MSBI – Marine Species Breeding Industry

MSBI – Marine Species Breeding Industry.

An initiative to recreate the UK marine environment, for a sustainable world class fishing industry. (Written 15-22 June 2001 Edited 2014.)

INTRO.

Numbers of all species of fish have decreased dramatically and are continuing to decrease worldwide. Being a highly populated and developed nation, the UK has had a more serious impact on its coastal ecology than most countries, due also to international fishing of UK waters in the past.

If we simply carry on with present consumption patterns, there would be so many extinctions that the next generation, and the thousands following that one, will have zero produce. This is the kind of message that needs to be made publicly aware for MSBI planning to be successful.

Government fishing quotas have been put in place due to a severe lack of fish stocks, crippling many trawler companies. It is questionable whether these quotas are adequate for the recovery of the marine environment. The MSBI aims to boost fish numbers and the fishing industry dramatically, in the mid term, by toughening bans and quotas in order to achieve a highly productive and sustainable industry.

Water pollution is a serious problem for the fragile marine ecology around the British Isles, which must be dealt with if the aim of regenerating well populated ecosystems is to be achieved. Urban and industrial purification systems are essential if sustainable fisheries are to regenerate. Purification systems must be implemented in the UK with its new dedicated environmental stance on marine rehabilitation. A proposed system of pollution taxes aims to clean up the seas, and force polluting industries to implement purification systems for the benefit of all marine species.

Being an isolated series of islands, on the very edge of the Western Hemisphere, the UK has the opportunity to create a vastly improved coastal fisheries system. Co-operation with neighbouring fishing industries will be essential for the restocking of migratory species, and also to satisfy the demand for fish by the British population, while the UK MSBI proceeds.

AIMS.

To allow all marine species the chance to regenerate their populations over a 15 year period, in order to create a far more efficient, productive, and long term sustainable fishing industry by the end of that time. Restrictions will be put in place and lifted in the most efficient manner possible for the restocking of all species.

It is proposed that there is a total ban on fishing in an exclusion zone around the United Kingdom for 5 – 15 years, depending on when Maximum Sustainable Quotas are reached. Continual assessments will have to be made to determine the exact status of each species, and ecosystem, in order to allow maximum efficiency fishing to commence as soon as possible, depending on the progress of the breeding process of the MSBI.

An aim would be to make the temporary fishing bans and quotas universally popular. This will involve public awareness, by promoting the MSBI as totally beneficial for the nation. The industry will become far more profitable, with bans being lifted as soon as each species is sufficiently well established. The time that each species takes to re-establish itself will vary. Acceptance of the bans will come through guarantees that fishing will re-commence as soon as Maximum Sustainable Quotas are reached.

Jobs will be created for marine biologists, redundant boats, diving teams, fishermen and fishing communities, re-creating ecosystems almost from scratch on many parts of the coast where the intensive drag netting has devastated the sea floor. There will be a major re-focus of efforts and work schemes towards repopulating and maintaining sustainable marine ecology, including marine flora, rather than pure exploitation.

Existing knowledge of traditional fishing grounds and breeding grounds will be used for the re-creation of highly populated species hot spots, with the emphasis initially being on economically profitable native fish and plant species. This would involve concentrating efforts on areas with the most potential for the various species. Specialist programmes would use the knowledge to repopulate each individual species in their traditional areas off the coast.

The creation of both sea and land based Protected Breeding Areas, in areas where the ecology is still intact and able to support breeding populations, or on land in large tanks if immature members of species are not able to survive in the wild, is the plan. Once strong enough to survive the fish could either be released into the wild, for recolonisation of much larger areas, of used to supply the human demand once they reach maturity.

The aim would be to establish a hugely diverse UK coastal marine ecology, which drives a more efficient fishing industry. A blanket ban on fishing for 5 years, with quotas becoming available over the next 10 years depending on fully monitored progress, is perceived to be necessary if this ambitious aim of boosting the marine populations is to become reality.

The UK would be taking a strong environmental stance for the sake of enormous benefits in the mid to long term future. It is hoped that the success of the programme will become obvious within 5 years, and that it will encourage other nations to follow the UK’s lead, adopting extremely beneficial environmental policies and practices.

