Shifting baselines

Home Forums Due October 8 by 11:59pm Shifting baselines

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    When talking about baselines, the author stated that “the idea of shifting baselines is this: every generation has its own, specific expectations on what “normal’ is for nature, a baseline. One generation has one baseline for abundance while the next has a reduced version and the next reduced even more, and so on and so on until expectations of abundance are pathetically low. Before Daniel pauly expressed this generational memory loss as a scientific thesis, the fantastical catches of older fishermen could be written off as time-warped nostalgia’ To me, shifting baselines is when our parents or grandparents tell us of the times they used to hunt a certain area and now there is no longer and game there to hunt. Or never being able to catch a salmon the size of your grandfathers no matter how much you fish. And that’s more than likely because the fish were much larger then. I think that this has a factor to play in the demise of northern cod because as new, younger fishermen began to take over they became more and more adapted to less, smaller fish. So they tried to fish more to catch the same amount that their ancestors had caught only years earlier. We can stop this though by understanding what abundance means and that there is much more potential for it that we can imagine from anything we have seen thus far. Our ancestors probably saw much more abundance that we will ever see in our lifetimes. We should understand that there is always room for growth and should never let certain species get to such a low number such as the northern cod.

    Kyleigh McArthur

    Yes I agree with you. The cod were super over-fished to the point of almost not being able to recover. It will take a while for the cod stocks to return to what the ancestors of the fishermen saw. It might even take a while for it to return to what their ancestors were accustomed to, but it will definitely be worth it.

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Fish and Fisheries in a Changing World