...or Subsidising Planetary Destruction, part 94.
Last month the United Nations General Assembly discussed banning high-seas bottom trawling, which scrapes the sea-floor bare, devastating habitat and coral. But strip mining of the high seas for fish in this way is not only continuing: it is being subsidised.
The villains – or lunatics – in this particular policy area include Japan, Russia, South Korea, and Spain. And how are their destructive fishing operations subsidised? Mainly by the provision of low-cost fossil fuel! The Fisheries Economics Research Unit at the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Centre estimates (pdf) that bottom trawl fleets operating in the high seas receive an average of US$152 million per year, which constitutes around 15 per cent of the total landed value of the fleet.