A just-released UN document tells us that a quarter of commercial fish species are at risk. This is optimistic compared to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's estimate of half, and the World Resources Institute's of three-quarters.
Back in the 1950s, policy wonks favoured teaching the Third World beachcomber to fish and thereby feed himself for a lifetime. We now see that the resulting industrial fishing means $27 billion in yearly fish exports to First World countries. At the same time, Third Worlders saw their consumption of fish, their traditional source of protein and essential healthy fats, decline by half.
Here's a sample of what to look for as fishing issues "go critical." Denied access to fish protein by exports to Northern countries, hungry Africans and Asians increasingly hunt for "bush meat." This is driving some animal species to extinction.
It's no fish story to say that this is a resource that got away.....