Monday, 5 January 2009 9:39 AM

Cause of Crises May be Simple

Entire world ocean fish resource devastation is a likely source of impact causing the world money crisis as more and more cash is needed to buy food and fuel.

Both land and ocean natural food resource devastation is now serious and general and unprecedented. Cost of fish and meat is now out of reach of many people. Development of natural food resource devastation and consequent inflation coincides with development of the 2008 money crisis.

Economists and money authorities lack conclusive data but coastal and river professional and amateur fishing tourism communities worldwide have lost local staple food supply, exports, trade and livelihoods. Whole nations are impacted. Consequences include increased demand on produced food causing higher cost. Consider cost of fish in 2008.

In the United Kingdom previously low-cost traditional staple fish (and chips) has been replaced with imported sausages. North Sea herring and cod fisheries that once fed multi-multi millions of people and earned billions in export revenue have been almost totally destroyed. At a time when fish prices are at an unprecedented high the fishing nation of Iceland should be rich but has been the first requiring 2008 crisis bailout.

Generality and severity of world ocean fish resource devastation needs to be urgently understood. National Geographic reports 90% of ocean big fish already gone but economists and governments seem oblivious to the seriousness of devastation and impact.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/05/0515_030515_fishdecline.html

Ocean food resource devastation is much worse than indicated by the 90% estimated loss of big fish. Small fish stocks as well as ocean food web ecosystems are also devastated worldwide and fish populations generally are not recovering. While over-fishing is blamed, key seagrass food web nursery is being destroyed by nutrient pollution and damage and destruction is continuing unchecked. Whales are malnourished or starving with calves abandoned during unnatural long migration without food and rest. There is a gross lack of scientific research and knowledge to sustain the ocean and food supply.

In the Pacific Islands modern day parallels to the 2008 world economic crisis provide insight. In Solomon Islands (SI) devastation of traditional available staple fish resources has caused collapse of subsistence barter trade. Whole communities that depended on subsistence barter trade have had to turn to the cash economy. Once free or low cost fish now costs cash money that the majority of subsistence people lack. Increased demand for cash has increased demand on the under-capitalized SI national economy. The severe shortage of cash and employment has led to chronic poverty, argument, fights, recrimination, civil unrest, coup, riot and arson. Western media blames ethnic tension for SI unrest but impact of land and food and money shortage is known.

In 2005 Solomon Islands economist and former prime minister and treasurer the late Hon Bartholemew Ulufa'alu, said impact of fish depletion had gone unnoticed in SI and that he knew the economic problem in SI was occurring at the bottom of the economy. Now in 2008 it appears combined land and ocean natural food resource devastation and impact worldwide has not been noticed by monetary system management authorities.

Clearly, no-one alive today saw collapse of natural resources and trade that fed the estimated 20,000 people required to build the pyramids of Egypt, however people alive today have observed traditional food resource devastation that coincides with collapse of barter trade and development of the economic crisis and unrest in the Pacific.

In the Asia Pacific region traditional staple free or low cost fish has been replaced with rice that is increasing in cost due to increased demand. Plates now covered with rice only at most main meals would be only half covered if free or low cost fish remained available. Protein deficiency malnutrition and associated disease is worsening amongst people on supposedly idyllic Asia - Pacific islands where people lack cash to buy protein.

Collapse of fishery employment and subsistence trade worldwide has massive impact that is most severe at the bottom of the economy where poverty is causing stress and preventing people buying adequate food. Piracy by unemployed fishermen is spreading.

Cost of fish in Australia has risen five times faster than cost of red meat and poultry yet fish has been removed from the Consumer Price Index. CPI fish data as an economic indicator, especially about consumer ability at the bottom of economy, is missing.

Employed people who have borrowed also now need more and more cash to pay unprecedented overheads including mortgage payment, credit card interest, goods & services tax, excise tax, central bank interest/tax, transport, rent, massive parking fines, road toll, electricity, telephone, water, health, dentist, schooling, fuel and other essential daily needs including food. High cost fuel is needed to produce food. Natural fish has no production cost. There is a shortage of cash in pockets and purses of most people worldwide. Increased demand for cash exacerbated by impact from natural food resource collapse has not been seen and understood by world money policy authorities.

It is the less wealthy consumers signed up to debt that need to be bailed out of health and family destroying stress. Big companies that suddenly and unexpectedly lost customers also need interest-free bailout capital until spending confidence is renewed. It is the world money system that has been failing, not the borrowers or impacted companies

Clearly, the majority of people would like to buy food and goods but lack adequate cash or credit repayment ability. Industry needs customers but there is an obvious shortage of money and therefore customers. Be it paper money or coins or marbles or fish that forms the mechanism to buy or trade, there is presently not enough of that mechanism in the cash economy and that shortage is simple real life empirical fact. Bail-out relief alone can not be sustained because world natural food resource collapse as a cause of economic downturn is rapidly continuing and worsening. Governments could however be provided with capital through new UN, WB, and IMF world fiscal policy to develop new industry to sustain the environment and resources. The environment has a value. Natural resources have value. World environment protein food resources must be sustained.

In developed nations the trillions written in credit has absorbed impact of increased demand for cash but credit has not overcome the fundamental problem. Food is the biggest commodity in the world. Wild game and fish has no production cost but fuel-hungry industrial food now costs unprecedented money to produce and also buy.

Inflation resulting from natural food resource devastation has added to general inflation, all increasing demand on the world cash economy. Nobody can refute there is a general shortage of cash at a time when more and more people need more and more cash to pay increasing costs. The situation is worsening. Properly nourished chickens now cost $25.

Devastated dwindling supply of low-cost wild fish is also causing economic impact through higher cost of protein supplement in animal feed-meal Low cost meat offal in animal feed in place of now more costly fishmeal has already led to mad cow disease and world beef market price impact. Malnutrition in caged poultry may have led to mutation of virus and bird flu. Fish is a known essential for good health, including in humans.

Coastal communities worldwide depend on essential protein and employment and trade from ocean food resources. Failure to duly address world staple food resource devastation and impact, including as a likely cause of the 2008 world money crisis, will ensure social and environment and economic consequences will continue to worsen. World security and peace and prosperity is all presently at risk of collapse. All possible real causes and tangible solutions must surely be embraced, without ego or bigotry.

Unprecedented worldwide famine and associated disease is imminent if devastation of ocean natural food resources and economic impact is not mitigated and reversed. Times have changed. During The Great Depression, wild animal and fish resources were a free or low cost staple protein food commodity caught and traded by almost anyone, the supply helping to sustain families and individuals and communities worldwide. Both wild game and fish is categorically no longer freely available. Consumer spending ability is essential, including for farmers to sustain viable and affordable produced food supply.

Of course there is economic impact from serious and general devastation of world land and ocean natural food resources now required to help feed over 7.3 billion people daily. One farmer has independently referred to an already existing protein drought worldwide.

To avert economic depression and unrest and famine worldwide there is critically urgent need for a new international environment economy to provide interest-free capital to all national economies to urgently develop productive bottom of economy business and employment regenerating all land and ocean water ecosystem environment and natural food resources where possible. Understanding worldwide natural food resource devastation and impact provides insight to the type and scale of solutions required.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of John C Fairfax and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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