The Great Fish Crisis Fraud

Ever wonder why in the midst of our worldwide financial meltdown crisis, the largest corporations and their CEO’s and their Wall Street cohorts are showing record “earnings”?  Crisis is good business…for a few.

How is it that after NOAA scientists, and even National Marine Fisheries Service director, Eric Schwabb, have declared overfishing virtually ended in the majority of our U.S. fisheries, we still have regulations and management programs geared toward solving the fisheries crisis and declarations by aquaculture advocates that the “wild caught” fisheries cannot supply domestic demand for product?

As Naomi Klein points out in The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, it’s the create-a-crisis strategy.  Not that there aren’t plenty of real environmental crises to go around, this idea, however, refers to a strategically created crisis, a sort of NY subway pickpocket’s bump-and-lift type distraction.  It’s the “Hey! Look at that over there!!! …all the fish will be extinct in 20 years”, while the “free market environmentalism” pickpockets ply their trade and steal another publicly held natural resource.

Create a crisis mentality as “cover”, and while everyone scampers around putting out imaginary brush fires, move in with a new “regime change”, a new order—a scheme geared to best enhance the perps’ profits.


Crisis >> Distraction >> Install Scam = Great Profit 


The crisis is for the people; the profits are for a few corporate entities.  The last economic “bubble” and the resulting crisis—and the current push to create a new one using our ocean resources—is simply more of the failed Milton Friedman economics of privatization, commodification, and market-capitalization of everything that has value (and also several things that don’t) scam, or the last 20 years of the “Greed is Good” economic fantasia.




It’s the same scam that the collusion between the eco-Frauds and our esteemed government fishery agency is perpetrating on our fishing communities and the fish resource through the “regime change” to a “new order” of management system, called catch shares commodification and consolidation.

From NOAA’s own recent Stock Sustainability Survey: out of the 250 monitored stocks 85% are free from overfishing and no new stocks have been added to the overfishing list.  The “Report Text” on the below linked web site also states that from 2000 to 2010 the Fish Stock Sustainability Index increased by over 60%. Cleary stock rebuilding is not yet complete and it needs to continue; but according to NOAA’s own survey, the stocks are well into the process of rebuilding and are projected to continue to improve.  See 

and Eric Schwabb’s “Mission Accomplished” statement seems to claim it’s their new catch management regime that’s responsible for the success (in one year)—No, Sorry Eric! Try the austere “rebuilding” catch limits fishermen have been under for the last 20 years.

“Notably, the majority of our domestic fish stocks are not subject to overfishing and are not overfished. While we have implemented the measures to end overfishing, 40 stocks will still be listed as subject to overfishing until we can scientifically assess them and update their status, and work remains to rebuild the 48 stocks that are overfished.”

Apparently, (according to NOAA scientists and even declared by Eric Schwabb), overfishing is not occurring for the majority of stocks in the US; yet, we still see the claims for an ocean of jellyfish and other dire predictions for the future of our fisheries.

The familiar fishery disaster refrain persists: Fishery Crisis!!!…Overfishing! Overfishing! Depleted Stocks! Destroyed Ocean Habitat! Help! Help! Save the endangered fish species! Donate, Please Hurry! Donate to our NGO, (and uh…roll in the new economic scheme please…quick, before someone notices) 




Food, energy, real estate, education, war, prisons, potable water, etc., have all been commodified, corporatized, market capitalized, and speculated beyond any actual inherent value, next is fish, and then what…wave energy, air, light???) …you name it, and some government-backed financial genius will steal it, privatize it, put a price on it, inflate its value, and make a great profit from brokering or trading it–and to Hell with anyone who might starve as a consequence.  Create a crisis, move in with a “new system” that’ll save the day (and coincidently will set you up to sit back and collect some rent and commissions from the transactions of whatever scraps are left—some people are just lucky that way, or perhaps former government bureaucrats who just happened to be at the “right place at the right time”).

Below is a slick World Bank Power Point account of the “rent collection” strategy for the world fisheries.  This “Sunken Billions” study was presented to the UN’s world fisheries organization Profish at a conference in South America, 2009.  The study concluded that the world’s fisheries were “inefficient” and this causes a “rent drain” for the governments involved.  Their solution was to consolidate all the “over-capacitized” and “inefficient” artisan small boat fisheries, and commodify the fish in order to facilitate the collection of some of the “sunken billions”; but certainly not for the “inefficient”, yet somehow, greedy and economically destructive itinerant fishermen.

As if fishing businesses weren’t strapped enough already, fishermen now have to pay a price for fish not yet caught or sold, so far to another fisherman, but soon to a “permit bank” or “community organization”, and then perhaps directly to an NGO or hedge fund manager.  Now apparently add another “Vig” for some scheister who sets up a website and collects a toll or “rent” on fish quota trading, coming and going.  And this will “increase profitability” for whom …the fishermen???

Here’s an article from Saving Seafood, it points to the beginning of such usury in the fisheries.

We also now have an exchange traded equities fund for fish companies, Global X Funds’ (FISN) that tracks the equity market performance of global companies involved in the fishing industry.


There is No Fish Stock Crisis.  The Fish Crisis is the set up for this dirty financial joke, and the gottcha’ punch line is …catch shares commodification for everyone.


The reason that the EDF/NOAA “overfishing crisis” decrees make no sense to anyone who does not have an agenda-driven perspective (i.e., a dirty financial joke in mind) is because the “crisis” is not based on any reality other than the “create-a-crisis” strategy (and the perpetrators of the joke will slide in the catch shares commodification of the fish—and they’ll all make a bundle).


Or go right to the Milken Institute event and listen to David Festa of EDF:




When scientists, who are not perpetrating the create-a-crisis-then-privatize-everything-for-profit con game, speak about the fish stocks, they present an assessment picture without any overfishing crisis mentioned.


Below are links to articles from two renowned fisheries scientists and research and analysis from Nils Stolpe, a trusted fisheries consultant, all who debunk the fish stock crisis mentality.


Here is Brian Rothschild’s paper on “The Overfishing Metaphor”, which was posted on Saving Seafood, April 10, 2011 (;


And Ray Hilborn’s article “Let Us Eat Fish”, on the health and status of the fisheries in the NY Times, April 14, 2011,


From Nils Stolpe a long time respected fisheries analyst, researcher, and consultant:                                     


These are statements by well known and respected fishery authorities, honest and sober voices in the “dead sea” of fisheries misinformation.


There is no Fish Crisis!  But, a crisis is needed in order for government agencies, acting in collusion with big industry’s “free-market environmentalist” NGO’s, to pull off one of the greatest resource thefts ever.  They need the cover in order to consolidate the fishing industry and commodify the fish resource for a few catcher processor “factory ships”—setting the stage to turn the rest of the ocean over to the energy industry.


The fish are doing fine.  However, there is an actual Crisis of Fish Management created by the new catch shares scam.  It is pouring gasoline on the country’s already distastrous economic ordeal.


And all this just to install a new economic bubble machine!

Crisis >> Distraction >> Install Scam = Great Profit 


(Credit to Naomi Klein whose non-fiction work The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism contains many of the ideas and the inspiration for the Crisis Formulation cited above. — )

(The Global X Fund information thanks to “ish2dant’s” seeding article to newsvine)