by fish farming is ultimately unsustainable in the country with a coastline 8,333 kilometers (5,177 miles) long.

Professor Mustafa Sarı from the Maritime Studies Faculty of Bandırma 17 Eylül University believes urgent action is needed: “Why were we getting 600,000 tons of fish from the seas in the 2000’s and only 300,000 now? Where did the other 300,000 tons of fish go?”

Professor Sarı is challenging the argument from certain sectors of the industry that cultivation is the more sustainable approach. “Now we are feeding the fish that we cultivate at the farms with the fish that we catch from nature," he explained. "The fish types that we cultivate at the farms are sea bass, sea bram, trout and salmon, which are fed with artificial feed produced at fish-feed factories. All of these fish-feeds must have a significant amount of fish flour and fish oil in them.”

That fish flour and fish oil inevitably must come from the sea . "We have to get them from natural sources. We need to catch 5.7 kilogram of fish from the seas in order to cultivate a sea bream of 1 kg," Sarı said. "Therefore, we are feeding the fish to the fish. We cannot cultivate fish at the farms if the fish in nature becomes extinct. The natural fish need to be protected. The consequences would be severe if the current policy is continued.”

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You, Me And 65 Million Chickens: Shifting To Sustainable Food Production, Without The Guilt

Industrial-style farming should certainly be reimagined, but not with a guilt-ridden assault on the livelihoods of millions of farmers, herders and fishermen.


BOGOTÁ — The bones of 65 million chickens eaten every year will leave a mark on the planet, with scientists and diggers citing them one day as evidence of our existence, alongside radioactivity and microplastics . That was the conclusion of a study from the University of Leicester in England, on the ecology of a planet dominated by human settlements.

Chickens, boiled, roasted and shredded, represent perfectly what we are doing to the planet, in material and symbolic terms. Mass violence isn't the preserve of terrorists, to be sure.

Over 5,000 years, this essentially flightless bird, originally from India , according to the Audubon Society, has become the main source of animal protein for people across the world. With their legs tied, caged or sitting in baskets, these birds eventually made their way to the most remote Amazon settlements and to our country's highlands.

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How Argentina Got Hooked On Overfishing — And How To Set Herself Free

Trawling in Argentine waters is wiping out marine life in the southern Atlantic. Whatever the money stakes, Argentina must expand those territorial waters where all fishing is banned.

BUENOS AIRES — Very few people know about trawl fishing, the chief method used to fish, indiscriminately and wastefully, in Argentine territorial waters . It has been used for over 50 years to catch hake (halibut) and prawn, two of the three species that constitute the local industry (the third being squid, which is caught another way).

Bottom trawling, if this is happening at the seafloor level, is "non-selective," and uses a vast, heavy net, 120 meters long and 45 wide, with a "mouth" that can reach 12 meters in height.

The monstrous contraption is submerged and dragged by a boat on the surface, engulfing everything in its path: fish, crustaceans, molluscs, mammals, etc. This means dragging up, and killing, all life in a particular zone just for hake and prawn.

Everything that rises dies before it is loaded onto these floating factories. Rays and sharks emerge as half-crushed remains, and are thrown back into the sea. Within minutes, a place teeming with life is turned into a graveyard.

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Fiumicino Postcard: A Cruise Ship Giant Wants A Seaside Town As Its Own Roman Port

Not far from Rome's international airport, the Royal Caribbean cruise ship company bought a state concession to try to build a massive new port to host its Oasis-class cruise ships – 72-meter-high skyscrapers on the sea. Locals in Fiumicino say one major transport hub in the area is more than enough.

FIUMICINO — In front of the old lighthouse in this Italian coastal town, about 30 kilometers southwest of Rome , the clouds cast shadows on the translucent sea. A rusting, half-buried moped emerges from the sand. Here, it seems that time has run itself aground, caught in a fisherman's net.

On this piece of land between the delta of the Tiber River and the Mediterranean Sea , what was once a strategic point for ancient Rome and close to the longstanding home of Rome's international airport, a large new deepwater port will soon be built.

In Feb. 2022, Fiumicino Waterfront, a company controlled by cruise line Royal Caribbean, bought a state concession at an auction that includes a vast area of the coast. The company now owns 55,000 square meters of land and 988,000 square meters of water. The project plans include space for 800 moorings, two of which are for Oasis-class cruise ships – 72-meter-high skyscrapers on the sea, twice the height of the lighthouse, which serves as a symbol of Fiumicino’s past and as a historic guard post for the coast.

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Alfonso Masoliver

Fill My Nets, Row Me Home: The Fleeting Fortunes Of Lake Kivu Fishermen

Rwandan fishers dive into the silent waters of one of Africa's largest lakes. The rhythms are relatively calm, but a lifetime of hard work rarely adds up to much where earning even a euro a day is a long shot.

GISENYI At first glance, the life of the fishermen in the villages surrounding Lake Kivu seems easy enough.

They don't have to face the dangers of the sea that threaten their saltwater counterparts, nor do their boats suffer the pounding waves. Every evening, they go out to fish, secure in the knowledge that they will not end up shattered against foam-camouflaged reefs.

