Two things have cropped up this week in the media, which I thought I would flag. One is the massive step by the UK Government to declare a ‘climate change emergency’ and the other was the article in the South China Post (SCMP) yesterday on the state of the tilapia farming business.
I think one must catch up on these developments oneself as they are very material, but I’ll just give some food for thought to kick the cerebral into gear.
The move by the UK Government, the first national government to declare such an emergency, marks a renewed sense of urgency in tackling climate change. I am impressed that it is the youth who have mainly taken this one ‘by the horns’ and are enforcing change. While there is no precise definition of what constitutes action to meet such an emergency, the move has been likened to putting the country on a “war footing”, with climate and the environment at the very centre of all government policy, rather than being on the fringe of political decisions.
Of course, Government will dilly dally, and the matter will be again debated, and disputed. But, as I have said in previous blogs, climate change could be a natural progression of earth changes, but I would suggest that we are exacerbating the change whereas with planning and sensible strategies we could slow and mitigate the change somewhat so we humans, can adapt.
This leads me to the second matter, an untreatable disease threatening to wipe our farmed tilapia. ( SCMP Stuart Heaver 06.05.2019). My company is all about sustainability and the provision of responsibly sourced seafoods. We try to educate people to buy ONLY sustainable sourced seafood, and wild catch only seasonally. However, the oceans are still in a depleted state and to meet worlds demand for protein, the deficit in supply from wild catch has to be met by aquaculture. 42 percent of all fish consumed is actually farm raised. Global production of tilapia is at 6.3 trillion tonnes with an estimated market value of USD 9.8 billion. It is a huge and necessary business.
Last year there were issues with Pangasisus/ basa/ Vietnamese sole production( an improper name ), this being the other main source of aquaculture raised fish. Production reduced and prices increased substantially. Aquaculture like farming is very fickle. You are exposed to what nature brings. Tilapia production is now threatened by a strange virus named the Tilapia lake virus ( Tilapia tilapinevirus), which is effecting production in over 13 nations. This is serious.
My reason for mentioning this is of course climate change?? Could this partially be the cause? Without any definite proof I cannot say, BUT having experienced the death of a whole year’s crop of oysters I would say ‘Yes’. MY own experience was due to a slight increase in water temperature, the oysters died of an innate virus that become alive and aggressive due to the temperature.
Again, let’s take care of the earth and the oceans. Let’s become more aware. Next week, in the same context Ill talk about the death of oyster farming in Hong Kong.
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