Forum Replies Created
I love how you reacted to the essay question. That is exactly how I felt when I got to it. I scrolled down to see the entire test and when I saw the essay question I felt my entire body groan. I like how you started off with a thesis, that serves as a great outline, and is often what I do, so that I know where I am going in the essay. If I don’t, I tend to ramble, and then make several points that may or may not be related to each other.
That’s a wonderful method! I really should do that method of studying, but I often find it difficult to find time to do so. Most days of the week I’m either so busy with classes and homework or at work that by the time I get home I’m exhausted. I respect your ability to find time to do that, and commit to it. It’s hard to find the motivation, especially as the semester progresses.
I think you bring up a good point that they both started off all about the money, with little regard to science. It also shows how the pollock industry handled it well, while the cod industry did not. The pollock industry, since setting scientifically based catch limits, has never exceeded their max catch limits. The cod industry by contrast when advised by fishery scientists to set a harvest limit of 100,000 tons as a conservation target, up to 170,000 tons maximum, set the limit to 190,000 tons, nearly double the conservation target. They completely ignored the science.
I think you made a very good point that there ought to be a single management agency for pollock, as that would make it much easier to maintain a healthy population. When you have multiple countries with multiple agencies it becomes a bureaucratic mess, and often caves to public pressure for more, more, more fish. It especially doesn’t help that there is the donut hole, of no man’s land, where there is little regulation.
I really like your idea of having certain areas open for a season, and then closing that area, and opening other areas. It reminds me a lot of rotational grazing, done on farms with ruminants (goats, sheep, cattle, etc.). By rotating the pasture your animals are on, you improve the health of your pastures (by not eating them down completely), and the health of your animals (reduced parasites, and better food). I think the same principals could apply to fishing fish stocks like that, too. By not fishing too heavily in any particular area, and regularly giving certain stocks a break, we can maximize the size of individuals we catch, without negatively impacting the genes of the stocks (by killing off the large fish constantly, and only allowing smaller fish to reproduce, resulting in the overall average size to go down).
I really like your idea of alternative methods to wild fishing. This is very important, as we can’t simply reduce fishing effort without some substitute. Like Greenburg said,it is important to choose fish that will work for aquaculture. Fish with low feed conversion, at least as good as our terrestrial animals, that breed well in captivity, and have low capacity to harm wild stocks. I also agree that altering of the fish genome is a good idea, as that would allow us to further improve the efficiency of farmed fish.
I like how you were able to relate shifting baselines to your own personal experience (and your parents). It shows how shifting baselines occurs not just in fish, but in all areas of wildlife management, including forests, wild game populations, and more. It’s a trap that can catch any sector of wildlife management, and it’s so important we avoid this. Like you said, just maintaining the current population size may not be enough, since it could be very depleted compared to the original stock.
You’re so right that if people listened to the past they would avoid falling into the trap of shifting baselines. Like they say, if you don’t learn from history, you’re doomed to repeat it. Fisheries managers need to seriously analyze the differences in population sizes and animal sizes, not just compared to the past few years, but the past several decades. If they did this they would see long term trends, like in the case of the cod, where they got progressively smaller, and populations receded from their former historical ranges.
I agree with you that aquaculture seems to have slightly different standards for domestication than Galton’s criteria. Like you said, no fish is really born with an inborn liking to men. I do agree that salmon are low maintenance compared to bass, but really all fish are fairly sensitive and high maintenance animals. For example, compare to any of our domesticated land animals, like chickens or cattle. For the most part, you can house them just about anywhere that is fairly clean and dry, and has food and water. Salmon however, even being pretty well adapted to different water conditions, still require a fresh flow of water, a pretty specific environment that you either have to build in or recreate yourself with pumps. An algae bloom from still water could kill and suffocate all of your fish, whereas huge clouds of CO2 suffocating your pigs and goats are fair less common. Just comparing to the more “basic” livestock, fish have a lot more than can go wrong, that I think makes them much more difficult to raise.
I really like your response, it is very well thought out and well articulated. I agree with many of your points, and I appreciate how better you articulated them than I. Preserving wild salmon stocks I agree is important, but I believe that it is important because I want to see salmon in the wild. I think that it is intrinsically valuable to have wild salmon. So that the future generations can see them spawning, can catch one out the river, and appreciate it. And I think that what Solow is getting at is that value is a separate one, and is a good one, but should be argued for separately. That, at least, is how I interpreted it.
I do agree with you, that substituting is not just the answer for everything, and definitely not substituting with man-made products. But I think Solow’s point was that preserving nature for the sake of preserving nature is it’s own argument, not something that should be connected with sustainability. It’s definitely a different take than I have ever heard before, but I think he does have a point. Humans have killed off many species – the dodo bird, elephant bird, passenger pigeon, tasmanian tigers, to name a few – we still, for the most part, are able to produce food. Someone said in our last discussion that we actually produce plenty of food for humans, it’s just that it’s unevenly distributed. The loss of many species of animals is a tragedy, but because we have a innate desire to preserve for the sake being able to look at them, study them, learn about them. Not because they are necessary for sustainability of the human population. I think that is what Solow was getting at – they are two different issues, with different arguments.
While I understand your point, it’s not as simple as just restoring salmon habitats. Many salmon rivers have been blocked by dams, with the runs being exterminated decades ago. Even if the dams were tore out, we would need to restock the rivers, with genetics that were killed decades ago. Greenberg does show this is possible, as with salmon river, but it would take a very long time and cost a lot of money. Furthermore, many of these dams are still in use, and with the current rate of climate change, who are we to be tearing down renewable energy sources? There’s many factors involved, that’s not just simply boiled down to convenience.
I believe that to make the fish sterile they actually have to heat them when they are eggs, not that being genetically modified automatically makes them sterile. While I agree this is a benefit for AquaAdvtange salmon, as they would not compete with wild fish for more than one generation. However, this does bring up questions of how many salmon actually end up infertile? Is it a 100% guaranteed process, or is there an error rate? That would be my biggest worry, if there is still a possibility for fertile fish to exist.
I think that saying that nature should evolve without help or harm of humans is a bit unrealistic. There are over 7 billion people on earth, and after-all aren’t humans apart of nature, too? While I understand your sentiment, 7+ billion people to feed is a lot.The domestication of livestock, and the cultivation of the majority of plants we eat today, are why the population has grown so much. Without breeding animals & plants to be much more efficient than their wild counterparts, many humans would have starved. The domestication of fish is really the next step in humans manipulating the wild to produce more food. I agree with you that this has potentially very damaging effects, but it’s more complicated than simply saying humans should stop interfering with nature, because we already have for centuries, and it’s clear that it’s not going to stop.
I agree with you that farming salmon that still maintain wild characteristics & overall hardiness would be nice, but I believe that is rather unrealistic. If they raised salmon that still had the wild resilience as wild salmon, they would be slower growing, and require more food per lb resulting in it becoming more expensive. The wild characteristics that make wild salmon so hardy are directly in conflict with the efficient, cheap characteristics of farmed salmon. I believe a better expectation would be to have stricter regulations for fish farmers, and expect them to prevent the escape of their farmed salmon. Greenburg says that farmed fish escape in the millions every year, and that just seems crazy. While it would be difficult to enforce regulation throughout many countries, at least here in the U.S. surely we could have high requirements for hatcheries pens to be escape proof.