retail news in context, analysis with attitude

There was a fascinating piece in the New York Times over the weekend about how over-fishing is having a major impact on the world's seafood supply, as well as on economies that depend on fishing for their financial health.

"Overfishing is depleting oceans across the globe," the story says, "with 90 percent of the world’s fisheries fully exploited or facing collapse, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. From Russian king crab fishermen in the west Bering Sea to Mexican ships that poach red snapper off the coast of Florida, unsustainable fishing practices threaten the well-being of millions of people in the developing world who depend on the sea for income and food, experts say.

"But China, with its enormous population, growing wealth to buy seafood and the world’s largest fleet of deep-sea fishing vessels, is having an outsize impact on the globe’s oceans ... Having depleted the seas close to home, Chinese fishermen are sailing farther to exploit the waters of other countries, their journeys often subsidized by a government more concerned with domestic unemployment and food security than the health of the world’s oceans and the countries that depend on them.

As I said, this is an intriguing and well-reported piece, and you can read it in its entirety here.
KC's View:
One of the things that I kept thinking about when reading the piece is how little influence the US is likely to exercise with China over this issue, mostly because we apparently need them to keep working against the possibility that we could get nuked by North Korea. The viability of the globe's seafood supply probably doesn't seem very important under these circumstances.

Which means that consumers - and retailers - need to stand up and do something about it, like doing their level best to never, ever buy or eat seafood from China. One of the points that is made in the piece is that Chinese fisherman justify their actions by saying that they are providing food for US consumers ... so we need to choke off that rationale.