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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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More bullsh!t spead by the econutts who make their living (very good ones) off scaring donations out of people by using fuzzy science. The one guy had a good point - this all sounds like the global harming propaganda - and we all know where that went!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Times have changed. These people have tens of millions to kick you off the water and they have learned to dress it up as real science.
 

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i don't know if anybody is gonna call that real science... i mean "flattening" and "Slime"?? What the hell are they talking about? If anything, i'm encouraged that those "environmentalists" are that idiotic to make a film like that.....

i'd go a step past "fuzzy science" and just call that being stupid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeh, the "science" here is non-existent. But you would be amazed. These people are out in fron of the politicians averyday swearing there are no fish left.
 

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Hi Bassbarners -

I'm the guy most responsible for Shifting Baselines (http://www.shiftingbaselines.org) and the associated films. I grew up an avid recreational fisherman, still am, and also became a marine biologist. These days I'm mostly concerned by the number of stories of "shifting baselines" I've listened to over the years -- older fishermen talking about how many fish they used to catch, divers talking about how many fish they used to see on coral reefs and in kelp forests. The stories speak for themselves.

Unfortunately, a lot of the "enviros" don't do a very good job of making their case, which is what motivated Dr. Jeremy Jackson and myself to get involved in this. I don't know that MPAs are the best solution to the problems, but I do know there is an awful lot of momentum behind the idea, with a lot of people seeing MPAs as a "solution" to a problem that I think most of the public either doesn't know exists or believes it isn't a problem.

All of which is a case of bad communication. And that's what we're working on.

Just trying to make sure that the next generation doesn't have stories of even fewer fish.

- Randy Olson
Director, Shifting Baselines
www.shiftingbaselines.org
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The "momentum" - if you can call it that - behind this idea is fueled by tens of millions of dollars from the Pew and Packard Foundations. I believe that the President of Ocean Conservancy gave a speech in 1994 and stated that creating permanent no-fishing zones was a new 'niche market' for them to fill. Great, denying our access is a 'niche market'.

The science of no-fishing zones is outdated, often irrelevant to US waters, based on faulty assumptions when modeling, and fails to ask the most fundamental question of whether or not the same results can be achieved without permanently denying access. It is not failing to properly communicate with anglers, it is the failure of the science and the philosophy that too often motivates closure proponents.

If you desire to work on communicating better with the recreational fishing community the first step you can take is to stop producing this nonsense.

Glad to hear that you are concerned about making sure there are fish for the future. Instead of working to kick us out learn about the sustainable fisheries act of 1996, the atlantic coastal cooperative management act (governs ASMFC) and the positive impacts it is having on our fisheries.
 

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Well, if you're looking for me to defend the Pew and Packard Foundation you won't get that as they have provided no support to our Shifting Baselines project.

Most of our funding comes from a bunch of grumpy old businessmen who are angry and disgusted that the oceans today are so different from what they remember from their childhoods. And its not just the haze of senior citizenry. The data are cut and dried. I was a marine biologist for 25 years, I watched the decline. Coral reefs are seriously ravaged around the world. All of my old marine biologist buddies have sent me streams of e-mails over the past decade telling about the destruction and deterioration. Kelp forests on the California coast are empty of fish compared to the stories of the 1950's.

World fisheries are definitely maxed out, and collapsing in many places. And the number of dead zones are continuing to increase.

This isn't enviro hysteria. Its cold hard facts. Its in newspapers around the world every day. Can you at least accept this?

And unfortunately, caught up in all this, are the occasional limits that recreational fishing has hit with some ocean fish. As I'm sure you know, managing any sort of ocean fish species is extremely difficult just from the natural variation that occurs with populations due to the variability of the oceans. So the answers are not easy.

But there's no denying there are many problems. And proclaiming victories over "rebounding fish stocks," when they are in some cases bouncing back up from 1 percent to 3 percent of their original abundance ... well, that's called "shifting baselines" and its going on with increasing frequency. Which is why we chose the term for our project.

And as for the humor element, which maybe prompts you to use the word "nonsense," I'm afraid entertainment is a crucial element in mass communications these days, and its certainly working effectively for us.

But overall, my biggest concern is just the lack of public awareness of so much of this. Which is why I produced the Tiny Fish PSA that we currently have running on television in California. Last spring I spoke with some of my former graduate students who now work for Nat. Marine Fisheries Service. They said, "the public might as well start learning about MPAs because, like 'em or not, they're headed their way."

And on that issue I think I side with you -- I don't think its right to convince politicians to implement them without gaining the support of local communities.
 

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Randy Olson
I grew up an avid recreational fisherman, still am,

Are you a NJ fisherman or out of state, what species do you or have you fished for?

