Fished out?

August 8, 2011

Faith Outdoors

I deepened my appreciation for our bountiful fishery here in Minnesota after reading a recent article in Time Magazine about the state of our world fishery. The gist of the story is this — the ocean is getting fished out.

I have worried about that in recent years, and now, it seems, the facts confirm my suspicions. According to the Time article, the worldwide catch has been 90 million tons a year since the mid-1990s. That’s a lot of fish! And, not surprisingly, the seas cannot sustain such a staggering harvest.

Thank goodness we have fisheries managers in our state who have been paying attention to catch rates and have implemented restrictions that are keeping our lakes well stocked with fish — at least, for now.

At times, I do get frustrated with slot limits, especially when I am catching lots of walleyes that I have to throw back because they fall within a protected slot. After reading about the worldwide fish shortage, however, I will be sure not to complain about releasing fish. At least we have plenty of fish to throw back.

The answer for the global fish shortage is the fish farm. According to the article in Time, around half of the fish consumed around the world are raised in ponds and tanks. I’m sure most, if not all, Americans have eaten fish from farms, but I much prefer the wild variety.

And, best of all is when you eat what you catch yourself. But, with the global shortage in mind, I also will be just as glad to release fish for someone else to catch and eat.

In the meantime, folks involved in worldwide fisheries management may want to say a prayer to the One who filled the nets of those famous fishers of men who worked all night but came up empty.

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek