And then, they came for the fishermen… ‘high seas should be closed to all fishing.’

From the University of British Columbia and the department of eco-nuttery, comes this statement sure to produce blowback. I suspect it is just a matter of time before recreational fishing is targeted too.

UBC’s Rashid Sumaila argues that the high seas should be closed to all fishing.

Fish and aquatic life living in the high seas are more valuable as a carbon sink than as food and should be better protected, according to research from the University of British Columbia.

The study found fish and aquatic life remove 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, a service valued at about $148 billion US. This dwarfs the $16 billion US paid for 10 million tonnes of fish caught on the high seas annually.

“Countries around the world are struggling to find cost effective ways to reduce their carbon emissions,” says Rashid Sumaila, director of the UBC Fisheries Economics Research Unit. “We’ve found that the high seas are a natural system that is doing a good job of it for free.”

Sumaila helped calculate the economic value of the carbon stored by life in the high seas by applying prices—which include the benefits of mitigating the costs of climate change–to the annual quantity of carbon absorbed.

The report argues that the high seas—defined as an area more than 200 nautical miles from any coast and outside of national jurisdiction–should be closed to all fishing as only one per cent of fish caught annually are exclusively found there.

“Keeping fish in the high seas gives us more value than catching them,” says Sumaila. “If we lose the life in the high seas, we’ll have to find another way to reduce emissions at a much higher cost.”

BACKGROUND

The study was commissioned by the Global Ocean Commission and was conducted independently by Sumaila and Alex Rogers of Somerville College, Oxford.

Carbon prices were derived from data provided by the U.S. Federal Government Interagency Working Group.

Source: http://news.ubc.ca/2014/06/05/high-seas-fisheries/

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92 Responses to And then, they came for the fishermen… ‘high seas should be closed to all fishing.’

  1. sven10077 says:

    It’s always amazing to me that global warming hysteria has so many solutions desperate in their search for problems….

    Part of me suspects they are getting close to simply being honest and stating they want to remove 5.25 billion people from this Earth.

  2. The Old Crusader says:

    “Fish and aquatic life living in the high seas are more valuable as a carbon sink than as food”

    I suppose that depends on how hungry one is.

  3. Brad says:

    HOLY carp crap…

  4. philjourdan says:

    They need to stop dumping the weed over the sides of ships then.

  5. rgbatduke says:

    Or, we could plant a billion or so trees.

    rgb

  6. Kevin R. says:

    How many rationalizations for statism can fit in a bean-counter pinhead?

  7. Kaboom says:

    And a dead fish releases it again. That’s like calling for ranchers not to graze their land to keep the grass as carbon sink. Where do they get these nitwits? At sales at an asylum?

  8. Jimbo says:

    The report argues that the high seas—defined as an area more than 200 nautical miles from any coast and outside of national jurisdiction–should be closed to all fishing as only one per cent of fish caught annually are exclusively found there.

    So why bother closing it to all fishing?

    Keeping fish in the high seas gives us more value than catching them,” says Sumaila. “If we lose the life in the high seas, we’ll have to find another way to reduce emissions at a much higher cost.”

    Please don’t speak for me. Pumping out more co2 gives us more value in increased vegetation (references).

  9. Doug Proctor says:

    Wouldn’t it be simpler if we just got down to the nits and grits of the eco-green alarmist and committed collective suicide?

    The ONLY thing that seems to address the “problem” of the natural planet posed by the eco-green is that we are not an insiginificant number (by impact) in the world. Capturing the resources of the world, be it metal or fuel or wild food, whether we build cities or highways or powerlines or dams, or whether we ranch or farm, every aspect brings doom in some eco-greens eyes. The only solution is for us to not be here.

    Erhlich and Strong and Suzuki and others say we should only be 1 billion: so 5 out of 6 people should “go away”. Even if we were 1 billion, they would say we could not have a living density of more than, say 20 people per square mile, living in islands in the forests, served only by helicopter to avoid breaks in the migration routes. And if we went to space with the 5 billion, they would say we are raping the Earth for the metal, soil and minerals needed for human habitation in artificial satellite communities.

    We clearly have no right nor (God-given?) privlege to be here. We are a pestilence wherever we go.

    The only solution, I say, is we “go away”. How, we are not yet being told. But if the CO2 nonsense got full government support, and if globally they started in on all wild game usage, I’ll bet we’d see the true solution they want: population control. Something drastic and permanent.

    Except for the eco-green group.

  10. Aphan says:

    “The report argues that the high seas—defined as an area more than 200 nautical miles from any coast and outside of national jurisdiction–should be closed to all fishing as only one per cent of fish caught annually are exclusively found there.”

