IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
SERVING these lesser known, 'exotic',
deep sea delights, restaurant owners are
pocketing a neat sum, while fisherfolk
too are receiving a handsome price for
The craze for deep sea cuisine,
according to scientists, is beginning to
upset the delicate ecosystem of the dark
oceanic world which covers more than
half the earth's surface, and threaten
fragile life forms that dwell within. The
favourite varieties exploited today are
giant deep sea shrimps (like Stonington
Reds and Royal Scarlets), rattails, skates,
squid, red crabs, hoki, blue ling,
southern blue whiting, sablefish, black
scabbard fish and spiny dogfish.
. The main reasons why deep sea fish
are being targeted are the fishing wars
and the collapse of shallow fisheries.
Species like the cod and haddock have
been driven to the point of commercial
extinction. Fisherfolk struggling hard to
prevent the doom that heavy debts from
creditors and government regulations
could cause, are foraging in deeper
But the survival tactics adopted by
such fisherfolk may well mean the end
of these deep sea animals, warn scientists and environmental groups. According to them, these animals inhabiting the icy depths of the oceans and seas
grow and multiply very slowly, which
makes their populations extremely
vulnerable to disturbance.
The Orange Roughy, a fish found
nearly two km below the surface of the
sea, off the coast of New Zealand, attains
sexual maturity when it is around 30
years old and lives for about 150 years.
Today, Orange Roughy populations
have collapsed around New Zealand.
Says Mike Hagler, a fisheries expert in
Auckland, New Zealand for 6reenpeace
International, "people would not eat
rhinoceros or any other terrestrial form
of life that they knew was threatened by
extinction. But they eat fish like, Orange
Roughy without a clue as to what is
Scientists are not demanding a move
to stop deep sea fishing all together;
rather, they want the entire process to
slow down because deep sea food is
gaining popularity at an alarming rate.
Awareness and moderation seem to be
the keys to avoiding trouble. "Some of
these fisheries might sustain a five-boat
fleet but would be rapidly depleted if
15-20 boats decided to go after them,"
says Peter J Auster, science director of
the National Undersea Research Centre
at the University of Connecticut in
Avery Point, US.
A delicate balance has to be established between conservation on one
hand and exploitation by fisherfolk on
the other. Bruce Morehead, an official of
the National Marine Fisheries Services
which works in close contact with fisherfolk to achieve this balance, says, "if
you do not accurately assess the stocks you
can accidentally kill them off."
which are available to
fisherfolk today are
much more powerful.
Fishing hauls which once took days to
recover now take a few minutes. Traditional trawlers used long steel
lines and stout nets which were either dragged mid-water or
across the dark ocean floor eased on the
way by rollers and drums. Today they
have been replaced by bigger and faster
ships with, thinner but stronger lines
and wider drums. The maws of the
trawls can be enormous, often hundreds
of feet wide.
What was earlier military technology is now being applied for hunting
fish. Radars are used to navigate boats
through dense fog, sonars are used to
hunt deep shoals and navigation satellites direct the boats into rich localities.
This has resulted in the depletion of life
from many continental shelf regions
and shallow seas, and now the nets are
plunging still deeper. By studying old
military maps which reveal the hidden
features of the deep seas, fisherfolk are
able to pinpoint the rich fertile zones for
"Deep waters mean high costs, high
technology and high finance. And consequently, the pressure is on to heavily
exploit the stocks," says Hagler. "You
are up against a wall, which pushes
fisheries beyond the limits of economic
sustainability," he adds.