Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 23 October 2009
Fishery management "logic" can make you scratch your head so much that you consider buying stock in Head & Shoulders shampoo.
Consider, for example, European Union efforts to have spiny dogfish listed with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Alas, dogfish stocks are in poor shape on the other side of the Atlantic.
Not that the U.S. dogfish population hasn't seen hard times. NMFS encouraged Northeast groundfish harvesters to target dogs and other "trash fish" that were deemed "underutilized." There wasn't much of a domestic market for them, and their toxin-loaded spikes made them literally and figuratively a pain to deal with.
But by the 1990s, harvests ramped up substantially, thanks to European dogfish demand. However, the dogfish population quickly dwindled as the larger females were scooped up.
A dogfish management plan was eventually created. And over the last decade, the dogfish population has rebounded significantly. Now, fishermen say, dogfish are so prevalent that the predator species may be hindering the cod population's recovery, one of the biggest bugaboos in the Northeast groundfish stock-rebuilding plan.
So of course the reward American fishermen receive for not targeting dogfish is Europe's push for the CITES listing, which could scuttle U.S. dogfish exports.
Likewise, U.S. bluefin tuna harvesters have made many sacrifices in the name of protecting the waning population of the popular and highly profitable fish.
So of course U.S. tunamen's reward for those sacrifices is to see the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas continually cut the U.S. quota while other ICCAT member nations completely ignore their catch limits and calls for conservation.
Hence, the message seems to be that if you fish sustainably, you will be penalized for the sins of the folks who don't. What kind of Bizarro World logic is that?
Hey, we wouldn't want to actually penalize and place restrictions on the nations actually responsible for damaging fish populations, would we?
Yeah, I didn't think so. Why, that's just crazy talk, right? Say, could you toss me that bottle of Head & Shoulders?
NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.
The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.Read more...
Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.
Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.Read more...