Fishing industry being "unfairly branded as pillagers" –

Fishing industry being “unfairly branded as pillagers” Published:  13 January, 2010

The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) says it is only little more than ten years ago that fishermen were regarded as providing the national with a valuable food resources, produced under sometimes difficult and dangerous conditions.

Now that had all changed. “Over a very short timeframe, to be portrayed as “pillagers and rapers” of the marine environment, said the NFFO.

“We accept that some parts of the media and indeed some parts of the environmental movement will always be in search of a pantomime villain. Sensationalism and selective facts almost always win out over a reasoned and proportionate approach. As a result, there have been some notable occasions when policy makers, and indeed nature conservancy advisors to government, have been more than a little responsive to the doom-mongers’ cries.

The statement adds: “What is striking about this misrepresentation of fishing is that it is an almost complete reversal of the truth. Yes, fishing has an environmental impact but if one looks at the whole range of objective indicators, including physical impact on habitat, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, in fact fishing scores very well against all other forms of food production.”

It concedes that the over exploitation of specific fish stocks was a live possibility. “But this is a long way away from the current media image of the fishing industry on a path to self-destruction, taking half of the planet with it.”