The Beacon

We'll Take That Bet, Mr. Tierney


[editor's note, by Jason] (This post is by Andy Sharpless, Oceana's CEO.)


We'll take John Tierney's challenge from his column in Tuesday's New York Times. Unless industrial fishing companies and polluters are stopped from pushing the world's fisheries into irreversible collapse, the price of wild-caught ocean fish will continue to soar. As the head of Oceana's Scientific Advisory committee, Daniel Pauly, pointed out in his book "In a Perfect Ocean," since 1950, the average price of North Atlantic fish doubled the CPI -- not counting subsidies.

US Fish Prices relative to 1950

Fish prices in the US relative to CPI since 1950

Colonists once fed prisoners lobsters. New Englanders grew up dreading cod cakes for dinner. I just bought two lobsters for $38, and Bluefin tuna runs $100 a pound in Tokyo.

Fish is a protein source for a billion people and should be renewable. But industrial fishing and weak government oversight are driving prices sky high. That means more boats and technology chasing down every last fish. I wish there were a deep-pocket with Mr. Tierney's convictions -- we'd use our winnings to protect and restore the world's oceans.


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