    Wow. Um….Einstein….if only 1% of the fish caught annually are located in that area…pretty much seems like 99% of the fish caught annually are caught SOMEWHERE ELSE and thus this area….wait for it….doesn’t…..NEED…..protection.

    Oh…and you’d better come up with a way to teach the fish INSIDE that area not to swim out of it, because once they cross that 200 nautical mile from shore barrier, they can be legally fished.

    Where do these “officials” come from? Is there some kind of warranty on them? Can they be returned?

  11. arthur4563 says:

    There may be some confusion here- they talk of 1.5 billion tons CO2 removed by fish and aquatic life (they fail to provide a breakdown) then go on to say that only 1% of the fish caught would be affected by a 200 mile limit.
    But removing fish from the ocean makes way for new fish (who may actually remove more CO2 than the older fish, which ruins their logic – hey, it happens with trees, why not fish, I say). If fishing simply more or less replaces old fish with new fish, and if the seas already support all the fish possible (i.e. no overfishing) then in a steady state fish industry, you will always have pretty much the same number of fish down there removing CO2, except for a period after harvesting, if there is such a harvesting period. It would seem that the study should be examined carefully, but that’s about the last thing I would spend my time doing (especially when there are all those 1940′s cliffhanger serials that I have only seen a few times -currently I’m viewing episode 7 of Manhunt on Mystery Island).

  12. Aphan says:

    Doug,
    I have always refused to follow anyone who is unwilling to do the thing they are asking me to do. If the Eco Greens REALLY believed their own words, if they REALLY wanted to save the planet and future generations, they should lead by example. They go first, we observe the results of their mass suicide, and if they prove to be correct, we’ll follow right along. Planet Saved!

  13. Gary Hladik says:

    Um, fish don’t take up carbon dioxide, they produce it. It’s the plant life at the bottom of the food chain that “sequesters” CO2. If we’re really worried about CO2, we should harvest more of these satanic CO2 factories and reduce the ocean’s unconscionable “carbon footprint”! :-)

  14. policycritic says:

    rgbatduke says:
    June 5, 2014 at 11:07 am
    Or, we could plant a billion or so trees.

    rgb

    And if we give the seedlings CO2 hoodies, they’ll grow faster. Wait until the personal weed growers in Washington and Colorado discover this trick.

  15. DD More says:

    The study found fish and aquatic life remove 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, a service valued at about $148 billion US. This dwarfs the $16 billion US paid for 10 million tonnes of fish caught on the high seas annually.

    Carbon prices were derived from data provided by the U.S. Federal Government Interagency Working Group.

    So maybe the Working Group has extremely overpriced the value of CO2.

  16. The nonsense just goes on and on and on and on………………………………………
    Where do these idiots come from with their statistics pulled out of thin air, their irrational and illogical statements and their holier than thou mentality that makes me want to punch them!!

  17. imoira says:

    Doug Proctor @ 11:17 a.m.
    I agree with your take on things. Food rationing is on the UN agenda.

  18. Bob Koss says:

    Krill and Copepods certainly fall in the category “aquatic life” and must be part of his co2 removal estimate. They seem to be the heavyweights for co2 removal. With fish being just a small part of the equation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copepod

    … , copepods almost certainly contribute far more to the secondary productivity of the world’s oceans, and to the global ocean carbon sink than krill, and perhaps more than all other groups of organisms together.

    Why don’t we just stop fishing for Copepods and Krill? Oh, wait …

  19. albertalad says:

    I do know beyond any doubt Canada’s East coast fishery collapsed from over fishing. Foreign trawler factory ships are still dragging off Canada’s 200 mile offshore limit. Fact – I traveled that coast up to Labrador for 2.5 days on the ferry. You travel out into the Atlantic Ocean during that run – you could see the foreign trawlers like cities in the far distance, especially at night, working the sea out there. Today Newfoundland/Labrador fishermen are severely restricted in their fishing yet the cod stock are not recovering as they hoped. The same off Canada’s west coast – the fishery is virtually destroyed. For some species fishermen can fish for one day, only. Salmon stock are very low. There is a huge problem in the fishery, and the EU and Russia are directly at fault on the east coast. For instance, Iceland and the UK had a nasty fish war with ships ramming each other every other day on the high seas, yet little Iceland did not back down. They eventually won their struggle, as all North American countries should do to protect their fishery. The fishery collapse put tens of thousands out of work and livelihoods in Newfoundland/Labrador, destroying settlements in the process. Hundreds of towns and villages were wiped off the map. The cost is still reverberating on the east and west coasts of Canada. However, the BC study itself is another matter entirely.

  20. Leon Brozyna says:

    I wonder how long before someone comes up with a “Soylent Green” solution … for all but the selfless ruling elites …

  21. MattN says:

    They aren’t going to be satisfied until we’re eating Soylent Green.

  22. strike says:

    My new thesis: Higher CO2 value does have negative influence on the human intelligence.
    I think I’ll try to evaluate the stupidity-value in scientific studies during the last 50 years. Any volunteers?

  23. CRS, DrPH says:

    Bob Koss says:
    June 5, 2014 at 11:42 am
    Krill and Copepods certainly fall in the category “aquatic life” and must be part of his co2 removal estimate. They seem to be the heavyweights for co2 removal. With fish being just a small part of the equation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copepod

    … , copepods almost certainly contribute far more to the secondary productivity of the world’s oceans, and to the global ocean carbon sink than krill, and perhaps more than all other groups of organisms together.

    Why don’t we just stop fishing for Copepods and Krill? Oh, wait …

    Thanks for bringing this up, Bob! One “carbon mitigation strategy” that has been proposed has been to seed the oceans with some form of iron in order to stimulate the growth of plantonic algae, under the theory that they will sink & drag all of that evil carbon into the abyss (where the heat is hiding). However, the researchers were mightily embarrassed when their experiment was devoured by copepods!!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/27/ocean-iron-fertilization-experiment-a-blooming-failure/

    Forget the carbon, perhaps we should fertilize the oceans for the same reasons that we fertilize our croplands, i.e. to stimulate food production? More copepods would mean more productivity up the food chain = more baitfish, more high-value predators (tuna, cod etc.).

    The high seas should be protected, no doubt….from garbage dumping, toxic waste releases, overfishing etc. Leave carbon out of the argument entirely.

  24. Chad Wozniak says:

    @sven10077 -

    Yes, Obama’s “science advisor”/sorcerer in chief wants to forcibly reduce the Earth’s population to 1 billion,

    @Gary Hladik -

    Yes, fish do produce a good deal of CO2 – a substantial portion of the 500 to 700 billion tons emitted by animal respiration (we humans emit 3.5 gt!)

  25. motogeek says:

    Isn’t the article backwards? Wouldn’t harvesting the fish be “emptying the sink”? Correct me if I’m wrong here: Algae removes CO2 from the atmosphere and releases O2. Small fish eat Algae. Bigger fish eat smaller fish. We eat bigger fish, the bodies of which are made (partially) of the carbon which was removed from the atmosphere by the algae. Without harvesting, the fish die, and carcasses sink to the bottom of the ocean. With harvesting, the fish die, the carcasses (eventually) go into waste treatment. If fish are harvested faster than their natural rate of demise, it would increase the rate of CO2 absorption, wouldn’t it?

  26. Rud Istvan says:

    Overfishing is a global problem, to which this nuttier than a fruitcake suggestion is not the solution. Marine Planktonic plant life (algae and cyanobacteria) photo synthesize CO2 into carbohydrates and lipids that animals including fish eat, metabolize using dissolved oxygen extracted by their gills, and excrete as CO2.
    Clearly the solution to increased oceanic carbon sequestration is to remove all fish by more overfishing. Which in general the factory ship trawlers are already doing. /sarc off

  27. Mac the Knife says:

    When fishing is outlawed, only outlaws will have fish food.

  28. sophocles says:

    In other words: don’t worry about CO2 emissions, the ocean life will take care of it.

    Sure, it does. Look at the enormous deposits of chalk and limestone around the world. That’s captured and sequestered CO2. Captured so well as to never to circulate again.

  29. cmcmail says:

    My daughter wants to got to UBC, it used to a respectable school, but lately it seems only marginally better than my old school UVic.

  30. jmichna says:

    If we could just kill off all the baleen whales, we could stop their wanton extermination of the beneficial krill and copepods….

  31. mkelly says:

    Doug Proctor says:

    June 5, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Doug that has been said for years. The below from National Lampoon’s “Deteriorata”.

    You are a fluke
    Of the universe.
    You have no right to be here.
    And whether you can hear it or not
    The universe is laughing behind your back.

  32. James Strom says:

    The lack of imagination is astounding. There are several programs around the world to manage fish populations by assigning ownership to parts of the catch. They are not all the same, but some of them have had the effect of increasing fish populations. Shouldn’t we consider this type of approach before we consider starvation?

  33. bonanzapilot says:

    Having been an avid diver around the California Channel Islands for 30 years, my observation is that there has been overfishing of game fish like the two varieties of sea bass (black and white), lingcod, California Halibut, etc. Maybe that’s good though, because those fish were eating a lot of other fish no fisherman cares about. ;)

  34. JJ says:

    The study found fish and aquatic life remove 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, a service valued at about $148 billion US. This dwarfs the $16 billion US paid for 10 million tonnes of fish caught on the high seas annually.

    Soooo … 10 million tonnes of fish remove 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere every year. That means that each fish removes, on average, 150 times its own weight of CO2 from the atmosphere, every year.

    Bullshit!

  35. nc says:

    The author’s of this study are a glaring example of the failure of our education system.

  36. Grant says:

    I would support a fishing ban on the high seas not because of carbon sequestration but to avoid a tragedy of the common. It would give countries an insentive not to over fish their coastal waters.

  37. “Bizarro World” – a situation or setting which is weirdly inverted or opposite of expectations.

    Some may remember this from the 1960′s Superman comics. I suspect we are dealing with some version thereof. To a large percentage of the peeps nothing seems amiss and they all get to vote.

    “When the world goes mad, one must accept madness as sanity; since sanity is, in the last analysis, nothing but the madness on which the whole world happens to agree.”
    George Bernard Shaw

  38. ossqss says:

    How much did this study cost again? I want a refund!

  39. Akatsukami says:

    The report argues that the high seas—defined as an area more than 200 nautical miles from any coast and outside of national jurisdiction–should be closed to all fishing as only one per cent of fish caught annually are exclusively found there.

    Closed by whom?

  40. hunter says:

    They are over stating the value of a carbon sink buy orders of magnitude.
    If we shut down our fisheries people will starve.
    The issue of ocean fishery stewardship is an entirely seperate matter.
    This article actually shows how dangerous climate obsessed ideas can be.

  41. dmacleo says:

    huh…basically called it although I went with the energy example as that WILL be the final goal
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/04/now-another-previously-unknown-part-of-the-carbon-cycle-is-known-deep-sea-fish/#comment-1653842
    sounds to me like they want to find a way to stop deep sea energy extraction.

  42. policycritic says:

    sounds to me like they want to find a way to stop deep sea energy extraction.

    Bingo.

  43. vigilantfish says:

    albertalad says:
    June 5, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Agreed in general – but I am curious as to how long ago your trip up to Labrador occurred? Canada won the right to patrol the “Nose and Tail” portion of the Grand Banks outside the 200 mile limit back in the mid-1990s following the “Turbot War”. Of course, given Canada’s naval and coast guard capabilities, that is probably only an intermittent deterrent.

    Iceland’s brave stance resulted in the International Law of the Sea being altered to extend international exclusive economic zone limits to 200 miles back in the late 1970s. I understand the point of view of Hull, England trawlermen was that their ships’ prows got dented by Iceland ships backing into them! (/humour). Two issues that prevented earlier national control of offshore fisheries were US diplomatic policy which entangled fisheries policies in the US Cold War agenda (see Carmel Finley’s All the Fish in the Sea and the fact that the Iceland and Newfoundland fisheries were traditionally international. Countries like France, England, Spain and Portugal had a kind of ‘aboriginal fishery’ claim on the resources, since they were the first people on earth to exploit these offshore resources.

    The current problems for cod recovery are twofold: 1) shrimp fishing is carried on with great intensity off Newfoundland, with cod as a bycatch; and 2) cold conditions which seem to be affecting their food supply or some other factor that is keeping them in poor condition. On the latter see the following (updated 22 April 2013).

    http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/publications/article/2006/01-11-2006-eng.htm

  44. george e. conant says:

    I have been keeping my personal thoughts as to the nature of the CAGW agenda because these ideations are outside the scientific fact oriented parameters required by WUWT guidelines, respecting the intention to keep the dialogue here on the beam so as to push back against the CAGW histrionics most authoritatively as possible. BUT, as the last few month’s worth of posts here I am seeing many writers say exactly the things I am thinking. Now I have my own photographic research of clouds and sky. I have my own deductions from my own ground observations to conclude that macro scale geo-engineering is in fact a fact. Regardless, food supply disruption or prohibition is one method of killing vermin as taught in the Orkin school of extermination, along with interrupting the reproductive systems of a species, and out and out warfare upon a species (stepping on ants or nuking Japan)… Sadly all these restrictions and regulations serve the goal of turning our species into a pest requiring such management. I am glad that this is being discussed here as it is an elephant in the room. Hope I am not over the top….

  45. Bob Koss says:

    This is extracted from Isaac Asimov’s Opus 200. So this was already well known about the chain
    of life some 40 years ago when this was written.

    I think it shows the lack of knowledge and consideration of scale demonstrated by the ban fishing guy. Most of the co2 is tied up by the little guys.

    The smallest living organisms of the ocean float pas-
    sively in the surface layers. The German physiologist
    Viktor Hensen, in 1889, called this floating life of the
    ocean “plankton,” from a Creek word meaning “wan-
    dering,” and this expression has been used ever since.
    Most of the plankton are microscopic in size, but the
    name is used also for such large plant organisms as
    seaweed and such large animal organisms as giant jelly-
    fish.

    The microscopic plant cells of the plankton (“phyto-
    plankton,” the prefix from a Greek word meaning
    “plant”) are the basic food of all ocean animal life. All
    sea animals either eat phytoplankton or eat other ani-
    mals that have eaten phytoplankton, or other animals
    that have eaten other animals that have eaten other
    animals—and so on, until we come to an animal that
    has eaten phytoplankton. This “food chain” can be of
    varying lengths.

    The small animals of the surface (“zooplankton,”
    the prefix from a Greek word meaning “animal”) feed
    on the phytoplankton. The most common of the zoo-
    plankton are small Crustacea called “copepods.” There
    are six thousand species of copepods, with lengths
    varying from 0.5 millimeter (barely visible to the na-
    ked eye) to 1 centimeter. They make up about 70 per-
    cent of all the zooplankton and can sometimes turn
    the ocean pink with their numbers. A somewhat larger
    variety of shellfish is the small, shrimplike “krill,”
    which is up to 5 centimeters in length.

    Larger animals, such as young fish, feed on the zoo-
    plankton, and themselves serve as food for larger or-
    ganisms.

    Food is not converted into the tissues of the eater
    with perfect efficiency. There is roughly a 90 percent
    loss, so that, in general, the total mass of a species can
    only be about 10 percent that of the species it feeds
    upon.

    Since plant life in general is the food of animal life
    in general, the mass of plant life on earth must be ten
    times that of animal life, and the total mass of the
    phytoplankton in the ocean must be roughly ten times

    that of all the animal life there. (Animal life in the
    ocean exists at all levels, but plant life is confined to
    the euphotic zone.)

    Because each step upward in the food chain means
    a decrease in total mass of the organism by a factor of
    ten, the actual number of larger animals decreases
    drastically.

  46. Maybe I’ve screwed up my math… I’m not at my best right now… but he’s valuing 1.5 billion tons of carbon at $148 billion, which appears to be $98.67/ton. Seems to me that carbon futures on the CCE finished up at a nickel — $0.5 — per ton: that’s 1973.4 times LESS than the figure Sumaila pulled out of… somewhere.

    Then there’s the little of matter of EITHER $16 billion worth of food OR $148 billion in decarbonized unicorn farts. Is he under the impression that fishing totally eliminates the entire oceanic ecosystem every year? Or is it just the “10 MILLION tonnes of fish” caught for US markets that was soaking up 1.5 BILLION tons of carbon? (Where’s the excess mass going; total conversion to energy? Can we harness THAT and stop piddling around with thorium reactors dreams? Are the fish radioactive now? Do Enquiring minds want to know?)

    Pleae, someone tell me I slipped a few decimal places or something.

  47. Stephen Skinner says:

    This is lunacy. Yes by all means control fishing so that we continue to have food but stop fishing to control carbon dioxide!!! How about we stop breathing?

  48. Peppykiwi says:

    Whenever I start thinking that it can’t get any sillier, I remind myself of these people….
    http://www.vhemt.org/

  49. Gunga Din says:

    I wondered about his motives so I did a search for “Rashid Sumaila peta” and “Rashid Sumaila animal rights”. They quote him as far back as 2011 but I didn’t see anything that directly implied his motive might be more “Save the Whales” than “Save the Carbon”.
    Perhaps someone more skilled at online searches than I might want to…uh…fish for a link?

  50. michael hart says:

    lol
    Let them eat cake.
    Still, it’s not as funny as the German green party that campaigned for a day of mandatory vegetarianism once a week.

  51. Jack says:

    So how does that apply to terrestrial animals and plants? Are they also more valuable as carbon sinks? Or does dying animals and dropping leaves and grass not count.
    Can’t find the reference now but there was a study done in Australia that the deserts in Australia actually absorb more CO2 than is produced that day in Australia. In other words the island continent is a net user of CO2, but that is ignored by the politicians.

    If that is correct, then might it not be also true in other continents?

  52. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day.
    Give him a fishing rod and he eat for a lifetime
    Give him a climate model and he can take over the world and stop everyone else fishing

  53. JEM says:

    Sounds to me like the UBC Fisheries Economics Resource Unit is fishing for funding.

