All posts by Sharky McSharkface

Tribal Governance Symposium for Thursday

Our class has been invited to attend the UAF Tribal Governance Symposium hosted by faculty colleagues in the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development and Tribal Management!

Details: Thursday (Nov 7) at 9:45 am. For Fairbanks students: Meet in the Wood Center Ballroom. We are not likely to find seats all together so mingle with the crowd at available tables. The discussion on Climate Change should last until 11 or so, after which you are free to go.   For Online students you can join the livestream broadcast HERE

For everyone, click the link below to learn more about this amazing annual event.

Shifting baselines and wasitlines…

Let’s hear from Daniel himself to kick off our conversation about shifting baselines
He implies there is controversy around some of his ideas (indeed!) and it is important to understand this legitimate scientific debate.

Please read a response about ‘fishing down food webs‘ from the key group of researchers with a different view of the world.

In today’s lecture I also show a now (in)famous plot interpretted to mean that all seafood will be gone by 2048! That sounds pretty serious! But let’s learn a bit more before turning our noses up to sustainably caught fish.

The tangled web of sustainability- too vague to understand and ultimately not useful, or a vital concept?

The S word is everywhere these days. Is sustainability about recycling? LED bulb replacement? Or eating organic foods?

You all had lots to say about sustainability as described by economist Robert Solow in this weeks forum. Many of you, embodied in this post by kmingo2, seemed to buy Solow’s definition of sustainability (what was it again?!) but balked at the idea of substitutes.   For example, svsanchezbutler in her post was pretty clear the idea of substitutes didn’t sit right.   Like many others, morality and ethics was invoked in thinking about how we use resources today that may impact future generations tomorrow.   In our discussion we will jump in and try and find some clarity on this vague S word.

Oh…and what is Solow talking about when comparing himself to Peter Pan?

New forum post and supplemental required reading for Tuesday’s post

This week’s forum prompt requires a close reading and analysis of a controversial paper by Nobel Award winning economist Robert Solow  (CLICK LINK FOR PAPER sust-solow). Ready the paper and    and address the following question on the forum:  

What does sustainability mean to you and how does it fit, if it fits at all, into Solow’s definition? Do you agree that sustainability depends on the availability of substitutes? If aquaculture provides a substitute for wild caught fish, then is it appropriate to think that aquaculture is sustaining wild fisheries?   Nobel Laureate Dr. Bob Solow

GMO Aquaculture- An inevitable technological step towards feeding 7.5 billion people?

Lots of fodder for great conversation in response to the idea that AquaAdvantage salmon (what are they again??) are inevitable next step in the technological process of food security.   Bmarshall6 like many others wrote that Salmo domesticus and AquaAdvantage are pretty similar save for a key difference (what’s that again?) Isabella seemed not to be comforted by the purported safe guards of all “sterile and all female” with an eerly similarity to the lessons learned from Jurassic Park (as we recall it doesn’t end well). A host of others simply thought AquaAdvantage salmon are representative of the next big thing that is a “necessary evil”. Do we agree this is necessary and an evil? What are the ethical considerations in the production of GMO organisms for consumption?

Can’t wait for a great conversation!

Wild, farmed, and does it matter?

You all lit a fire this week in response to the question about Greenberg’s description of wild and farmed salmon.   Several themes emerged from your posts that we should explore together:

  1. The decline of wild salmon led directly to the market demand to create aquaculture replacements. Do you all think that if salmon in nature had stayed at sustainable harvestable levels that farmed fish would not be a dynamic in the 21st century?
  2. Farmed fish directly impact wild fish through   various means….
  3. Farmed fish are inherently ‘bad’ and that “friends don’t let friends eat farmed fish”

Looking forward to diving into these ideas with you all later this morning!

Great first discussion and forum post for next week is ready for you!

We had a wonderful first conversation, thank you to all that participated. I hope to have everyone’s voices in the discussions moving forward (no small feat given the class size this year). Given this, it is extra important to make sure that no one dominates the discussion. If you feel yourself doing so, please try to allow space for other voices as well.

Where did we end up with the health of the world’s fisheries question? Compared to past years, you all were very tightly centered around 5-7 with only a few outliers.   Most were more concerned about the health of fish stocks based on personal experiences, worries about climate, invasive species, and other human-caused problems, and from the belief that many fish stocks are over-fished (fished too hard such that the fish can’t replace themselves or caught too young and small that the weight of the harvest is lower than it could be).

We then looked at ‘the answer’ and saw it depends on how you interpret the facts given the best current assessment of stock health compiled by fishery scientists at the University of Washington in Seattle (a hub of knowledge and expertise). Would these facts have changed your answer? Whether this is good news or bad news is up to how you interpret the facts. OH…and your new forum topic is ready.

How many Fisheries are Overfished?