Fisheries - Selling the Seven Seas


Many fishing activities are international by nature, with boats roaming far from home to hunt fish. However, the most globalised aspect of fisheries is what happens after the fish is caught. Global value chains mean that fish can be caught in an ocean in one part of the world, processed in a factory in a second and consumed in a home or restaurant in a third. Fishing is like other globalised industries in that it is bound by the rules of international trade. But it is unique in depending on a resource that the success of the industry is endangering.

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Chapter 6 will look at the international business of fishing and examine how it is being transformed under the influence of changes to supply and demand and the labour market, but first we’ll look at the international laws and agreements that cover trade in fisheries products and access to fisheries.



- Why was Prohibition good for gangsters and bad for fishers?
The gangsters became rich, but herring fishers lost a market selling salty fish to saloons to make the customers thirsty. 

- Who invented fish and chips?
Nobody really knows. Fish and chips first became popular among the British industrial working class,  but fried fish was popular in Portugal, thanks to the boats that fished off Newfoundland from the 15th century.

- How did an amateur taxidermist change the global food industry?
Clarence Birdseye, taxidermist and trapper, invented a way of freezing fish, and pioneered many marketing innovations too.
Look at chapter 6 for more details.


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Increasing participation of developing countries in fisheries exports

(USD thousand)

Source: Globalisation in Fisheries and Aquaculture: Opportunities and Challenges, based on FAO Fishery Statistics. StatLink:

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