Thursday, May 04, 2006

fish smile as oil passes peak

I can only imagine that the transition to a lower energy lifestyle will come with its share of unpleasant bumps and bruises. I do see however positive implications ultimately coming out of peak oil for our species and for others. It sure would be a welcome relief for the over fished oceans of the world. It turns out we passed peak fish years ago.

"Among its most notable findings, the research has revealed that the world passed "peak fish" – a peak in the biomass, or weight, of fish caught from the world's oceans – in the late 1980s. Since then, while there have been regional variations, the global fish haul has gradually sunk."

As this article in The National Fisherman describes, it seems that as fuel prices increase, more fisherman might decide not to hit the high seas.

“These boats have to weigh whether to pay $8,000 on fuel to go out and catch $10,000 worth of fish,” Loga says. “High fuel prices will be the biggest issue facing the industry this summer, not NMFS, not PETA and not the weather.”

I noticed higher-than-normal prices for shrimp at the grocery store last night. Very often the only shrimp that are available come from Thailand. It seems this ocean industry has also been affected by the recent rise in fuel prices.

“High global oil prices are taking their toll in Thailand, where the nation's fishing fleet - one of the largest in Southeast Asia - has been affected. Hundreds of vessels are tied up at dock, threatening huge numbers of jobs.”

In the future as we pass the peak in global oil production some people may complain about the reduced availability of fish for human consumption. Others will lament the rise in cost. Many in the fishing industry might not be able to continue that way of making a living. For our finned friends however peak oil might have arrived just in time.

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