PROPOSALS.

Nationalise the fisheries, trawling industry, and fish markets, so that there is sufficient co- ordination, funding and legislation from the government to ensure that the MSBI is put in place effectively with all involved playing their part. It would be almost impossible to co-ordinate the detailed procedures, and the many people involved in the MSBI, in any other way.

Nationalisation would allow fishing quotas to be tightly regulated in order to establish Maximum Sustainable Quotas, which will undoubtedly be an improvement on todays rapidly declining catches.

The whole programme is an investment in the future of the oceans. It must not be looked upon as the destruction of the trade, but as the logical process needed to give the entire trade a successful future. (Everybody will have to adapt for a few years, then the industry will be stronger than it has been for many years, and sustainable).

The creation of aquarium/tank based breeding programmes would kick-start the creation of a wide range of species. It is assumed that many marine ecosystems are so severely damaged by drag netting around the heavily trawled UK coasts, that many species are no longer present in the areas that they traditionally inhabited. Creating a breeding stock in captivity, for release into monitored marine ecosystems would appear to be sensible to help repopulate wild stock, however the science, Marine Biology, must be applied to maintain the health of the communities.

There will be many jobs created by this sound environmental programme- the rehabilitation process of the entire UK coastal zone. Knowledge of previously existing habitats will be needed. Re-creating them in situ could involve many thousands of boats and alternatively employed fishermen, who would be playing a crucial role in regenerating their livelihood. This work will play a decisive role in making the bans possible – the fact that there is alternative employment for the boats and crews.

Trawlers could be converted for different roles during the 15 years existence of the MSBI, taking cargoes of young fish, plant colonies, food supplements, divers and research crews (assessing numbers and finding the most suitable habitats for the recolonisation process), Seabed Landscaping (where the drag nets have destroyed all natural features), setting up marine enclosures for secure fish farming, garbage clearing trawlers….. but concentrating on restocking the multitude of lifeforms in new and existing intact habitats.

As well as fish species, there is the need to regenerate the many plant species, as well as different types of zooplankton and phytoplankton etc. Pollution will have played a devastating role in destroying these fragile lifeforms which are essential to support fish shoals and larger marine mammals. Seabed trawling techniques and the vast amounts of by-catch waste have devastated many lifeforms.

FUNDING.

Government funding could be generated from pollution taxes. Any industrial complexes that are pouring toxic waste into rivers, or directly into the sea, should be made to pay pollution taxes, the amount depending on the severity of the damage that the toxic waste is causing to marine ecosystems.

MSBI subsidies. The marine biologists, existing trawler businesses, fish mongers, fish and chip shops, fish markets etc. will have to be subsidised with the increased cost of imported fish, and the decreases in business for the first few years of the MSBI. Trawlers and fishing communities, it is hoped will be less of a concern with alternative employment prospects.

The UK government ought to provide finances for jobs in a UK MSBI, as eagerly as it does for the UK military, UK NHS, UK Benefits etc. as a fishing industry is vital for the wellbeing of future generations. If the financial provisions are efficiently controlled, many worthwhile jobs will be created in this industry which will become more and more profitable when the benefits of the new breeding industry start.

Fish imports. Bearing in mind future profit potential, the UK govt. could control the prices of fish in nationalised markets, subsidising the trade when necessary to ensue that it did not collapse. If there was legislation that reduced consumption of fish to Fridays alone, this would make supplying of all the fish markets more convenient.

BREEDING STRATEGY.

Breeding the maximum possible number of marine species (including plants, shell fish, invertebrates etc. which have to be propagated as part of the food chain) will be the optimum aim. The balance of species has been drastically altered around the UK due to years of intensive fishing, and symbiotic relationships will have to be researched and established for the most complete regeneration of self-sustaining natural marine ecosystems.

Protected breeding areas need to be set up around the coast where conditions make breeding prospects high. This will be influenced by the bans and quotas, as well as the improving condition of the marine ecology in the UK. Traditional breeding grounds will be most suitable for balanced populations, and establishing detailed maps of these beneficial areas where biodiversity has traditionally flourished will be most useful, with human symbiosis being the catalyst to re-create entire food chains.

