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Impact of global warming on fishing

03-05-2012 08:10 BJT

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About 10 million people across Africa rely on fishing for their livelihood. Not only is it a source of food, but a source of income as well. But there are growing concerns that climate change will have a devastating effect on the fishing industry.

And fishermen are already feeling the pinch. Guy Henderson travelled to a village outside Cape Town in South Africa, to find out what kind of challenges people are already experiencing.

Every day during fishing season for 29 years, Luqmaan Fortune has launched his boat off this shore, cast his nets and caught crayfish. But lately, the day’s catch has been going from bad to worse. And he believes the earth’s changing climate is - in part - to blame.

Fisherman Luqmaan Fortune said: “Mainly it’s the global warming. Earlier you could come out, loads of crayfish. The changing of the tides, the temperature of the water, the winds everything. It’s more difficult to go to sea now.”

The problem, though, is proving it. Whether it’s a lack of resources - or a lack of willingness, data collection on the possible affects of warming sea temperatures here, and in other parts of Africa, is desperately lacking. And so, with no proof, little is done. And there’s another problem. Poaching. To combat that - rangers like Evelyn check every boat as it comes in - there are strict quotas and daily charges.

Evelyn Du Toit with Marine Field Ranger said: “Poaching is a real problem. The people here are suffering because they can’t take as much as they used to, they can’t. Not any more.”

Luqmaan lives in the nearby Ocean View township, which relies almost solely on fishing. Rising costs and declining revenues, he says, are threatening this entire community

Someone said: “as the year’s are progressing, it’s getting worse and worse and worse, big impact on me as sole provider of house. It stresses me out. If weather doesn’t permit it, I’m stranded. What am I going to provide for them?”

4 children. 6 grandchildren. All under one roof. Their future, he believes, looks ominous.

Someone said: “when my grandchildren, when they’re big. I don’t want to think what will happen to them. There will be no crayfish.”

Reporter: “How much of an impact climate change is having on the community here is unkown. These are recent changes and of course over-fishing and poaching is also part of the problem. But speaking to the fishing men and women here it’s clear something is changing in the ocean off this shoreline. A shoreline shared - ultimately - by thousands of similar fishing communities across the continent.”


Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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