  54. Brian R says:

    So if fish remove CO2 from the oceans and we remove fish from the oceans, then we are removing CO2 from the oceans. Removing CO2 from the oceans should help stop that awful ocean acidification.

    /Sarc

  55. u.k.(us) says:

    rgbatduke says:

    June 5, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Or, we could plant a billion or so trees.

    rgb
    ==================
    They plant themselves, and considering the proliferation they are good at it.
    Now just give them room to grow ?

  56. Doug Jones says:

    By their own numbers, they lie. 1500 million tons of CO2 capture (ie, biomass) per year can’t be materially affected by 10 million tons per year of catch. They don’t give a damn about helping the environment, they just want to make humans suffer. The same bastards fight the use of ocean seeding with iron salts, despite the proven ability to make primary productivity (and thus CO2 capture) increase by factors of three or more.

  57. albertalad says:
    June 5, 2014 at 11:43 am
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I agree with you. I stopped eating Tuna years ago as it was clear from the reduction in size of the Tuna caught, that we slowly wiping them out. My wife made the BEST Tuna casserole, but we just couldn’t support the fishery by buying Tuna. Probably stupid but having watched the west coast fishery for 60 plus years, I think there is only one conclusion. Having watched some of my favourite fishing places get nearly cleaned out as we developed high speed fishing boats, and watched as the size of river and lake fish declined as fish finders and technology figured out how to catch the linkers, I now have my own fish pond that I can manage. Catch and release and limited seasons have resulted in good recovery of many fresh water fish stocks. But I do worry about the unfettered fishing in the oceans along with all the by-catch destruction. Things will get better, but first they will get worse. Problem is that when Tuna fetches 1.8 million dollars for a single fish, they will be fished to the edge of extinction (in both the Pacific and Atlantic) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-09/tuna-species-sold-at-record-price-faces-overfishing-study-says.html

    Now, I suppose there are people out there that can show me that overfishing of the oceans is not a problem, and I hope there are. But in my mind, overfishing of the oceans is a bigger problem than “Global Warming”. Fish can move to areas of appropriate temperature. My trout next to my house experience temperatures from 2 degrees C to 23 degrees C. (I control the high temperature with 5 degree C degree well water injection when necessary). When the water goes to less than about 10 degrees C, the fish metabolism slows down and they stop taking feed.

    My point is that most fish can stand a wide degree of temperatures. Global Warming is a non-issue from a fish perspective.

    But over fishing is not.

    My opinion is that the world is spending trillions of dollars on a non-issue as compared to other issues like health care, real industrial pollution, food, shelter, and living conditions of the poor. If that “stupid” money were redirected, we would have a better world.

    Sadly, the politicians can trot out the Global Warming hysteria to garner votes, pay people to create models so they appear to be doing something, all the while passing regulations that make their campaign supporters rich.

    Or maybe I am just cynical.

    Well, time to go move animals to a new grazing area and enjoy a few minutes of sun between thundershowers.

    Tell me how wrong I am and I’ll read it later.

  58. Duster says:

    The “carbon sink” argument is mere rhetoric. The argument is really a “keystone” approach where the writer posits that 1) we have a carbon problem, and 2) since fish are organic critters and thus carbon “sinks.” Over-fishing is therefore bad for the environment. The structure is like the “spotted owl” argument which was used to slow the harvest of old growth forest. The intent behind the argument is to protect the fisheries, not a “carbon sink.” The best way to protect fisheries is to ban “factory ships” and limit the size and range of trawlers and other fishing vessels. But, that would be “unduly” interfering in various national interests. Ice Land and Japan for instance would howl madly.

    I’ve worked as a baiter on a salmon boat off the coast of California and the rules for us, which derived from the state and federal government were profoundly different from the “rules” that other nations operated under just a few miles farther out to sea. We used troll lines with hooks that had to be individually baited. If the boat was a bigger commercial boat, they had hydraulic winches that were used to operate the lines. Smaller boats, like the one I worked on, had hand-cranked winches with which we repeatedly hauled in the catch, usually 25 to 35 fathoms of steel line with a 19-lb weight at the end. We took King (Chinook) and Silver (Coho) salmon, King preferably, since the dock price was higher.

    The CB chatter used to skyrocket when a Canadian trawler showed up in the horizon, since our inshore fishery was supplied, if you will, by salmon schools from farther out. The Canadians would, to our perception, use the inshore fleet to track where the salmon schools were. Once they dropped their nets, we only had a few hours of productive fishing left until the next day. If there is any place where US-Canadian hostility is endemic, it is between US inshore fishermen and Canadian trawlers. US boats would deliberately harass Canadian boats that were “too close” to the coast. The Coast Guard frequently had its hands full preventing a flash war (including weapons being fired – a large number of boats carried .22s to kill hooked sharks) at sea. And that was just trawlers, vessels that are relatively harmless.

