Sustainable Seafood: Part 2 - What is sustainability?

I wrote a post about sustainably caught seafood a few weeks back (available here), but this issue is still causing me considerable grief, so I thought that I would revisit the topic in a series of short posts summarizing the problem as I see it. Sustainable Seafood: Part 2 - What is sustainability? The concept of sustainability has been around for a long time. Now it is a buzzword which is often heard when people are talking about the environment and environmental degredation. It was a word which began seeping into the public conciousness in the late 1980's following the release of a groundbreaking report by the United Nations (UN). In 1983, the Secretary-General of the UN established the World Commission on the Environment and Development - also frequently referred to as the Brundtland Commission after Gro Harlem Brundtland, the head of the commission and former Prime Minister of Norway. The commission was tasked with examining the world's environmental problems and proposing a global agenda for addressing them. The Report of the Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, was published in 1987. The Report is available in HTML format with links to cited documents, and an easy-to-read full version is available at the Center for a World in Balance. The report deals with sustainable development and the change of politics needed for achieving that. The Brundtland Report defined sustainable development in the following way:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
This definition is well accepted and is usually the definition given today when dealing with issues of sustainability.

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