Expensive Fuel May Help Save The Slimehead
Net-and-run fishermen can less afford to motor out now, to the mid-ocean sea mounts around Australia - once home to massive deep water fisheries. As a result, the Patagonian Tooth Fish and "Orange Roughy" may be less likely to be wiped out.
The Orange Roughy, a.k.a. Slimehead, reaches reproductive maturity at around age 25 and, unless over fished, lives well over a century. They are drastically over fished, now. Soon, however, there may be fewer of these in the grocer's freezer case, as the catch grows more costly, commensurate with the rise in oil price. In the near term, thank China for subsidizing motor fuel. Their 'demand dominance' will help keep the oceans alive.
In the long term, though, be also thankful for Peak Oil if you wish to see these species survive.
Characterized by a blunt face lined with mucosal glands, the fish wasn't exactly handsome. But its flesh, which tasted vaguely of shrimp, was white, firm, and delicate. The only problem: the name. The fish was called "slimehead." So "some smart marketer," in the words of one expert, rechristened it "orange roughy." And a new high-end fishery was born.Now, with increasingly expensive fuel, the pillaging itself is as threatened as the species. It is as if the cartridges for the Sharps Buffalo rifle had, in the midst of the American Bison slaughter, quadrupled in cost.
We humans cast a wide net, don't we?
Catfish will have to be good enough.