I was watching a TV documentary one night where they showed how the fishermen harvested the fish on a frozen lake in the northeastern part of China.
They dug a few big holes through the ice at different locations. Lower a big net through each hole into the water underneath. After an hour or so, they slowly pull up the net through each hole. A lot of fish were caught and brought out. When they loaded up the containers, all the fish were big and no small ones were seen.
The reporter talked to the fishermen. Congratulated them on their plentiful harvest. He commented that it must be a good season in view of so many big fish. One fisherman pointed out to the reporter the relatively big size of the holes in the net. He said that they deliberately made the holes big for the small fish to escape. Else, the harvest would have been even more plentiful.
The reporter asked why. “If we try to catch everything including the small ones, there won’t be any fish when we come back next time,” replied the fisherman.
This terse reply carries the insight of sustainability. For all the natural resources such as fresh water, trees, fish and other wildlife, if we want continuous harvest or enjoyment, we must take a limited quantity only in order to allow nature enough time to replenish. Otherwise there will be less and less in the future.
This applies to other foodstuff that we grow such as wheat, rice, corn, vegetables, fruits; and also the cattle, pigs and chickens we raise. We must take good care of the lands that sustain them. Failing this, the harvest cannot continue well into the future.