Overfishing - I've come across the linked animated infographic that delivers stark numbers and lots and lots of food for thought. The clip suggests that people need to rise up and make governments change and enforce stronger laws. But I wonder, what can the insurance industry do?
We're roughly 7 billion people muddling about on 30% of the planet - the rest is water, oceans. Over one billion people rely on fish for their daily dose of protein. But things are going wrong, and have been for the past decades, with laws that are not enforced, governments that keep caving in to special interests and/or simply looking the other way. Things are going wrong with bigger and bigger boats and nets trawling the oceans to deliver on a market demand that is consistently hyped by the industry. The clip shows that some of these nets are the size of 4 soccer fields, large enough to contain 13 jumbo jets, large enough to hold 500 tons of fish! That's called efficiency, I guess - or is it desperation?
The clip also highlights that as much of 90% of what's caught may be wasted - e.g. if you buy one kilo of shrimp - up to 9 kilos of fish had to die for that ... they are simply tossed overboard again. Fish farms are another element - I've watched documentaries where it was discovered that what goes into those fish farms to both feed and keep healthy ... boggles the mind - and makes it hard to believe that human beings would still eat what's being harvested there. Then of course there's also the element that lots of the fish grown in farms need to eat fish to grow ... so more of the oceans are depleted to grow the fish in the tanks.
This National Geographic article - http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/critical-issues-overfishing/ - highlights: "Faced with the collapse of large-fish populations, commercial fleets are going deeper in the ocean and father down the food chain for viable catches. This so-called "fishing down" is triggering a chain reaction that is upsetting the ancient and delicate balance of the sea's biologic system. A study of catch data published in 2006 in the journal Science grimly predicted that if fishing rates continue apace, all the world's fisheries will have collapsed by the year 2048."
The markets won't change unless they have to. People won't pressure their governments enough to really bring about change. So I'm wondering - can insurers and reinsurers, the entire insurance industry, tackle and actually solve the problem? Scientists do say that the depletion of the oceans can be stopped by giving fish populations a chance to build up again. A lot needs to change. The insurance industry takes the risk off many shoulders so that progress can come, so that change can be affected, so that new ways can be invented. The insurance industry does this type of enabling every single day. Maybe the oceans - these 70% of the earth we all desperately depend on - are an issue the insurance industry as a whole can take on and bring about the change that's so desperately needed.
Video shared with permission from OCEAN2012. For more information, please visit http://www.ocean2012.eu/
Category: Food security: Food industry, Food waste