Unless you live under a rock (and use one of those foot-powered Fred Flintstone cars), you’ve probably noticed that gas prices have gone up, way up. Today we hear what may be one of several silver linings about the end of “cheap” energy–news that the increasing fuel costs may reduce overfishing in the world’s ocean.
See Longliners idle in port, citing fuel costs.
In case you don’t know, recent studies are predicting a global fishery collapse by about 2045 (and I’m surprised that they predict it that far into the future). Most scientists agree that the global ill of overfishing is at least partially due to overcapacity, a reality that is perpetuated by subsidies.
I have always felt that the WTO negotiations over the reduction of fishing subsidies hold great promise to cure overfishing. Now, with high fuel prices, they hold even more importance.
How much do we spend on fuel subsidizing the decimation of our fish and turtles?
Estimated fuel subsidy for some of the developed countries
Country (US$/Litre) Litres (million) Total cost US$ millions/yr
Australia 0.20 205 41
France *0.14 673 94
Greece *0.20 68 14
Hong Kong 0.40 155 62
Japan 0.25 4,459 1,115
Spain 0.10 1,259 122
Taiwan1 0.09 1,329 120
USA 0.06 3,010 184
Total 1,752 million dollars!!!
FUEL SUBSIDIES TO GLOBAL FISHERIES:
MAGNITUDE AND IMPACTS ON RESOURCE SUSTAINABILITY1
Ussif Rashid Sumaila1, Louise Teh1, Reg Watson1, Peter Tyedmers2 and Daniel Pauly1
Fisheries Centre, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory (AERL), University of British Columbia.
2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC., V6T 1Z4, Canada
School for Resource and Environmental Studies (SRES), Faculty of Management,
Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada