• Ottawa, Canada

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Regarding
the Jan. 30 article “A whale of a shortsighted subsidy program“: Japan should take note of the Canadian Atlantic cod fishery example. The federal government in the 1980s poured money into the industry long after its own scientists were signaling an overfishing problem. One would imagine it was to prop up the economy and, therefore, secure political support of a region almost entirely dependent on fishing at the time.

The result has been the death of the cod fishery since 1992, and the subsequent bailout of the fishing communities through unemployment assistance programs. Waters so teeming with fish you could catch them with a bucket, as one writer said, were no longer able to support economic activity.

Pounding away at an unsustainable resource is like pouring money into an investment that pays dividends but doesn’t maintain capital. Eventually everyone ends up with nothing.

darek gondor

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