Dec 4 2010

Why do we keep hearing global fisheries are collapsing?

Some marine scientists say many of the world’s fish stocks are nearing collapse…but the data suggest otherwise. So why is the media still reporting that we’re on the verge of a fisheries apocalypse?

Peter Kareiva, Cool Green Science Blog, provides insight into this question, along with an article published in Science Chronicles by world-renown scientist Ray Hilborn.

Hilborn, an aquatic and fishery sciences professor at the University of Washington, writes in his article:

“If you have paid any attention to the conservation literature or science journalism over the last five years, you likely have gotten the impression that our oceans are so poorly managed that they soon will be empty of fish — unless governments order drastic curtailment of current fishing practices, including the establishment of huge no-take zones across great swaths of the oceans.

“To be fair, there are some places where such severe declines may be true. A more balanced diagnosis, however, tells a different story — one that still requires changes in some fishing practices, but that is far from alarmist. But this balanced diagnosis is being almost wholly ignored in favor of an apocalyptic rhetoric that obscures the true issues fisheries face as well as the correct cures for those problems.”

Read both reports here.

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