Fisheries management: catch shares
June 7, 2010 7:21 AM   Subscribe

How to Save a Dying Ocean - "New England fishermen have mixed feelings about a programme designed to allow overfished species to recover. Mark Schrope reports on how catch shares have scientists fishing for answers." (via)


Nature Publisher Aims To Save Planet by Democratizing Science - "The next generation of scientists is woefully unprepared to tackle major problems facing humanity. The publisher of the prestigious Nature Journal hopes its socially-networked Scitable knowledge resource, aimed at increasing the scientific knowledge of students and lay-people alike, will help."

Dutch Democracy - "Last week I went to a voters-abroad meeting organised by the Dutch embassy to raise awareness for the coming elections. Admirably, the meeting didn't just tell people how to register and so forth, as an American voters-abroad meeting would; it actually involved a debate between panelists on various campaign issues with lots of audience participation, and each issue was followed by a straw poll and then an overhead projection of where each of the country's dozen or so political parties stood on that issue, to help people figure out how to vote."

Clay Shirky: Does the Internet Make You Smarter? - "The past was not as golden, nor is the present as tawdry, as the pessimists suggest, but the only thing really worth arguing about is the future. It is our misfortune, as a historical generation, to live through the largest expansion in expressive capability in human history, a misfortune because abundance breaks more things than scarcity. We are now witnessing the rapid stress of older institutions accompanied by the slow and fitful development of cultural alternatives. Just as required education was a response to print, using the Internet well will require new cultural institutions as well, not just new technologies."

New Tools for Big Data - "The upshot is this: a new class of tools are evolving for Big Data because traditional approaches can't scale up. But these tools share a common goal: scaling down data, and making it human-sized."

Brian Skerry reveals ocean's glory -- and horror - "Photographer Brian Skerry shoots life above and below the waves -- as he puts it, both the horror and the magic of the ocean. Sharing amazing, intimate shots of undersea creatures, he shows how powerful images can help make change."
posted by kliuless (8 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
alex tabarrok has more and, apparently a year ago, the administration and NOAA have been pushing for adoption.
posted by kliuless at 8:12 AM on June 7, 2010

Interesting about the fish (this is a real grab bag of a post). One of the biggest problems is differing notions of scarcity and abundance. There is no baseline because it keeps moving over time. What was abundant 200 years ago is scarce today, but today may seem abundant compared to 20 years ago. How do we know what a healthy stock level is? Then there is the problem of the science being able to even know what the stock is today, much less years ago.

In any case, fish farming is the future. It has some bad reputations, but things have improved, and if they farm the right kind of fish, it's actually possible to have a feed:meat ratio of less than 1:1 - meaning, the amount of feed fish required to produce one pound of meat fish is less than one pound. This is sort of like free energy and is the holy grail.

Two cool fish species to watch out for at your restaurant.

barramundi - farmed cod. It can nearly produce more food than it consumes and can be raised in tanks on land. Replacement for cod (flaky white fish). Mostly raised on plant foods, clean of mercury and PCB's, it has levels of Omega-3's found in wild fish. It's the nearly perfect farmed fish. More info.

Kona Kampachi - farmed tuna (!). Kona is the brand name of a fish species called almaco jack which tastes like tuna, but it's not. It's not commercially fished because it carries a disease. However when raised in deep-water pens off the coast of Hawaii it is free of the disease and has a 1.7 to less than 1 to 1 ratio of feed to meat - the holy grail.


One thing to know about farmed fish - we are told to eat fish because they have heart-healthy omega-3's, which is true. But most fish which eat a vegetarian diet do not have omega-3's, in fact they have high levels of omega-6's, which actually increase vascular inflammation. So, when you eat Talapia - raised on soy and corn - you are not only not getting omega-3, you are making things worse. Most people are not aware of this.
posted by stbalbach at 8:28 AM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

It kinda feels like we're rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:29 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

You know, there's a lot of little island nations out there with depressed economies. Wouldn't fish farming be a natural industry for them to get into?
posted by Kevin Street at 2:24 PM on June 7, 2010

From the link on Dutch Democracy:

A quick sentence that also caught my eye noted the Netherlands is in very good fiscal shape even though the Dutch are always putting themselves down.

This is because we Nederlanders have a visceral fear of being underwater.
posted by atrazine at 12:58 AM on June 8, 2010

Michael Sandel: The lost art of democratic debate - "Democracy thrives on civil debate, Michael Sandel says -- but we're shamefully out of practice. He leads a fun refresher, with TEDsters sparring over a recent Supreme Court case (PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin) whose outcome reveals the critical ingredient in justice."

Special report: Living in denial - "From climate change to vaccines, evolution to flu, denialists are on the march. Why are so many people refusing to accept what the evidence is telling them? In this special feature we look at the phenomenon in depth. What is denial? What attracts people to it? How does it start, and how does it spread? And finally, how should we respond to it?"

Paul Collier: Towards a new ethics of nature - "The valid moral insight in environmentalism is that natural assets are special: we did not create them, yet we are depleting them. Our obligation to the future is not to preserve purity but to pass on equivalent value for the natural assets we deplete. The ethical test is the thought experiment of putting ourselves in the position of some future generation. Respecting the rights of the future is manifestly more compelling than basing decisions on the esoteric sanctity of the infinite-horizon utilitarian calculus."
posted by kliuless at 9:41 AM on June 8, 2010

Biologist: Ocean pollution 'threatening the human food supply' - "Ultimately, he said, the contaminants could jeopardize seafood, a primary source of animal protein for 1 billion people."

Tuna's End - "On the high seas, the bluefin is being hunted into extinction. Will we ever be able to think about seafood the same way?"

True-bluefin - "Farming one of the ocean's greatest fish"
posted by kliuless at 9:36 AM on June 27, 2010

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