Home' Ausmarine : November 2012 Contents Hi there, Grumpy Old Bastard,
Sorry, I don't know how else to address you.
Regarding your comments discussing the future of the five
species in decline. We here in Tassie are about to get the
FV 'Margiris' fishing 18,000 tonnes of these same fish. My
husband is a commercial scale fisher and we are loathe to back
greenies and recreational fishers; however we have real concerns to the
possible spatial depletion of these fish (Jack mackerel and redbait etc).
AFMA and others are putting their own spin on Professor Kearney's
research and are using it to promote the sustainable nature of the super
trawler. Yrs etc.
Thank you, madam
Funny how correspondence usually emanates from the ladies,
but that's fishos for you. Stout fellers are usually silent, and a fat
lot of good it'll do them (by the way, my name appears monthly at
the top right-hand corner of the page).
Through the popular media we have watched a hysterical Labor
government that obviously didn't know what it was talking about.
A piece in the Weekend Australian, by Brendan Nicholson, reads,
"Kevin Rudd has joined the push to torpedo plans for a giant
Dutch trawler to take a massive catch in Australian waters";
politicians are a loose-mouthed lot, aren't they?
In the September issue of Ausmarine (p. 13), AFMA quietly
explained the matter of the 'Margiris' that accords with what we
suspected all along and is thus nothing to worry about. However, it
is a bit late considering the uninformed public's thirst for shock,
horror, and the latest car smash.
We will probably never know the full facts about the target
offshore fish, but I seem to recall that there exists a considerable
untouched population -- including Jack mackerel -- just waiting for
catching by such as the renamed MV 'Abel Tasman'. But to spring
something like a converted container ship with an 18,000 tonne
entitlement on an uninformed public is just another PR disaster.
AFMA needs a Doctorate in PR and would do well to keep the
public informed at all times.
Fish farming and processing
I've just been reading some of the fine print on a packet of six
frozen fillets of Alaskan pollack from a wild fishery, caught in UN
Areas 61 and 67, processed in New Zealand with a 51% crumbed
coating, for a German-owned supermarket in Australia. Also listed are
the additives and "No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives".
All of which was fairly simple, besides trying to understand the
info on a packet of frozen prawns from Asia simply loaded with
"information" in code form.
Recently I was studying an article on aquaculture by Graham
Lloyd in the Weekend Australian magazine (15/16 Sep). Headed
"Catch 22", it is subtitled, "Aquaculture seems a logical way to satisfy
the world's hunger for fish, but farming them is a tricky business". It
mentions that the amount of farmed fish consumed internationally
will need to increase by 23 million tonnes. Apparently some 40
species are farmed in Australia, and were worth $870 million in 2010,
says the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and 43%
of which was Australian Atlantic salmon worth $369.
But, as you would suspect, the main message worldwide is about
environment and pollution and about finding places to farm fish.
Furthermore, there seems to be a growing concern over Australia's
limited area of cool-water space such as Tasmania's west coast
Macquarie Harbour. Although hurriedly state approved, it is yet to get
the nod federally.
That's not all. Having been familiar with Atlantic salmon all my
life and studied them elsewhere, I know that they do not normally
acquire that desirable pink flesh in captivity, yet they do have it
when sold in the shops. When I interviewed the industry years ago, I
asked and was told it was achieved through a feed additive that is
widely used elsewhere in the food trade.
Called "canthaxanthin", it is described in the Encyclopaedia
Brittannica as "Cantharella cinnabarinus, a mushroom species
from which is obtained a caratenoid used especially as a colour
additive for food".
Of course that was 20 years ago and things may have changed but,
I repeat, aquaculture is going to need all it can get seeking to
maintain its present course. Probably it will suffer occasional panics
through careless inspection and deceptive labelling
overseas -- perhaps even spotty outbreaks of disease. On the bright
side, two or three well-known environmental lobbies such as the
WWF have joined forces with fish farmers, so that may be a help.
Grumpy Old Bastard
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