Joshua Goodman, AP - China's fishing fleet off South America

Joshua Goodman, AP
China's fishing fleet off South America


It is proverbial that you don’t want to see how sausages are made.  At the opposite end of the ethical, or at least esthetic, food chain is fishing.  The happy associations with getting your feet wet or leaving your hands flecked with scales are frequently celebrated in pictures and stories about fishing as a harmonization of humankind and nature.

Once upon a time, one fisher versus one fish, maybe, but today, the fishing industry that puts food on your plate has been revealed, in a series of Associated Press investigative reports, to be an abuser of the people who bring in the fish and a cheater of the folks who buy them.

An award-winning AP team led by Robin McDowell, Margie Mason and Martha Mendoza interviewed fishing boat crews who were treated like slaves and fish marketers who confessed a lot of fish sold as local Cadillacs were really repurposed pescatorial Yugos.

Now, a new AP investigation looks at the damage the global fishing industry is doing to fish, and to the rule of law.  American overfishing has reduced the stock of the Georges Bank off the New England and Canadian coast. Now, on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts of South America, from Brazil to Argentina and from Ecuador to Chile, tons of squid are being harvested by the biggest industrial fishing fleet in the world, the one from half-a-world away, China.


Joshua Goodman is The Associated Press’ Latin America correspondent based in Miami.



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