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Old 07-08-2013, 05:48   #16
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

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Not that there aren't enough fish, but that there are too many humans.
I think sub consciously it's made me eat less fish. Just knowing the realities of commercial fishing makes it hard for me to want to be a part of its demand. I'll still go out and get sushi a few times a year and I fish like crazy off of our boat so I'm not a zealot about it.

But definitely I think I've reduced my overall fish eating footprint.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:49   #17
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

Just like Muskoka says, our days as the apex predator are nearing an end. Unfortunately we are going to take a large part of the planets species with us. Its strange in that we know what we are doing is causing great harm, we see the effects yet we keep doing it.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:07   #18
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

The main issue is that we have become too efficient at harvesting the ocean. We went from hunter-gatherers to harvesting, and the fish population cannot support that. I don't speak for all commercial fishers, but the ones I know, and grew up with are the greatest advocates for responsible management of the resources. Alaska has done a very good job with the salmon stocks, halibut, black cod, King crab etc... however I do believe mid - water trawling and bottom trawling are the biggest culprits for the reduction of fish population. Also there is no provision in the rules for using the by - catch (non targeted species), they are often thrown back overboard as waste instead of being used to feed someone. There are some bright spots in the fisheries, Albacore stocks in the pacific are stronger than ever, and the yellow fin population has stabilized and are starting to recover. The other issue is the politics involved with fishery management, which in my book has no place, as far as I am concerned only biological data should dictate the harvest quotas and catch limits. However you have countries that have zero regard for the impact of their fishing practices and continue to pursue these practices until there is nothing left. I was raised to always leave something for the future generations. You also cannot discount the greed factor that seems to lay waste to any resource without regard to consequence. We definitely need less population to support, so all you people out there having babies, just stop it!
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:09   #19
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

Eric,
I am deeply saddened by our poor stewardship of all the planet's resources, including marine resources. Just 50 years ago, the sea was much more abundant. I seems clear to me that the primary driver of this change is population pressure. The pace of change is accelerating, and that's very troubling. If you look at a graph of world population vs time, the curve is becoming almost vertical--obviously unsustainable. So I believe there is an apocalyptic event in our future. I think/hope I am old enough that I won't have to see it, but I worry about our children and grandchildren.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:10   #20
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

The western Pacific will lose its tuna stock. I saw the tuna clippers pulling in to
Majuro and Pohnpei with 1000 tons every month. There are other offload atolls and islands where a reefer or cannery waits.
The skipper of the ship makes a lot of dough; the fish master (he flies alongside the pilot of the helicopter) makes a lot dough; the ship's owners make a lot of dough; the country in whose waters the fish were caught (each catch is GPS- documented so the $$$ can be apportioned correctly) makes a lot of dough.
There is a 'West Pacific Tuna Commission' in Pohnpei. The members of the commission and their sons drive around in brand new SUV's.
How can you stop this? Too much money going to too many people. The skippers know this, they all know this. It is like an addiction. They will fish until they can fish no more.
They kicked the tuna boats and canneries out of San Diego and there is a 3 month moratorium in Equador, where a lot of the ex-San Diego boats went, but the west pacific tuna will be history.
Here is a tuna clipper in Majuro, Marshall Islands.

See more about the tuna wipeout here:
How to catch a hell of a lot of tuna. |
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:23   #21
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

On Monday, the "by-catch" from bottom trawling is really depressing to see. And it has to be thrown back dead or alive.

Tuesday, you drag the same bottom. Same with Wed-Sun.

Here in NC, the CCA (wealthy sportsmen) tried to pass a regulation that would have forced the closure of inshore shrimping and pushed the small boats to fish at least 5 miles out. This would have forced many hundreds of fishermen out of business. A big demonstration by shrimpers saved the jobs. For now.

It doesn't take a lot of fisheries education to see that dragging the same estuaries day after day will wipe out fish stocks.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:25   #22
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

We create weird imbalances, too. Like killing 100 million sharks a year allows the ray population to increase. (Sharks feed on rays.) The rays decimate shellfish populations. Hence, fewer clams and oysters. . . .
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:45   #23
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

Yes. There is less fish.

Still, on most passages it is possible to catch enough to last you to the other shore.

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:46   #24
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

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Eric,
I am deeply saddened by our poor stewardship of all the planet's resources, including marine resources. Just 50 years ago, the sea was much more abundant. I seems clear to me that the primary driver of this change is population pressure. The pace of change is accelerating, and that's very troubling. If you look at a graph of world population vs time, the curve is becoming almost vertical--obviously unsustainable. So I believe there is an apocalyptic event in our future. I think/hope I am old enough that I won't have to see it, but I worry about our children and grandchildren.
The world population doubled from 1960-2010, but the 2010-2050 forecast only shows a 50% increase, and the increase forecasts are shrinking. This is getting a bit political but birth control (in all forms) has made huge inroads to family planning and reducing population growth.

I'm not overly worried about an apocalyptic event primarily because the distribution of problems isn't shared evenly. I'm not trying to make light of the situation of blow it off, but it will be gradual and regional.


World population estimates - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:56   #25
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

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(...) the 2010-2050 forecast only shows a 50% increase, and the increase forecasts are shrinking.(...)
There is no way to forecast such things. E.g. regression is good for extrapolating missing data points within the set but any trained mathematician will tell you we should not use such tools to forecast for data outside of our set's scope.

