Plankton stew?

Les Schaffer schaffer at
Tue Jan 21 10:10:32 MST 2003

well, i have to admit i love seaweed.

here is from a profile of Pauly in Science last yer:


In 1994, after a management shakeup at ICLARM, Pauly moved to
Vancouver to become a tenured professor. He arrived in academia just
as collapsing fisheries sent shock waves around the world, and he
quickly adopted a bolder stance toward conservation. The result was a
burst of provocative papers.

The first two are already minor classics. In the 16 March 1995 issue
of Nature, Pauly and Christensen took aim at the idea that the sea is
so fertile that humans haven't yet fully tapped its potential as a
source of food. Earlier estimates, the pair noted, suggested that
humans exploited fisheries that used just 2% of the globe's aquatic
"primary production," leaving room to enhance catches. But the real
take is at least 8% of primary production, the pair calculated, and up
to 40% in key fishing grounds. Those numbers suggest that humans
already claim a lion's share of the sea's accessible wealth.

In the second paper, published in the October 1995 issue of Trends in
Ecology & Evolution, Pauly railed against "shifting baseline
syndrome." Young biologists, he wrote, often failed to become outraged
over the collapse of once-teeming fish stocks because they couldn't
quantify--or didn't believe--anecdotes about immense past catches. As
a result, "each generation ... accepts as a baseline the stock size
and species composition that occurred at the beginning of their
careers," producing ever-shrinking expectations of what a fishery
should look like. "It was an idea that was floating around at the
time, and I just put a name on it," says Pauly.



les schaffer

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