All posts by Samantha Allen

FFT 9/29 Studying

TO study for this quiz, I mainly read over my notes and focused on the concepts that I didn’t feel 100% on. The day before the quiz as well I met up with a classmate and we quizzed each other on the material. This was really helpful because it really showed me what I didn’t know and where I needed to focus my attention, as well as showed me what kind of questions I could answer and which ones I could not. Next time I know that I need to study more and earlier as most of my studying took place the day before the quiz. So, I need to manage my time better so I can study throughout the week before the actual quiz and not just the night before. I also find copying my notes down extremely helpful as I don’t always really absorb the lesson the first time around, so copying my notes at my own pace gives me the opportunity to really read the words and fully grasp their meaning. However, this does take a lot of time so it’s even more reason to better my time management skills. For this quiz I also went over the slides from class in combination with my notes to make sure that I wasn’t missing anything and I was studying all the right material, and I found this very helpful and will definitely do it again on future quizzes. Overall, the combination of reading, writing, and talking over the lessons with someone else who knows the material is a good way for me to study.

FFT 9/22

Salmo domesticus is, in everyday language, domesticated salmon. It is the breed of salmon that Norwegians were able to create, in less than two decades, for salmon farming rather than any purpose in the wild. Breeders took salmon from their various natural environments all over the North and put them all together in order to promote the most desirable traits from each type of salmon. Depending on where the salmon were from, they had evolved different survival mechanisms, and the breeders wanted the best of everything. They crossed all the salmon in order to artificially select the traits of fast growth for less food. Since salmon breed so fast and the produce so many offspring (and that offspring is protected in the nets so the majority survive), the Norwegians were able to amplify these traits and create a new breed very quickly.
It’s hard for me to make a full judgement on whether Salmo domesticus are a blessing or a curse because I can see both sides of the argument. On one hand they are good because they promote a very important industry for the economy and the relieve the pressure on wild stocks. However, they also contaminate those wild stocks and cause most likely permanent damages to the viability, genetic diversity, and strength of fish in the wild when they escape. I think if I had to settle on a decision I would say they are detrimental because I truly believe in not interfering with the natural world and letting it be, but I understand that they are not entirely bad or entirely good.

FFT Yupik People & Salmon

Greenberg found that the past of the Yupik people and wild salmon have been intertwined, so it stands to reason that their futures would be similar as well. He learned that the wild salmon population, not only in Alaska but everywhere that they are found, has decreased significantly and has been harmed, and continues to be harmed, by the fishing industry in the modern world. Unfortunately, the Yupik people have a heavy reliance on salmon as part of their lives – from ways to earn money to practices and traditions that are essential to their culture. Therefore, Greenberg makes the deduction that as the future of the wild salmon looks dimmer and dimmer, so does the future for the Yupik people. Greenberg points out that they have some of the highest rates of suicide in the United States. So, the Yupik people are clearly not supported by the rest of the country. They are in danger of losing their people, their ability to sustain themselves, and their culture. I do agree with Greenberg’s claim that the futures are parallel to each other. Society today has made it impossible to maintain healthy levels of wild salmon populations around the world and has created situations that not only decrease the number of wild salmon, but also damage their genetic diversity and the unique and strong DNA that took thousands of years to evolve within these fish. Salmon are and always have been a crucial part of Yupik life, so it’s clear that if the salmon are doing poorly, it is yet another reason for the same to be true of the Yupik people.

FFT – 9/3

In Four Fish, Paul Greenberg begins the book by describing his experience with fishing as a child, an adolescent, and then again as an adult. As a child, he loved to sneak away and fish at a pond near his house before they all died in an extremely harsh winter in 1978. He continued to fish as a young teenager, but at that point he bought a boat and fished in the ocean. When he returned from a break from fishing as an adult, he found that the types and abundance of certain types of fish had drastically changed and mostly decreased.
I didn’t have any profound experience, and no one in my family has ever really had anything to do with fish or marine science in general. For me, the fascination came when I was in third grade and I already absolutely loved animals and knowledge about them, to the point that I refused to even read fiction books. It was then I discovered the TV show River Monsters on Animal Planet, and I absolutely fell in love. I became pretty much obsessed with the show and the host, Jeremy Wade, has been someone I love and look up to ever since. Marine biology became, and stayed, my passion. I have wanted to study marine biology and marine animals ever since I found that show, never really losing my fascination or desire to learn.
At this point in the book, I would say that Greenberg would most likely answer our question at about a five or a six. He knows about the decreased populations of multiple kinds of fish that used to be abundant and he recognizes that the issues stem from human greed and intervention, but he also talks about while there are only four main kinds of fish found at fish markets, they are still found in abundance. He also mentions how wild fish in the ocean are still found in very large numbers. So I would guess he would say it’s okay, but definitely in danger of getting worse. I think the book will end with a more pessimistic view compared to the beginning because there is so much to learn about the details of what is really happening behind the scenes of fish markets.