We tend to keep track of things we think are important—blood pressure, how many calories are in that muffin, hurricane tracks, stock prices, celebrity rehab details. But sometime we don’t know what’s important until it’s too late, and that ignorance can come back to bite us. Hence the annual physical exams that are standard in [...]
My friend, collaborator and post-doc advisor Dr Drew Harvell of Cornell University has published three articles in the New York Times Scientists at Work series about her current trip to the coral triangle. In her Feb 1 post Drew describes her visit to the reefs of Papua, some pristine and diverse, some ravaged by dynamite fishing: [...]
UK’s George Monbiot wrote about the absurdity that is the UK’s marine reserve system in his column in the Guardian recently (HT to Helen). It is great to see George join a tiny but growing number of voices criticizing “MPAs” (AKA Marine Protected Areas) as a solution to overfishing and other ocean problems. The UK’s marine reserves [...]
A new editorial from the WaPost: THE WORLD’S WATERS are dangerously overfished, threatening the health and livelihood of millions across the planet. A new study from consulting firm California Environmental Associates, part of which appeared in the journal Science last week, estimates that “over 40 percent of fisheries have crashed or are overfished, producing economic losses [...]
This post was co-authored with Courtney Cox, a PhD student in my lab at UNC, studying fisheries management and reef resilience in Belize. Our paper on seafood mislabeling in Belize is out in Conservation Letters (here). This paper is the fist of several from our project designed to evaluate the effectiveness of Belize’s national ban on [...]
This is why we think hunting tiger sharks and other top predators and large sea critter is not cool. They can and do so easily disappear forever. The excerpt below about the extinction of Stellers Sea Cow on Bering island in the mid-18th century is from The Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts. I [...]
My review of Professor Callum Roberts’ new book The Ocean of Life has just come out in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. This is the follow up to his first book An unnatural history of the sea (it was one of the Five Books I picked for the Browser) – it dives into the history of how we’ve stripped [...]
This is a repost of several articles by Mark Gibson from Breaching the Blue: A new study evaluates the impacts of catch share management in the U.S. and Canada, finding: [C]atch shares result in environmental improvements, economic improvements, and a mixture of changes in social performance, relative to the race for fish under traditional management. Environmentally, compliance with total [...]
You Wouldn’t Eat a Tiger, So Why Would You Eat Endangered Bluefin Tuna?
This is a nice piece in the WaPost by the wonderful Juliet Eilperin about two new Marine Protected Area networks. One inaccuracy is that the piece conflates marine reserves and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Marine reserves are a sub-category of MPA in which no extraction or other harmful activities are allowed. I also remain very concerned about [...]
Next week sees the start of Rio +20. It’s the follow up to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and hopes are high among some conservationists and scientists that this time positive change will be made for the oceans. You can keep up to date with the blue issues as they unfold at the [...]
Encouraging news emerged last week for West African fisheries as the new government of Senegal announced it has cancelled all deals with foreign fishing companies. All foreign-owned trawlers are to unload their final catch and leave for good. The problem of industrial [...]
In the latest installment of my reports form West Africa, I visit my first fishing communities and meet some big ugly molluscs… For the past few days I’ve been paying my first visits to fishing communities here in the Gambia. I’ve met and chatted with [...]
If you missed last Monday’s panel discussion “Are fisheries turning the corner” organized by the Nicholas Institute at Duke, you can watch the video below! Also check out Clare “@SeaFiez” Fieseler’s incredible Storify of it here.
Did you miss Monday’s awesome panel discussion “Are fisheries turning the corner” organized by the Nicholas Institute at Duke? Then check out Clare “@SeaFiez” Fieseler’s incredible Storify of it here.
Don Strong, you are going to love this film. Not only does it animate one of your favorite ecological processes in a habitat you know and love; it even has an animated Dr Mark Bertness! The film is by Brown undergrad Stephanie Yin. It won the best student film competition at last week’s Beneath the Waves [...]
This week, a group of researchers published preliminary results from what will be the most comprehensive review of jellyfish population data. They say that there is not yet enough evidence to support any conclusions about a global upswing in jellyfish populations. “We are not at a point to make these claims,” says Robert Condon, a [...]
How can we save the world? What can an average Joe Blow on the street like us, without a colossal wad of cash to pay nefarious lobbyists, do to nudge the ship of state in the right direction? One answer, not very sexy but more effective than just changing your light bulbs, is active participation [...]
[Editor's preface: Yesterday, we opened our discussion of seafood eco-labeling with a guest post by Dr. Tim Essington of the University of Washington. Today we present the second perspective on the Marine Seafood Council's report on environmental certification of seafood products. Dr. Marty Smith is the Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Economics [...]
[Editor's preface: How should the conscientious piscivore forage in the complex ecosystem of the modern market? Those of us who love seafood but want to do the right thing are confronted with a blizzard of information and advice -- often conflicting -- on the status of marine fish populations and the various management measures intended [...]
Discovery Bay, Jamaica. 8:23 PM. End of my second full (long) day since arriving Friday afternoon. Kristin, James, and Solomon had arrived Tuesday — three days ahead of me – and made good progress reconnoitering and sampling at the sites we’d worked in 2008. By this evening we had collected and processed over 100 samples [...]
The MSM is reporting this morning that a 269 kilogram bluefin tuna sold for $736,700 in a Tokyo fish market today. At least this one is going to be eaten. Mitsubishi Corp has been gobbling up tons of bluefin and putting them into deep freeze – anticipating their eventual extinction when the meat will be invaluable. It [...]
The Center for Biological Diversity has sued NMFS challenging a new rule expanding overfishing of imperiled Atlantic bluefin tuna. The lawsuit seeks to halt the dramatic expansion of commercial fishing from Massachusetts to Florida in an effort to prevent bluefin from being fished to extinction. “Bluefin tuna were once the giants of the sea, but overfishing has depleted [...]
Today is New Year’s Day, the traditional day to look ahead. With that in mind, here is a neatened, expanded-on, written-down version of some thoughts I shared on my final appearance on the BBC radio show Home Planet just before Christmas when the producers gave me a chance to cast an eye forwards. There’s no doubt that these [...]