Enclosures at sea will probably be the most cost effective form of captive breeding. Building up the strength of the fish populations and releasing them into the wild to re-create natural breeding populations and restocking marine life around our coasts is the plan. Marine biologists are critical to getting the science right, so that Fish Farming does not have negative consequences for the coastal ecology.

Alternatively, land based aquariums could be created on a broad scale, to breed species that are not hardy enough to survive in the seriously disturbed conditions on the sea bed and by the upset nature of the food chain. On shore breeding facilities and fish farming would if developed be highly productive to supply the human demand for fish in the future.

On-Shore farms and Protected Breeding Areas need detailed research and development. Marine biologists, along with fishermen and converted trawlers with diving crews (for transporting live fish, plant life etc.) will be greatly encouraged to develop the field of Sea Fish Farming with the ecological policy of using wild and free environments whenever possible. Ideally wild breeding populations would be the least expensive and healthiest option, but to create such sustainable ecology which once existed, the Governments need to kick start a new Fishing Industry which is collapsing.

INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT.

The territorial requirements of each species will mean that there must be a degree of co- operation among N.W.European countries, if UK waters are going to be stocked to their maximum potential. Many species will not migrate, however certain species will need protection in international waters in order for them to fully repopulate. It is hoped that the UK initiative will inspire all countries to get involved and to take the opportunity to repopulate whichever particular species use their waters.

Countries providing fishing rights for British trawlers and preferential terms of trade to the UK will be provided with preferential exports in return, once the UK fisheries are up and running again. The extent of the deals made must take into consideration the fact that we will have 15 years of imports to pay back, possibly from many different countries, along with the fact that the UK fisheries must be fished sustainably in the longer term.

The suppliers of fish to the UK in the short term will be important, as there will be concerns for the future of all marine environments. It would be highly unethical and unpopular to deplete other countries fisheries, just so that we could re-establish our own. A tightly monitored and controlled import trade would utilise stocks only from well stocked sustainable fisheries.

Phasing the bans out, and phasing in local, regional, national and international fishing quotas, will be a gradual and complex process, largely depending on the success of the new MSBI in the UK.

THE FUTURE.

It is likely that fish stocks will continue to decrease in fisheries around the world. The UK would be in a position 15 years into the future to be able to enjoy the benefits of a highly productive, and efficiently controlled National Fishing Industry. Demand from nations that have not acted to re-populate their fish stocks will maintain high prices, and the UK fishing industry will be safeguarded for the future, allowing UK fishermen to enjoy the reliability of their diverse marine environments and fisheries around the many UK islands, thanks to far sighted efforts of the MSBI.

It is likely that healthy UK fisheries would maintain higher numbers of fish in neighbouring waters from a degree of overflow. The health of neighbouring waters should also be taken into consideration when considering the profitability of the MSBI in the future.

The MSBI model proposed by the UK could be adopted area-by-area around the planet. This would create stages of returned marine health. Ultimately there would be a bountiful and sustainable global marine ecology and fishing industry, which would see fish prices dropping. This must be seen as a positive step – cheap and plentiful natural marine resources for all.

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Postscript:

It may be possible for marine life to repopulate our Oceans if they are given the chance, but the problem of Plastic Pollution entering the food chain, and killing many species in the process, is making the future for marine life far more precarious…. Tsunamis have increased the levels of pollution greatly by dragging the devastation on land back into the water, and what is not mentioned in this article is that we have to collect the marine garbage both on the shorelines and under water for the MSBI to succeed. This means that there are Jobs for many people in idyllic coastal locations around the World, and for trawlers and divers who are needed to detox all the discarded fishing nets and tackle on sea beds and in the gyres where plastic bags etc. naturally gather. If we do not do this the problem of species getting caught up in plastic and eating micro plastics etc. could bring about the death of the Oceans very soon which would make the future for humanity and every species which relies on bountiful Oceans very precarious indeed……

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PLASTIC – Putting Land And Sea Through Intense Chaos

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