Steve O'Shea said:
Went to a lecture last eve, Dr Daniel Pauly
I would love to go to one of his presentations butI don't think he's coming this far south
can you give us a precis????? I've read soooooo many of his papers!
Precis: Google: Fishing down marine food webs.
Abstract: The mean trophic level of the species groups reported in Food and Agricultural Organization global fisheries statistics declined from 1950 to 1994. This reflects a gradual transition in landings from long-lived, high trophic level, piscivorous bottom fish toward short-lived, low trophic level invertebrates and planktivorous pelagic fish. This effect, also found to be occurring in inland fisheries, is most pronounced in the Northern hemisphere. Fishing down food webs (that is, at lower trophic levels) leads at first to increasing catches, then to a phase transition associated with stagnating or declining catches. These results indicate that present exploitation patterns are unsustainable.
So, to summarise, we'll be hunting plankton and jellyfish in 50 years, in the muddy depauperate mush that used to be the ocean. No fishing is sustainable on current evidence. Fisheries Management is damage control at best, government driven financial collusion at worst. It's not something that gives a warm fuzzy feeling regarding humankind.
Daniel Pauly, although not very interesting as an orator (He did say he was jetlagged), had a pretty grim message. Sadly though, the only hope he had for fisheries was the rising price of oil. Mostly a total downer, if only because my worst suspicions were realised.