[ 01-02-2005, 08:19 PM: Message edited by: CSStriper ]
 

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Its in newspapers around the world every day.
Hey, Marine Biologist / Sportfisherman / Filmmaker Randy. If this is true, why don't you post some links to some non-biased articles that i can read. If it's in the papers every day, that shouldn't be too difficult.

Please, no links from the village voice, or greenpeace.org, or PETA.

I'd love to hear somebody other than you present me with some facts to support your point. I haven't heard much about the "rise of slime" in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
 

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Fishing credentials: not exactly a professional, but grew up in the midwest fishing for largemouth bass, spent years in Australia catching mackeral and coral trout on the Great Barrier Reef every day at the end of each day of research diving, and nowadays fish for red drum and speckled trout with buddies in La.

The Science: where to start? The "rise of slime" refers to what you see when all the grazing fish have been removed from an ecosystem and excess nutrients are discharged into the waters. It happens all around the world, from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean to the Chesapeake to the Gulf of Mexico.

The actual research -- you can start with the paper by Jackson and 18 other scientists in Science, July, 2001, on the role of humans in the collapse of coastal ecosystems. That paper was covered in over 200 publications including Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report.

It's open to interpretation how severe the problems are, but its pretty hard to deny the problems exist. Its not just the rantings of the Village Voice.

And how bad is it? President Bush announced the creation of a cabinet level committee on the oceans on Dec. 20 to respond to the over 200 recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. Their report referred to the situation in the oceans as "dire."

The problems are real. Not sure what your criteria is for "non-biased articles." Everything has some sort of bias. I would hope the actions of a Republican president would be sufficient to convince you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Randy,
I think the first thing to do here is establish a common vocabulary, beginning with the definition of MPAs.

Most now agree that MPAs come in a variety of different forms and can be classified as "types". A "type 5" MPA is lets say an area with extraordinay seasonal restrictions on a particular species. A "type 1" MPA is a permanent no-fishing zone. Using this scale, most, if not all waters of the US are some form of MPA and some have existed for well over a century.

I bring this up because I want to be sure which you are referring to when you say "MPAs are coming." Well....they have been here.

Please leave the worlds fisheries out of this and focus on US-managed fisheries. That a developing nation lacks the laws and systems to manage their fisheries effectively should not be part of the discussion about the US, unless your goal is confuse decision makers and hope they fail to recognize the process of rebuilding that the US has begun.


You'll get no argument about deadzones or coral decline. But is nutrient over-loading a reason to permanently kick us out of an area?

You also get very little argument that it is going to take some time for all fisheries to recover to historic levels of abundance with a healthy age/size structure. But please do not over-simplify the issue or insinuate anyone is ready to declare victory because the process of rebuilding has begun.

If you look at many of the fisheries that are important to barners, you will see that the increases are dramatic and robust and being measured in terms of hundreds or thousands percentage increases over the past few years and this will continue under current law. Not 1-3%. And you won't find many recreational anglers being staisfied with an artificially low numbr. Most of us remember highly abundant fisheries or know someone that does and we are looking forward to the days of fully recoverd stocks.

Humor can lead to awareness or catch some attention. But as our fisheries continue to recover, how are you going to justify the impression that you leave that everything is in decline and soon we will all be eating jellyfish?

If you want to start highlighting some non-biased articles, or at least present all sides of the story, you can start with the recent study done in Florida. This study was paid for and performed by a state agency. Not Pew, not Packard.

[ 01-03-2005, 03:27 PM: Message edited by: egghead ]
 

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Well, let me begin with my basic premise in this whole project I'm running which is that fishermen are not great with communications, but environmentalists are much worse.

As you can imagine, its been a headache for me from the outset -- trying to figure out ways to get the general public interested in these issues. The general public requires effective mass communication, and effective mass communication requires simplification. And therein lies the problem for MPAs.

I ran Shifting Baselines for a year focused mostly on global fisheries decline, but of course kept hearing about MPAs. And marine reserves. And marine sanctuaries. And all the other designations and terms. It's a communications nightmare which led me to the conclusion of, "yes, its eventually important to communicate the different variations, but let's just start by letting the public know there's a problem here for which solutions are being developed which may impact eventually on your life but you don't even know about it."

As a communicator, I have to go with the term MPA. Its simple, catchy, and a good starting point for hooking the public's interest. It's also being very widely used around the world. So that's why I produced a PSA with those three big letters.

And now I'll tell you what needs to happen in the fishing community. If you guys are really certain of the downside of MPAs, then you need to seriously look into increased efforts in mass communication. There is this extremely powerful mass communications tool in our society called television that is there for the using. The federal government requires all stations to show a certain number of hours of free public service announcements a week. Our first PSA cost $50,000 to distribute and ended up with over $10 million in free air time.

The opportunity to make your case to the public is there and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of it. If you can do it persuasively you just might change the minds of some environmentalists. And more importantly, we still live in a democracy and the majority still rules.

