Study says large fish are on the way out!

Discussion in 'Environmental' started by Matt Rogers, May 14, 2003.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Well, commercial fishing is a topic that bums me out. Mismanagement, ignorance and greed have resulted in over fishing and fishermen getting the screw in the end. A seemingly lose-lose scenario.

    But something better change, because each new report seems worse than the last. [smiley=worried.gif]

    --------


    Large fish 'may follow dinosaurs'

    By Jonathan Amos
    BBC News Online science staff


    The destruction wrought on the world's oceans by industrial fishing is made clear in a shocking new report.


    Longlines have hit tuna hard
    The analysis, published in the scientific journal Nature, suggests 90% of large predator fish have been cleared from the seas in the past 50 years.

    The authors say the era of "heroic" fish - the truly huge swordfish, marlin and sharks that inspired legends and novels - is now well and truly over.

    And other commercially important species, such as tuna, cod, halibut, skate and flounder are now generally far smaller in size compared with their ancestors.

    The study has been written by Dr Ransom Myers and Dr Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    Local problem

    The Canadian marine ecologists, who took 10 years to compile their report, say only dramatic cuts in catches, subsidies and the establishment of a network of "fish parks" will save species from oblivion.

    They say fisheries managers have tended to consider only recent data on specific species in particular fishing grounds when deciding how to conserve stocks.

    We are in massive denial and continue to bicker over the last shrinking numbers of survivors

    Dr Ransom Myers, Dalhousie University
    Such narrow thinking is likely to have lulled these managers into thinking over-fishing was a short-term and local problem, the researchers say.

    In reality, Myers and Worm argue, only global data taken from many decades show the true scale of the damage done to marine resources by large factory ships.

    "Our analysis suggests that the global ocean has lost more than 90% of large predatory fishes," they write in Nature.

    "Although it is now widely accepted that single populations can be fished to low levels, this is the first analysis to show general, pronounced declines of entire communities across widely varying ecosystems."

    Brazilian tuna

    To compile their study, Myers and Worm assembled data sets representing all major fisheries in the world and then constructed trajectories showing the declines of large predatory fish communities from four continental shelves and nine oceanic systems.

    Their information included some of the first scientific surveys undertaken when large-scale trawling began, and meticulous data collected by the Japanese as they expanded their longline fishing programme.

    Industrial techniques took as little as a decade or 15 years to reduce fish populations to 10% of their previous number, the authors say.

    Dr Myers told BBC News Online: "For example, there were 200,000 large bluefin tuna removed from off the coast of Brazil in the first 15 years of the Japanese longline fishery and in the last 15 years off Brazil, with similar effort, the Japanese fishery has caught exactly zero fish.

    "We have eliminated these very valuable species from very large parts of the world's oceans."

    All gone

    He says the average size of top predators today is only one-fifth to one-half of what it used to be.

    "The few blue marlin today reach one-fifth of the weight they once had. In many cases, the fish caught today are under such intense fishing pressure, they never even have the chance to reproduce... we have to understand how close to extinction some of these populations really are."

    People have forgotten how much fish used to be in the sea

    Prof Callum Roberts, York University
    The authors say the worst-hit species need "a minimum reduction" of 50% in mortality in order to have a chance of recovery.

    "We are in massive denial and continue to bicker over the last shrinking numbers of survivors, employing satellites and sensors to catch the last fish left," Dr Myers told the BBC.

    "The last sharks are declining at a great pace and unless we reduce the number of hooks in the water by 50-60% the large sharks will go extinct - we will have no more hammerheads, no more great whites, no more large threshers.

    "These species will go the way of the dinosaurs unless we take worldwide action to preserve the diversity in the marine ecosystem."

    Fish reserves

    Commenting on the study, Professor Callum Roberts, a marine conservation biologist at York University, UK, says the work underlines how people have become accustomed to the current, depleted state of the oceans.

    "People have forgotten how much fish used to be in the sea," he told BBC News Online.

    "We've now got 10% of the animals left from the pristine state. This study offers a new perspective for management. We need to revise our targets for stocks upwards which will provide higher productivity over the longterm.

    "And the only way we are going to achieve this is by creating largescale networks of areas that are entirely off-limits to fishing."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3028251.stm
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. Craig Manoukian

    Craig Manoukian Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Messages:
    3,330
    Location:
    Marina del Rey, California
    OUCH!!!!!! God put us on earth and gave us dominion, sovereignty and stewardship, over the earth! If we are responsible with its resources we will never deplete them. Unfortunately that is a big IF!!!!
     
  4. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,327
    Location:
    berwick, PA,Pennsylvania
    with commercial fishing they use gill nets and live lines and it destroys everything it catches. thats the sad part including other animals like sea turtles, seals and dolphins. fish that are not wanted for market get tossed back in the ocean and already dead

    just like in the eastern countries  especially japan they catch numerous sharks cut there fins off and throw the still alive sharks back in the water. Because shark fin soup is a major delacacy what a totally useless waste of marine life

    when we were in mexico the area we were in made it illigal to keep bill fins because of the commercial fishing was killing there numbers. so for them its catch and release only. one of the problems is fish like marlin take so long to grow and reproduce theres no way they can even keep up. a 1000 plus pound marlin is almost a rareity anymore and if you do ever see one chances are your looking at a fish thats much older than you are. if not caught and live to full term they can live well over 100 years.  

    i read an article about a major cruise ship line where the head chef of all the ships has put a ban on the use of all bill fish served on any ship owned. if i remember right it might be princess cruises.  where at one time that was one of the main and most popular dishes served on the ships which is no more so i say good job to the head chef

    also about the tuna there was a show on discovery where they had a fishing village. this village depended on the running of the tuna for there food for the year. there used to be so many tuna they got there food for the whole village and year in one fishing trip. now the numbers of tuna have dwindled so bad that they have to do 3 or 4 times what took them once in the past. they only took what they needed for the village and none of it went to waste. if mass commercial fishing continues they may possibly wipe out the village since its there only way of life they know and there main food source
     
  5. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Good points karla. Just goes to show this is complicated and effects everybody.
     
  6. eweldon

    eweldon Plankton

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Reno, NV,Nevada
    Craig,

    I think its that belief in domenion over all creatures has created a global egocentric belief that we can do what we want without repercussion. God created sheep, not shepards. We would be better off living in harmony than trying to exert ourselves on the planet.

    My $0.02.

    E
     
  7. Craig Manoukian

    Craig Manoukian Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Messages:
    3,330
    Location:
    Marina del Rey, California
    E,

    We're on the same page. Repurcussions = good/bad stewardship.
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    There is some hope.
    Recently I read an interesting pamphlet on the success of Individual Fishing Quotas.

    It stated the great success of the program in Alaska with Halibut and wanted to do the same in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Here is some info from a site I found online -


    http://www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/gfifq.html

    FWIW
     
  10. Craig Manoukian

    Craig Manoukian Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Messages:
    3,330
    Location:
    Marina del Rey, California
    IFQ sounds promising. Addressing the commercial and economic issues and showing the long-term benefit to the commercial fishing interests is a great and practical strategy!
     
  11. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,327
    Location:
    berwick, PA,Pennsylvania
    that sounds like a start. they need to put regulations on fishing everywhere not just off shore. i live in pa (not right on the shore) but a lot of the local fishing is going down hill. its getting to where i would rather pay a couple hundred dollars and go to new york. they have more rules and slot limits but the fish you catch is worth the money and there very plentiful. they did a tremendous job bringing back there fisheries. for a day or weekend licence defitinly. where i live they stock the streams, put out a list of all stocked streams, and opening day theres millions of people shoved into those streams pulling out everything that was just put in. the size limit is 7 inches and sadly enough they stock at 7 inches so they dont have a chance to take at all to the streams. im really for slot limits i think they work well.