People are starving so let’s hide the food

These people don’t know what’s happening on their own planet. The idea of locking up most of the Antarctic’s marine environment in what’s loosely called a “park” seems destined to kill a lot of the starving Third World.

Surely the idea is strictly for those who don’t like humans?

Never mind mineral resources that might be available down there, why stop all fishing activities? They grow back. Fish are the definition of a renewable resource.

If fishing practices need modifying, modify them, but don’t ban the harvesting of food. This strange call for a “massive Antarctic reserve” (what would it achieve?) was reported in the Herald today:

An Antarctic lobby group, backed by major conservation groups and celebrities, is calling for a massive marine reserve in the Ross Sea as part of an even bigger reserve surrounding Antarctica.

It would include a substantial proportion of New Zealand’s dependency area of the Ross Sea, extend out to 60 degrees south and be comparable to the area of Australia.

The Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) today launched its first report calling for 3.6 million square kilometres of fully protected marine reserve.

It would also be one of 19 areas in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica to form the world’s largest nature reserve, protecting the nearly 10,000 unique species found in the freezing environment.

The ban on fishing and development would cover most of the area where Patagonian toothfish is now fished …

Both New Zealand and the United States, members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), have already proposed reserves for the Ross Sea, but the AOA says the data suggests a much bigger area is needed.

“While there are two proposals on the table to protect some of it, our report shows that we need a much broader and ecosystems-focused approach if we are to ensure this environment remains healthy and stable,” said AOA’s Chuck Fox.

CCAMLR, established in 1982 to prevent the Antarctic being over-exploited, has agreed to create a network of marine protected areas in some of the ocean around Antarctica.

However, CCAMLR is a closed body and the AOA says that without public attention during the process, only minimal protection will be achieved.

See how “preventing over-exploitation” became “preventing any exploitation”?

I wonder how it happened that activists took over the CCAMLR (now isn’t that an awkward-sounding name?). Here is the glaring anomaly in that name – if you’re going to consider marine life as “resources” why lock them away where they cannot be resourced?

A resource that will never be used is a waste of resources.

In any case, what would change? Nobody owns the place, this wouldn’t be law in Antarctica, because nobody owns it; so nobody has the right to rule it. Who would defend the park?

The UN? Don’t make me laugh. They’re about to embarrass themselves yet again over Gaddafi, the butcher of Libya. From the Jerusalem Post today:

The UN is preparing to adopt a report praising the human rights record of the former government of deposed Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, in a move a UN monitoring NGO said would bring embarrassment to the international rights organization.

But I digress.

Let the sailors go fishing in Antarctica, people are hungry!

10 Thoughts on “People are starving so let’s hide the food

  1. Backed by celebrities? Which ones?

  2. Slightly o/ t but a good piece from Autonomous Mind

    Forget climate change, we must focus on the real issue

    http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/forget-climate-change-we-must-focus-on-the-real-issue/

  3. Richard C (NZ) on February 29, 2012 at 7:29 am said:

    I disagree, I think the push-back should be on both fronts.

    Sobering article though.

  4. Alexander K on February 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm said:

    I agree with Autonomous Mind about the real issue, but we have no real choice but to push back on all fronts. We have to fight each fire as and where it breaks out.
    And why do celebrities assume they know all about everything? Bill Gates is a case in point – if he was really as clever as his pronouncements lead him to believe he is, I wouldn’t be stuck with frustrating and balky equipment and systems on my desk. Thank heavens Microsoft don’t build motor vehicles as if they did, there would be huge fatal accidents on the roads as vehicles unexpectedly stopped any old where for ‘upgrading’ then having to wait in dangerous and wildly inconvenient places while one’s vehicle restarts, etc. I could go on, but I think my point is clear – even wildly successful people should ‘stick to their knitting’ until they really do know and understand the areas wherein they seek the limelight instead of going off half-coked and making idiots of themselves.
    And yes, an unusable resource is hardly a resource of any kind!

  5. Do you have any idea how expensive the toothfish is they catch down there? I can assure you that no one in the starving third world eats it. In fact I can’t afford it and I’m hardly starving or third wold. Please do your homework.

  6. I’ve made this point a few times on various blogs:

    The last thing Planet Earth needs is Service Pack 1 from Bill Gates!

  7. That’s a bit harsh, Geoff. I didn’t say feed the Antarctic cod to poor people. They also fish for krill, squid and whales in the Antarctic region. Tonnes of it.

    Do you approve of the park proposal?

  8. Having seen the benefits of marine reserves, yes i do.

  9. Clarence on March 1, 2012 at 11:17 pm said:

    Geoff, if your rich friends can eat toothfish, that will free up some snapper for you to eat. And the hoki you would’ve eaten can then go to people who could only have gurnard before. And … but you get the gist.

    If we reduce the supply of any part of the earth’s bounty, the shortage is going to trickle down to (and enlarge) the starving third world.

  10. Luke of the D on March 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm said:

    I get saving the fishies and other creatures, but seriously, why all this fuss over saving animals where it is cold and animals are relatively rare? No one seems to care about the jungles of Africa or South America (not to mention the former forests of Europe, North America… well parts, or New Zealand). Silly green people seem to like “white” far better than green (seeing as the like ice and every bloody bird-dicer I’ve ever seen is white). Just seems backwards… if anything, we should exploit the hell out of Antarctica… why not? Basically nothing there except resources. Ho-hum…

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