When we run out of food / water / supplies the whole business will become self-regulated. Future wars will also limit the world population same as they did in the past.

When we wipe ourselves out, the planet will recover once again. And so will the fish.

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Old 07-08-2013, 08:04   #26
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

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There is no way to forecast such things. E.g. regression is good for extrapolating missing data points within the set but any trained mathematician will tell you we should not use such tools to forecast for data outside of our set's scope.

When we run out of food / water / supplies the whole business will become self-regulated. Future wars will also limit the world population same as they did in the past.

When we wipe ourselves out, the planet will recover once again. And so will the fish.

b.
I'm not putting money on it, but it's not like you can disregard a projection you disagree with (a lessening growth) but stand behind more dire and less reputable estimates.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:15   #27
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

Just twenty years ago the ocean bottom in Onslow Bay outside Beaufort Inlet was covered in large "live bottom" areas with eel grass, now it is a barren wasteland aside from where the "catches" (places that snag nets) are located. The combination of pollution from nearshore development, consequent excess nitrogen in the water and commercial netting is deadly to juvenile fisheries. According to the government's water quality studies, the Neuse River carries less pollution to the coast than in 1973 after the city of Raleigh improved its waste water treatment system. Reportedly, when Florida banned commercial netting years ago the fish population rebounded.

Another huge problem on the east coast is the increasing population of the Pacific lionfish, which can eat half its weight in juvenile reef fish each day, lies bazillions of eggs and has no known predators. A large grouper will starve before trying to eat a lionfish according to researchers, who have been unsuccessful at finding a way to commercially harvest these bastages which are considered delicious to eat. Anyone that figures this out is going to become wealthy, the chief researchers here studying the problem don't even know how to scuba dive. Duh.

There has been talk in recent years of the federal government instituting a huge marine sanctuary along the SE Atlantic coast and already many fisheries are severely restricted for recreational fishermen. Regarding large pelagic species, the long liners kill 99% of these including billfish such as marlin and swordfish.

Recently I went to a Michael Symon restaurant in Cleveland, marlin was on the menu. I was kinda shocked, when I complained about that to the waiter, he asked the chef who stated that marlin is a "sustainable fishery."
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:17   #28
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

More food = more people.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:38   #29
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

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I'm not putting money on it, but it's not like you can disregard a projection you disagree with (a lessening growth) but stand behind more dire and less reputable estimates.
Lessening growth is the only option when the area and sources are limited. And peace in the West has been around for much longer than we have ever seen in earlier history. We have depleted our fish. We have imported our resources, we have exported our wars.

It is obvious our civilization is not trending towards better use of resources, it is, actually, trending the opposite way. We used to repair our cars and boats, not we discard them and press the button then buy a new one. But the resources ARE limited. Ergo, the population growth will be limited when the resources will become scarce. Some already are. By hunger, or by economy slow down, or by another war. Most likely, by any combo of the above. Human condition.

The only way out of this would be to send ourselves to somewhere (Mars perhaps) where we could repeat add nauseam our old behaviours.

Alternatively, we could suddenly become aware. Some did. But what counts is the behaviour of the rapidly growing masses. If you look at where the growth is fastest, if you know those parts of the world, you may be less than 100% optimistic. Unless you are truly optimistic ;-)

Using data analysis tools in a way contradictory with their intrinsic properties is a very common problem. Often abused by powers that be and manipulators: politicians, sellers, naysayers. An easy job, given the fact that only a very minor part of our population understands the tools, any tools. As long as we get what we want (some booze, some sex and some fish) we will accept ANY forecast that proves we will be fine (meaning: get some booze, some sex and some fish tomorrow).

Sad. You can forget about the whole stuff offshore for a while but then there is the other side of the pond and the same issues there.

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Old 07-08-2013, 08:40   #30
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Re: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

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Not that there aren't enough fish, but that there are too many humans.


Hello everyone,

Yes, fish stocks have declined. We've seen lagoons stripped of their fish to use for bait, leaving the locals to import canned mackerel and spam. We catch fewer pelagic fish on passages.

When we went through Tonga, we noticed their lowest denomination coin said on the back: "family planning means food for all." In rural Fiji, the chiefs still decided who is allowed to have more children...

Perhaps humans may survive in small isolated areas where nature is bountiful...

What really bothers me is that for years and years knowledgeable people have been concerned with the issue of overpopulation, and yet we see no huge publicly funded programs to help people limit family size, or rewards for not having children at all. Australia still pays a baby bonus! Their country, according to Tim Flannery, in his doctoral dissertation, "The Future Eaters", which discusses what population Australia could support, was over his estimate at the time of writing!

The whole issue is like the dead elephant in the living room that everyone ignores, and it is really pressing. I think it is tragic that we ignore over-population. Women in third world countries are eager (often) to limit births, and lack funds for tubal ligations and contraceptive medication; and the men often desire to control the women's reproduction, so it's a really thorny problem. A friend of mine once said, "There are problems that do not have politically correct solutions." But I'd sure like to see a resurgence of awareness and discussion leading to action on the issue, amongst ourselves, not just aimed at the "third world", but at the "first world", as well.

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