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Artizen 1-1

An interactive magazine featuring interviews with artisan creators of everything from food and wine to clothing, fine art and jewelry. Live links for directly shopping from the best artisans around the globe.

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lorado Hybrid riped Bass ory by T here is probably no single food source more prevalent in human history than the fish, with evidence of consumption now pre-dating the Leakey's finding of a million-year-old pile of fish bones at Olduvai Gorge. Other ancient sites around the world – in Thailand, Israel, France, and England – contain oyster and mollusk shells piled against cave walls and around fire-pits, a clear sign that man's penchant for seafood is nothing new to the table. The fish is a familiar cultural symbol in the rock drawings of the early American Southwest and in the artwork of ancient Egypt – as well as an enduring symbol of Christianity, and even harvesting innovations have left their paleontological mark through the appearance of the "fish trap" symbol found on petroglyphs in Guyana and elsewhere. Fishing has been a way of life for coastal communities across the globe for many centuries, inspiring tales such as The Old Man and the Sea and The Perfect Storm, and rawly depicted in the paintings of Boston-born Winslow Homer. The fisherman's experience has never been an easy one, but in recent times it's a way of life that's facing challenges the size of Moby Dick. In a story that directly parallels the land-based plight of the family farmer, the fisherman with a few small boats, a local crew, and an intimate knowledge of his waters is now struggling to survive amidst an ocean of large-scale commercial fisheries with a fleet of larger vessels embarking on voyages with one goal in mind: maximum yield. What this change in course has meant for the average consumer is the availability of mass-caught seafood at lower prices than that sold from smaller harvests. But no bargain comes without a cost. Commercial fish populations of cod, hake, haddock and flounder in the Northern Atlantic had fallen by as much as 95% in the early 2000s, according to the United Nations, with estimates that over 70% of the world's fish species are either fully exploited or depleted. Additionally, overfishing and destructive harvesting practices destroy other marine life and can permanently damage entire aquatic ecosystems. Growing consumer demand for fish and fish-based products has sparked global investment in large commercial fisheries, and the UN currently estimates that oceans are cleared at twice the rate of forests. "If you fish responsibly, you come back with fewer fish," said Alisha Lumea of Cleanfish, a San-Francisco-based company hoping to turn this tide. www.cleanfish.com Sea of Cortez, Mexico

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