Sea Bass Fishers Weather the Storm

Photo: Chilean Sea Bass (Patagonian Toothfish) Fishing
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On roiling Pacific seas 40 miles (64 kilometers) off central Chile (Chile map), fishers haul in Patagonian toothfishsold under the more toothsome name of Chilean sea bass.

Sustained by a Chilean government program that sets aside certain fisheries for local fishers on small boats, hands-on fishers are under increasing pressure from foreign fleets of factory ships that can catch as much in a day as an "artisanal" crew can net in ten, according to photographer Paul A. Sutherland.

Shunned for years by conservationists as overfished, Chilean sea bass has regained some respectability, thanks to a nonprofit group's new seal of approval for sea bass from a single "sustainable" fishery near Antarctica. Some environmentalists, though, argue that the new certification may mislead shoppers into thinking that the beleaguered bass is no longer threatened.

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Photograph by Paul A. Sutherland/NGS
 
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