    To protect fisheries ban factory ships and drift nets. Make operating one a sinkable offense. Not only would that protect fisheries but it would bring back the inshore fisherman and create jobs.

  59. Michael 2 says:

    Grant says: (June 5, 2014 at 12:48 pm) “It would give countries an insentive not to over fish their coastal waters.”

    Some countries don’t HAVE coastal waters. (Whether they are also fishing is not known to me). Other countries have only a tiny sliver of coast. The Gambia seems to have about 28 miles of coast. The Baltics have the sea but not 200 miles from coast. Iraq has about 10 miles of coast.

  60. Robert of Ottawa says:

    And we should all live in caves and on subsistence farming. Yes, right. Perhaps people should just stop telling “us’ what “we” should do, while they bathe in luxury at global warming and UN eco conferences.

  61. noloctd says:

    Truly astonishly the lengths that some academicians (I won’t dignify this innumerate chap with “scientist”) will go to to get onto the AGW grants gravy train even as it heads down the track to oblivion. Someone, somewhere will end up being the last to spout this nonsense — right after the grants are cut off. Imagine the embarrassment. Well, assuming that foklks like this are capable of being embarrassed.

  62. nc says:

    Duster on then you have the Americans intercepting the Skeena and Fraser salmon runs transiting off Alaska.

  63. Berényi Péter says:

    UBC’s Rashid Sumaila argues that the high seas should be closed to all fishing.

    Fish and aquatic life living in the high seas are more valuable as a carbon sink than as food

    Quite the contrary. Fishing should be increased tenfold, then, as fish are more valuable as a carbon sink than as food, they should be dumped into abandoned coal mines. A collateral benefit is smell, which effectively prevents reopening the mine ever.

  64. fhhaynie says:

    It sounds like he thinks he has found an excuse to internationally outlaw factory ships that are efficiently reducing the total fish population. He must think that those small boats that hug coastlines are not efficient enough to over fish. I would like to see them do a similar study on the cold waters of the Arctic ocean and include the cold water as a CO2 sink along with phytoplankton blumes.Those rates are at least an order of magnitude greater than global anthropogenic emission rates. The problem is the sink is stoppered by ice in the winter and CO2 being delivered from the tropics in the upper atmosphere builds up in the winter. Also, the land based biosphere shuts down most of it’s uptake of CO2 at temperatures below freezing. In summer, all CO2 that reaches those surfaces will be absorbed so the rate of absorption is controlled by the rate of delivery.

  65. alexwade says:

    We were told cow flatulence is ruining the earth and that we should eat more fish. Now we are told eating fish is bad too. I’m sure eating pigs are bad too. That is where I will draw the line. You will have to take my bacon and sausage away from my cold dead hands! And since I live in North Carolina, you will also have to take my pork bar-b-que away from my cold dead hands.

    But these eco-loons from BC prove these peons won’t be happy until we are eating nothing but organic, non-genetically modified vegetables farmed with nothing but a garden hoe, because having a bull pull a plow might hurt the bull if the bull was not already euthanized to reduce the number of cow farts.

  66. UBC was once a nice forest. Time to return it forest.

  67. Brant Ra says:

    Just stop eating….

  68. George says:

    Wow… so the argument is that the fish are a carbon sink… slam the box lid closed, nothing more to figure… errr… we eat the fish, like the fish eat the smaller fish, to planktons, to algaes… WE Are a carbon sink that they seem to try and ignore in that equation. wow.

    I thought of the nitrogen waste argument too as if the ocean biomass increases, more sink… that is what they are arguing, right? Oh yeah, higher nitrogen means all those starfish eat the Great Barrier Reef again…. oops.

    In economics, we learn that if you try to fine tune the economy, all we really do is make the peaks and valleys increase in amplitude. I guess some folks were busy in graduate basket weaving and did not hear that.

  69. Aphan says:

    Brant-don’t look at me. I hate seafood.

  70. Roy Eyman says:

    Good Grief! The shrieking ignorance of these characters! They are right up there with the “correlations” of the sepstrum of potato harvests in Mongolia in 1757, over a 20 second sample size at .001 the nyquist rate, with the ovulation period of an extinct frog thought to exist in Antarctica 130*10**6 years ago. (Is my FORTRAN showing?) Note: spell check (whatever the hell that is) doesn’t recognize “FORTRAN”. Or sepstrum. Or nyquist. WTH?
    No wonder these characters are actually submitting this drivel. They have not been educated in the wonders of practical mathematics. Do they still teach math, anymore?

