Sold alive from reefs off China, striped black tip rock cod and other fish may be ordered in the East Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Guangzhou, China. Caught for food or aquariums, the global trade in reef fish likely tops a billion dollars a year—with many species decimated.
From Paul Salopek story, Fade to Blue:
China’s fishing fleet has mushroomed sevenfold since the early 1980s, according to the UN. Today, it is by far the largest in the world. And though European fishermen still dominate the waters of Africa, China’s eventual supremacy is a foregone conclusion: The nation’s exploding appetite for fish, like its burgeoning demand for oil, iron and other natural resources, ensures it will elbow aside all competition. The UN Environmental Program calculates that, at its current rate of consumption, China theoretically could swallow the world’s entire seafood catch by 2023. Moreover, China is becoming fishmonger to the developed world; today, it is the United States’ third-largest supplier of seafood. “They take whatever they can get, wherever they can get it,” says Jackie Alder, a researcher at the Fisheries Center at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “The Europeans and Russians can be good pirates too. But the Chinese are absolutely single-minded.”Buy This Image