Net result: tragic

Published: Tuesday 31 October 1995

-- The scenario in the fishing industry is alarming. The state of straddling fish stocks is a global disasaster and overfishing is a major problem. The structure of the fishing industry has something to do with this. Japan takes in the world's largest haul - twice as much as China. But Japan has only 200,000 fisherfolk, while in China fishing means bread for 3.8 million households. Ninety per cent of the world's fisherfolk are small Technologies range from dugout canoes to 100-m factory freezer-trawlers. Income disparities rangebet" $15,000 annually per person for mega-trawler crews, to a meagre US $500 earned by a small operator. And in countries like India, traditional fisherfolk contribute between 1-5 per cent of the national income, 98 pe of them starve through their lives. The smaller fisherfolk just catch; the bigger ones go on a rampage.

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