Sea cucumber
© iStock

Sir, As this newspaper has highlighted, an environmental catastrophe now looms for the world’s oceans (“ A bigger catch: China’s fishing fleet hunts new ocean targets”, The Big Read, March 28; “ Emptying seas and mounting tensions in fish hungry Asia”,, November 7 2016).

Industrial conglomerates are raping the seas to satisfy ever-expanding demand for food in the world’s second most populous nation. Having fished out home waters, China’s huge fleets have moved on to international waters, supported at these larger distances by transport and re-supply vessels.

Species that were once abundant are now facing extinction as far afield as Chile and Argentina. What happened in the North Sea now threatens to repeat on a global scale unless action is taken urgently. Are there any enlightened statesmen up to the task of brokering international agreements to limit catches before it is too late?

Over-fishing is not just an environmental tragedy; it is also a human one, as a potentially sustainable food resource is lost to future generations.

Dr John Law

London W2, UK

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