National Geographic : 1915 Feb
A FISH AUCTION IN NORTHERN FRANCE: FISHING BOATS NOW SWEEP THE SEAS FOR MINES INSTEAD OF SEINING IT FOR FISH EUROPE'S ENDANGERED FISH SUPPLY: THE WAR AND THE NORTH SEA FISHERIES WITH its war zones and counter war zones, its mined areas, its hostile fleets, and its heavily defended shores, the North Sea, in a few months, has been transformed from one of the richest food-producing areas in Christendom into a region upon whose mastery may depend the starvation of one or the other of two of the mightiest nations of the earth. In times of peace no other like area in all the seas ever has given to humanity such rich supplies of food as this narrow strait separating Albion from the conti nent of Europe. More than in any other known region of the oceans, the food fishes of the marine world seem to love to congregate there, and to feel that it is home to them in spite of an age-long attack upon them by the greatest of all creatures of prey-man. MILLIONS OF TONS OF FISH Step by step every new idea of art and science has been brought to the aid of the fisherfolk of the North Sea, and by the same step-by-step process the annual drain on its resources has climbed higher and higher, until finally, during the year previous to the present war, it amounted to a million and a quarter tons of fish. Counting two tons to the truck-load and allowing 30 feet to the truck, this would make a procession of fish trucks reach ing across the United States from New York to San Francisco via New Orleans. Yet almost as rapidly as the demands of the world have risen, the supply has increased, and, except for a too heavy concentration of fishing forces on some individual bank now and then, there is no evidence of any serious depletion of the stock.