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Re: death by fishing


Tim Adams <[log in to unmask]>


Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>


Mon, 7 Apr 1997 08:55:40 +1100





text/plain (1 lines)

> Dave Robichaud wrote:---------------
> >I keep hearing pro-fishing lobbyists saying "sure we fish 'em down
> pretty hard, but there's never actually been a species that was fished
> to extinction."
> >Does anyone know if this is true? Have there been any species which
> were actually fished to death?
> >curious,-------------------------------------
> I suspect that nobody really knows the answer to this question since
> nobody has a real good handle on the abundance of each species that
> lives under the sea. And it would probably be difficult to separate
> the effects of fishing out from other factors. But we can look at the
> probabilities...
> For example, marine mammals have probably been amongst the most
> heavily fished species in the sea, in relation to their
> life-histories, and are probably amongst the best known marine species
> in terms of abundance estimation, so you should be able to get some
> idea about the likelihood of fishing-induced marine extinction from
> this "most vulnerable" end of the marine spectrum..
> In general, it seems to be habitat encroachment and alteration that
> administer the real killer blows to wild populations. Look at the
> history of recent species extinctions on land:- what proportion can be
> fully laid at the door of hunting, and how many due to loss of
> habitat? Thankfully mankind appears to have had much less of an impact
> on marine than on the terrestrial habitats so far.
> Things are changing, and predation by an increasingly hungry mankind
> certainly doesn't improve the resilience of marine biota in coping
> with these changes, particularly when some of the fishing methods in
> use may change habitats themselves. But we would be wise to pay
> considerably more attention to terrestrially-originating marine
> habitat changes than we do at present, if we REALLY want to try and
> prevent future marine extinctions. Fishing communities have become a
> convenient scapegoat for a problem that is much broader in scope.
> By the way, I am not a "pro-fishing lobbyist" (at least not many
> fishermen I know would call me that), any more than Dave Robichaud's
> choice of people-descriptors puts him into the "anti-fishing" lobby.
> If this discussion develops further, I hope that we will all remember
> that we are subscribing to this list because we are "fish-ecologists".
> ----------
> Tim Adams - Integrated Coastal Fisheries Management Project
> South Pacific Commission
> BP D5 - 98848 Noumea Cedex - New Caledonia
> [log in to unmask]
> ----------

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