Here, in northwest Rwanda, few widows mourn lost fishermen , unless their husband was particularly clumsy. They wait for the sun to swell and glow, as if to plunge into the earth's depths. Late in the afternoon, they load their colorful boats with the ease of routine: they throw freshly mended nets and gas lamps onto the deck, and the 11 members of each crew jump aboard. They don't need complex radios or navigation systems to steer their way around the simple geography of the lake.

Each day repeats itself, with remarkable precision; so much so that a month scarcely seems like a very long day, a year seems like a lengthy month, a decade like a prolonged year, and a life is but a long sigh that must necessarily come to an end. The fishermen sink their wooden oars into the water and begin moving away from the shore to the rhythm set by the captain's right hand’s song.

While he sings, the captain occasionally strikes the rim of his boat with an oar, whistles, and flexes muscles sculpted by decades of working the immense mass of water. He sings: "Row, row, I keep rowing, row, row, I never stop rowing, row, row, I keep rowing!" They continue like this until they stop paddling and cast their nets.

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In The News
Laure Gautherin, Emma Albright, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Java Quake Death Toll Jumps, Defiant Iranian Soccer Players, Monster Goldfish

👋 Kaixo!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where the death toll in Indonesia’s earthquake rises to 252, the Iranian soccer team refuses to sing their national anthem in apparent support of protests, and holy carp , that’s a nice catch. Meanwhile, Suman Mandal in Indian website The Wire looks at how the deaths of migrant workers and Qatar's poor human rights record will linger over the World Cup .


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Kayhan London

Iran Caught In Persian Gulf's Record Rise In Illegal Shark Hunting

The Persian Gulf has become lucrative fishing territory. Sharks, a threatened species, are being hunted to be used in cooking and medicines. Local fishermen are being arrested, but the operation involves people much higher up the food chain.

LONDON — Iranians were informed in mid-May of another piece of endemic lawlessness in their country: illegal fishing of sharks in the Persian Gulf, with the catch destined for unspecified destinations and part of an ever bigger black market .

Authorities found a haul of 8,000 dead shark and shark fins in the port of Chabahar in south-east Iran, and 2,500 shark fins on the island of Kish, in the south-west of the country, in less than a week earlier in May. The chief environmental officer of the Sistan-and-Baluchestan province described the consignments, found in cold storage facilities, as the biggest so far.

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Norwegian Salmon v. Danish Trout: Lessons On Ecology And Economics

The Danish government has banned further growth in sea-based fish farming, claiming the country had reached the limit without endangering the environment. A marine biologist says it is a misguided policy for both economic and ecological reasons.


“They’ve got the oil in the North Sea, but don’t let Norway get all the pink gold too…”

That was a headline of a recent OpEd in Danish daily Politiken , arguing that misguided environmental concerns are giving neighboring Norway a monopoly on the lucrative salmon industry.

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Jean-Francis Pécresse

Fishing For Trouble? Europe Must Stand Up To Boris Johnson's Bullying

The post-Brexit row of fishing rights is the last straw for not only France, but all of the European Union, who must put an end to the whims of Britain's prime minister, who seems ready to toss out years of negotiations for the divorce between the UK and EU.


PARIS — The fishing war between Paris and London is on, but it would be a mistake to worry too much about it.

Of course, we should not underestimate the deterioration of relations between our two countries, especially since the UK has multiplied unfriendly and even aggressive actions against France . The level of conflict is unprecedented for the contemporary era.

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Green Or Gone
Anna Geroeva

Microplastics In Lake Baikal, World’s Largest Freshwater Lake At Risk

Fishing nets, industry and other human-caused dumping are poisoning Russia's Lake Baikal, the world's largest, deepest (and oldest) lake. Bigger than all the North American Great Lakes combined, it's at risk after 25 million years of life.

MOSCOW — The vast and ancient Lake Baikal in Russia has a rich history, providing a home for thousands of plants and animal species and sustaining the nearby Buryat tribes going back millennia. It's the world's deepest and oldest lake, and has survived for some 25-30 million years. But its depths bury a dark secret: a growing layer of microplastic pollution that threatens the health of Lake Baikal.

A new study looking at microplastics was conducted in the southeastern coast of the lake and the Small Sea in Southern Siberia. These places are not the most populated on the Baikal shore; no more than several hundred people live there permanently. But the water sampling areas were chosen not by chance: all of them are touristic areas, so they are considered to have a significant human impact.

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Anne-Sophie Goninet

Magnet Fisherman Finds Cartier And Bulgari Treasures At Bottom Of French Canal

Magnet fishing isn't what it might sound like. The pastime has nothing to do with pulling in big fish, but rather hooking treasures thanks to a long rope and a strong neodymium magnet cast into your local ( polluted ) body of water.

The usual catches are hardly shiny trophies: discarded bicycles, shopping carts, tools, old boots, nuts and bolts, and other debris that have been rusting at the bottom of a pond, river or lake for years. (Yes, the hobby is also ecological!)

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Carl-Johan Karlsson

An Ill-Advised Fish Tale From Downtown Oslo

It was a sunny, Scandinavian afternoon when Even Nord Rydningen spotted something in the still waters beneath Oslo's Gullhaug bridge.

"It looked like a trout, but it also looked a bit like a shark," he told Norwegian daily Aftenposten .

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