Hope I'm making some sense here. I appreciate the chance to communicate with you folks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, I think you are doing a good job of at least explaining where you are coming from.

Yep, getting the public to pay attention to fisheries issues is tough. This is why I believe recerational anglers have always been some of the best advocates.
 

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Reading this thread reminds me of the old saying, "keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer"
 

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If only I were representative of your "enemies." I'm not. I somewhat blindly recruited these environmental groups two years ago to support this effort to get the general public more aware of and interested in the declining overall state of the oceans. After two years and meeting a great many really wonderful people in the environmental community, I have to say there are also an awful lot of them that live up to all of your worst stereotypes.

So I have split emotions. Though I imagine I'd have the same set of experiences if I had been working with fishermen. But I can tell you one great thing -- whenever I want to piss off the environmentalists, all I have to say is, "I'm not sure who's wrong or right, but the one thing I know for sure is that fishermen have a better sense of humor." Man does that make them angry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks again. How about when the draft below is completed youpost it as a reply to your entry on the Coleman paper?

A DRAFT of a detailed response I have been working on.

Response to The Impact of United States Recreational Fisheries on Marine Fish Populations, published in Science, August 27, 2004.

This situation has become troubling to many fisheries scientists who are deeply concerned that fisheries science is at risk of being marginalized because it is policy-inculcated. In the July, 2004 edition of Fisheries Magazine, a publication of the American Fisheries Society, Robert Lackey, a senior fisheries biologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expresses his concerns with this growing trend and labels these sorts of papers as ?normative science?.

Mr. Lackey wrote, ?These days, one commonly asserted imperfection in the science-policy interface is that some so-called "science" is imbued with policy preferences. Such science may be labeled as "normative" and it is potentially an insidious kind of scientific corruption. By normative science, I mean "information that is developed, presented, or interpreted based on an assumed, usually unstated, preference for a particular policy or class of policy choices." In some forms, normative science is not obviously normative to policy makers or even to many scientists. Such "science" has become a serious problem. I believe that use of normative science is stealth policy advocacy.

A brief read through this article allows the casual reader to conclude two things very quickly; 1) this article is lacking in any significant findings and 2) the work done in this article is in no way qualifies or even describes how the recreational fisheries impact marine fish. It is unfortunately that valuable research money was spent on a poorly conducted study that belongs more in the Opinioned Editorial section than in a peer-reviewed science journal.

Our opinion is supported by Dr. Michael Sissenwine, Chief Scientist of NOAA Fisheries, who stated, ?The study is based on an erroneous premise - that there is a perception that recreational fishing does not have an impact on fish stocks," said Dr. Michael Sissenwine, Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor for NOAA Fisheries in an article published by Environment News Service. Fishery managers and policymakers are aware of the impact of recreational fishing on individual stocks, Sissenwine said, and consider that impact when making management decisions on allocations and restrictions. "I do not think the study offers anything to the science or to the fisheries management of fish stocks," said Dr. Sissenwine.

We find many faults with the ?study? in the form of inaccuracies and invalid assumptions. Essentially, we believe the authors started with a hypothesis and then manipulated the data to satisfy the political agenda of the Pew Foundation, which paid for the paper.

The introductory paragraph marks the way for the continual use of misleading, non-proven, statements through out the study. The authors make a comparison in the opening paragraph between landings of all marine fishes by the commercial and recreational fishing sectors. This is very simple task using available data from the National Marine Fisheries Service website which would take the average person about 10 minutes to conduct. As straight forward as this many seem, the authors choose to remove the commercial landings of menhaden and pollock from the comparison. There is no compelling reason to do this only but to increase the percentage that the recreational sector is responsible.

Though the recreational sector does not participate to a great extent in either of these fisheries, it cannot be assumed that these species have no value to the recreational anglers or the marine ecosystem. Menhaden is harvested by fishermen for personal use by recreational fishermen for bait and reports of this activity date back to the colonial times. NMFS actually reports that in 2003 recreational anglers landed over 200,000 pounds of pollock. This amount many not allow a large commercial fishing vessel to make a profit but to an individual angler who happens to catch a 2-3 pound pollock while halibut fishing, such a catch can provide for the enjoyment of catching the fish and a meal for his/her family.

We find it very strange that three marine scientist would blatantly overlook the ecological value of menhaden and pollock to their respective marine ecosystems. Menhaden is known to have a profound positives benefit on water quality and serves as a forage-base for many other species. The authors describe these fisheries as large-scale, industrial fisheries. Such a description leads us to believe that bycatch and habitat issues must also be on this scale. These two fisheries remove 5,000,000,000 pounds of fish a year. How two fisheries of this magnitude cannot be included in a comparison evaluating impacts on marine fisheries is scientifically illogical.


