Food for Thought: fishing

cthulhu77

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#1
I was watching a show the other day, where a fisherman was complaining about the lack of fish catch in recent years, and compared his plight to that of the farmer.

A farmer tills the earth, fertilizes it, sows the seeds, waters, and then nutures the growing plant prior to harvest. Quite a lot of work, all year around. Fields must be left to fallow and regenerate, the new must be plowed.

A fisherman goes out in a boat, and catches sea life. The ocean does all of the prep-work for them.

I wonder if fisher's had the same respect for the ocean, that farmer's do for the land, if we would be in such a predicament?
 

Melissa

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#2
Hi Greg

What a great analogy! Fishing seems more like hunting and less like husbandry, except for fish farming or stocked sites. Do you think tilapia farmers take more care for the environment? Shrimp farming is definitely an environmental problem, with mangrove forests throughout southeast Asia decimated to make way for prawn farms.

Melissa
 

OB

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#4
Only if they're whalers :wink:
 

Cephalopodia

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#5
cthulhu77;105711 said:
I was watching a show the other day, where a fisherman was complaining about the lack of fish catch in recent years, and compared his plight to that of the farmer.

A farmer tills the earth, fertilizes it, sows the seeds, waters, and then nutures the growing plant prior to harvest. Quite a lot of work, all year around. Fields must be left to fallow and regenerate, the new must be plowed.

A fisherman goes out in a boat, and catches sea life. The ocean does all of the prep-work for them.

I wonder if fisher's had the same respect for the ocean, that farmer's do for the land, if we would be in such a predicament?
And that's why we have a Quota Management System in place which involves setting a catch limit on different species. We have to accept the fact that virgin biomass can never be reached but through more research we can still maintain a sustainable yield each year. Of course the ocean does the prep work but it can only do a certain amount of prep work and leave the rest to time.

I have found recreational anglers blaming the fishing industry for excess trawling and the fishing industry blaming recreational anglers in New Zealand. Frankly I don't think recreational fishermen can be stopped as long as they know to let go a fish that's under the legal size limit. There's no chance of by-catch either. Can't stop the fishing industry because that would mean a part of export industry would fail. There's a whole lot of other factors involved and I guess you can't win in these situations.. oh well......:indiffer:
 

cthulhu77

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#6
I guess I was thinking more philosophically, not analytically. It just seems that the fisherpeople take, but don't give. I wonder what would happen if they did?
 

DHyslop

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#8
I'm sure the farmers would be happy not to plant and cultivate--not to "give"--if they discovered one day that they could still harvest all the corn otherwise. Especially in today's corporate universe, I don't think anyone has any illusions about why they do the work--they do it because it brings in the money.
 

simple

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#9
Yea, i agree DHyslop, people just want to get as much money as they can before having to share with others, and most don't realize what they are actually doing. Though, I'm still trying to figure out what fisherman can give back to the sea that would make up for what they have taken. The only thing i can think of, is they need to be less greedy and allow the ocean to replenish itself, but with the mentality of the people nowadays that seems nearly impossible.
 

monty

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#12
Tragedy of the Commons is a phrase I learned recently that puts a name to this sort of problem. Unfortunately, there's not a handy answer that goes with the handy name.
 

Cephalopodia

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#13
simple is right. It always seems to be about the $$$. If one fish species is brought to economic extinction, the trawling very soon focuses on the next and often important keystone species.
We would be seeing lots more of lowering down of quotas (as was done for Orange roughy last year).
Although efforts are being put into modifying drift nets and long lines so as to reduce by-catch, I still feel we are going to lose many more species even before we get the chance to study them. These species could be missing links to so many unsolved questions that we ponder about.
Tragedy of the deep commons is more like it.
 

DWhatley

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#14

Steve O'Shea

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#18
simple;105852 said:
... I'm still trying to figure out what fisherman can give back to the sea that would make up for what they have taken...
Their soul would be a good start!:cthulhu:
 

Steve O'Shea

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#19
Cephalopodia;105829 said:
And that's why we have a Quota Management System in place which involves setting a catch limit on different species.
Of course I'm not that fond of the QMS. It is the effort that is doing the damage to the seabed (and water column) community. Perhaps restrictions should be placed on effort, rather than catch, because with dwindling catch rates effort increases .... as does any effect on the environment.

Example: no more than 10 seabed trawls in area 'x' each calendar year, regardless of catch. (The reality is that it should be no more than 10 trawls in area 'x' each 1000 years .... )

There's a major distinction between economic and ecological sustainability; the QMS is more about economic sustainablilty.
 

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