Thursday, July 9, 2015

Steinbeck on Overfishing

"In about an hour we came to the Japanese fishing fleet.  There were six ships doing the actual dredging while a large mother ship of at least 10,000 tons stood farther offshore at anchor. THe dredge boats themselves were large, 150- to 175 feet, probably about 600 tons. There were twelve boats in the combined fleet including the mother ship, and they were doing a very systematic job, not only of taking shrimp from the bottom, but every other living thing as well.  They cruised slowly along in echelon with overlapping dredges, literally scraping the bottom clean.  Any animal wich escaped must have been very fast indeed, for not even the sharks got away.  Why the Mexican government should have permitted the complete destruction of a valuable food supply is one of those mysteries which have their ramifications possibly back in pockets it is not well to look into."
John Steinbeck, The Log From The Sea Of Cortez. (Penguin, 1995, p. 205)  Emphasis added. Feel free to substitute the name of any other coastal government for the word "Mexican."