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Fishing

Fishing

fishersFishing is one of the world's most ancient professions. Fishers on the high seas, along sea coasts, on lakes and on rivers are all People of the Sea.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates that today some 41 million people live from fishing and fish farming, with a great majority being from developing countries. Broadly speaking, there are three categories of fishing:

  • traditional
  • artisanal and
  • industrial,

Threats to world fishing

Flags of convenience have brought particular problems to the fishing industry. Lack of accountability means that health and safety regulations may be flouted. Internationally agreed fishing quotas may not be respected. Over fishing leads to depletion of fish stocks damaging the future livelihood of fishers. These practices also threaten other marine species such as dolphins, sharks, and sea turtles which are caught in nets and destroyed as "by catch".

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) is a matter of serious debate among numerous international organisations. However there is a tendency to focus on the loss of fish stocks rather than the dangers to fishers onboard. Fishers involved in illegal fishing are usually recruited from developing countries. In the words of a report called "Why fish piracy persists", produced by the OECD:

they have few other employment options, they work on IUU vessels for low wages and in extremely poor living and working conditions to such an extent that they are considered bonded labour.

Perhaps it is because of the deep spiritual quality of traditional fishermen that Christ built his Church by choosing his first Apostles from among the fishermen.

Mr. Felix Randrianasoavina

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