Sponsor: And now we return to our regularly scheduled interview –
I. You mentioned that the cod, Newfoundland’s largest source of revenue, were gone and the affect it had on the island’s population.
B. Yes, that’s right. The fish stocks had fallen off before, but certainly not to the precipitous levels that they reached in 1992. At that point, it was sort of like the canary in a coal mine – if the bird in the cage is laying on its back, you better get out of that mine fast. A catastrophe is about to happen. And that is what happened in Newfoundland. It was the canary in a global coal mine, but nobody noticed until it was too late.
I. Is is an isolated case?
B. It was thought to be until 2006 when a paper, by Dr. Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, was published predicting a worldwide version of this disaster. The paper received worldwide attention as it should have as it stated that by the middle of this century, all stocks of wild, edible fish will be in total collapse. After that, lots of kids will not be taking tuna fish sandwiches to lunch any longer.
I. OK, that’s the problem. What’s the solution?
B. Well, as in so many things, identifying the problem is often far more easy that determining the solution. The quick, cheap, and dirty answer is stop fishing. Is that realistic? Probably not. Could we get an easy buy-in from fishing countries around the world – same answer. But, unfortunately, that is the only answer at this point.
I. How about fish farming as a replacement?(organicguide.com)
B. That becomes a whole political issue for which there is a lot of debate. The other part of that though is it does not return the fisherman to the sea. As I said earlier about another solution – it’s an answer. Maybe not the popular one though. Without the fishermen returning to their livelihood, rural Newfoundland will, and is, disappearing before us. That is what the book “Arn? Narn.” portrays.
I. So fish farming is not a viable answer?
B. Not for cod at least. They don’t seem to be very cooperative about it. Additionally, there are too many studies floating around discouraging wide consumption of farmed fish, particularly salmon. Catfish do well as a farmed species, perhaps Tilapia as well. But they can’t replace all the other species.
I. Last question, Bruce. When will the book be out?
B. It looks like now sometime in late September or the first week of October. We hope to start getting the word out in the next couple of months.