The intent of the first paragraph, where the authors attempt to make a correlation between allocation and blame for fisheries declines, is inappropriate. There is little doubt that the original cause of the decline in the species that were the focus of the authors was excessive commercial landings and bycatch over the past 25 years. In some instances, particularly the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery, the difficulty we face today in rebuilding the stock is primarily due to extremely high rates of bycatch of juvenile red snapper by shrimp trawls. These issues must be addressed through the regulatory process and when necessary, through the legislative process.

However, the passage of the Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA) in 1996 dramatically changed how fisheries are managed in the United States. The SFA mandates that fishery management plans (FMPs) are designed to rebuild depleted fisheries, often with extremely aggressive schedules, or recovered fisheries must be properly conserved and managed. These FMPs are designed to minimize commercial bycatch and recreational dead discards to the extent that the law permits. While not perfect, significant progress has been made in this area. This source of mortality is incorporated into all FMPs or their underlying stock assessments, and thus are a determining factor for the establishment of commercial or recreational quotas.

After accounting for bycatch or dead discards, fisheries managers determine a level of allowable landings for the social and economic benefits generated by recreational and commercial fishing. How this level of allowable landings is divided is known as allocation. Allocation is a management decision based on current and past performance and, ideally, takes into consideration social and economic considerations. Fishery scientists serving as advisors to fishery managers do not (or should not) engage in decisions on how the total allowable landings are allocated. Considering this, we find it very curious in the fifth paragraph that the authors again choose to omit data from their assessment of recreational impacts on marine fisheries. How the total allowable landings are allocated is a management decision and not a biological decision. We believe that in the interest of scientific neutrality, they should not concern themselves with how the total allowable landings are allocated. Yet the authors chose to highlight this aspect of fisheries management, apparently to bolster their claims that recreational landings are the primary or a significant reason for the less than ideal condition for some stocks.

There are other glaring examples of bias within this paper.

The third paragraph indicates that the recreational fishing effort has increased 20% in the pass 20 years. Considering that this equates to a 1% increase per year, the recreational effort growth does not keep up with the general population growth rate of the nation. This increase in effort must be viewed in perspective of the current status of stocks. For example, summer flounder and striped bass, two the most popular species targeted by recreational fishermen, are at all time highs in population size. Such an increase in effort is expected as the very language of the Magnuson Act promotes rebuilding of fisheries to increase opportunities for the commercial and recreational fisheries.

Paragraph eight describes the recreational fishery as an open access scenario in a negative sense. The paper suggests that in some way NMFS should restrict the number of recreational anglers who can access marine fisheries. Deciding who and who can?t fish should not be a task of NMFS. Further this paragraph discusses highgrading in the recreational fishery. Highgrading, where a smaller fish is thrown back when a larger in caught, has not been identified as a great source of mortality in the recreational sector. We also note that the recreational community has sought and supports laws that prohibit this practice.

The next paragraph indicates that recreational fishing truncates size and age structures, reduce biomass, and alter community compositions. Again, we note that all of these biological concerns are not attributable to which sector is allocated the majority of total allowable landings. These concerns are a function of biology. The recreational community does desire to see these concerns addressed. As an example, with the strong support of the recreational fishing community, Amendment 6 of the Striped Bass FMP includes specific goals to eliminate truncation of the size and age structure, and mandates an extremely high level of biomass be maintained in the best interests of the stock. An increasing number of FMPs contain similar goals and the recreational community is supportive of these measures.

Finally, the authors of this paper have attempted to portray recreational fishing has largely free of regulatory scrutiny and review and has not being properly regulated. This is simply not true. There is not a recreational fishery that does not have regulations in place or in development. Recreational fishermen have long been the leaders in conservation for all marine resources and have accepted restrictive regulations when there is a clear and proven need. Fisheries managers have been well aware of the recreational fisheries and their impacts since the organization data collection of the sector began in the 1950?s.

In conclusion, we believe this study fails provide evidence that recreational fishing in having a greater impact on the marine fisheries and that new draconian measures are necessary for the conservation and management of marine fisheries. The authors only provide a highly manipulated review of recreational fisheries to support their claims. They have failed to truly investigate the management and regulation of the recreational sector and should be embarrassed by some of the outlandish assumptions they pose. Clearly this is an opinioned article drafted more to cause an emotional response and create a rift between commercial and recreational fishermen and the non-fishing public who is concerned with the status of marine fisheries than to provide managers and stakeholders with valuable, scientific findings.
 

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Egghead I have drawn the conclusion that the Magnuson Act is nothing more then a legal blanket that NMFS can hide under. They have refused to acknowledge sciences data that they asked for. In no way shape or form are they trying to help when all they do is take away.
I was unable to view the clip in this post thus I can't make any comments on that. However a red light will always goes on when I see that word "environmentalist". Sorry I have sat back and watched the game being played way to long. I ain't gettin burnt no more.
 
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