  71. Old44 says:

    What are the odds that Rashid Sumaila is a vegan.

  72. Lil Fella from OZ says:

    Fish is food. What is the suggestion to replace it?

  73. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    Wait….ocean acidification!!!!!! No!!!! Let it in, the fish will take care of it! Wait!!! No!!!! Wait!!!

    Settled science in full swing. Do not disturb.

  74. Rabe says:

    That’s very simple. Just declare fish as either sacred or dirty. Oh, wait… that didn’t work for cows and pigs…

  75. Admad says:

    Look, it’s obvious. Homo Sapiens is the cause of all the CO2 emitted, so EVERYBODY STOP BREATHING IMMEDIATELY and there is a chance we might save Gaia.

  76. john says:

    We should take 97% of warmists & make them into “Soylent Green”

  77. klem says:

    ‘From the University of British Columbia and the department of eco-nuttery..’

    In Canada, the University of British Columbia IS the department of eco-nuttery.

  78. vigilantfish says:

    @ Duster – fully agreed. The real kicker is that so many companies that built factory trawlers or that reconfigured former military ships for industrial fishing relied on government grants during the 1946-1980 period. This was true in Canada, the US, the Soviet Union, Japan (US postwar reconstruction funding), Iceland etc. I wish there was some way to get government subsidies out of the fisheries and to legislate the use of less invasive, less efficient technology. Sadly, that goes against modern efficiency ideals.

  79. Tamara says:

    We’re safe until all the social dictators (dieticians, greens, etc.) get on the same page.

    After that…

  80. Robert W Turner says:

    K-Mart must have had another blue light special on degrees in biology.

  81. Frodo says:

    “george e. conant says:
    all these restrictions and regulations serve the goal of turning our species into a pest requiring such management. I am glad that this is being discussed here as it is an elephant in the room. Hope I am not over the top….

    No you ain’t, at least as far as I am concerned. I also appreciate the fact that this is (primarily ) a scientific site, that discusses CAGW with legitimate scientific methods/practices in always mind, and will also delve into important related topics like Godzilla and cow emissions. I am also heartened to see that something I basically came up with while reading/thinking about this in the last few years – i.e., that fraudulent movements like CAGW are nothing more than the bastard children of the loathsome Population Bomb movement – was also shared by a number of others, a number of whom realized this well before I did. A lot of this is nothing more than a deep-seated animosity against humanity itself and especially, w/r/t the suffering 3rd world, repugnant racism/eugenics disguised as environmentalism.

  82. Gunga Din says:

    Berényi Péter says:
    June 5, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    UBC’s Rashid Sumaila argues that the high seas should be closed to all fishing.

    Fish and aquatic life living in the high seas are more valuable as a carbon sink than as food

    Quite the contrary. Fishing should be increased tenfold, then, as fish are more valuable as a carbon sink than as food, they should be dumped into abandoned coal mines. A collateral benefit is smell, which effectively prevents reopening the mine ever.

    ==================================================================
    And if the fish turn into oil, we can fish it out.
    A renewable resource!

  83. Ben Wilson says:

    Simplistic question here. . .but isn’t it the plankton that are actually sequestering the CO2 — and the fish just eat the plankton. So — the more plankton, the more CO2 sequestration. To maximize the number of plankton, and therefore the sequestration of CO2, shouldn’t we get rid of the things that are eating the plankton — ie, the fish, so the plankton can multiply almost without limit? So shouldn’t overfishing help decrease CO2?

  84. C.K.Moore says:

    Green plants photosynthesize more than 200 billion tons of CO2 each year. Of that, around 90% is by marine plants–both fresh and saltwater.

  85. Larry Butler says:

    Ask the pelicans how good the fishing is with Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant spewing 500 tons of amazingly radioactive water loaded with every kind of particle known to man into the Pacific Ocean and Jet Stream every day. Here’s what the pelicans think:
    http://enenews.com/ap-drastic-plunge-in-baby-california-pelicans-zero-young-born-in-multiple-areas-that-were-studied-expert-went-from-thousands-to-10-or-less-the-bottom-dropped-out

    The Pacific Ocean is dying and noone will admit why as it doesn’t feed their political agenda, university funding trough or agenda-based life.

  86. Bill says:

    Fukushima is not affecting pelicans, or anything else, in California.

  87. Duster says:

    nc says:
    June 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Duster on then you have the Americans intercepting the Skeena and Fraser salmon runs transiting off Alaska.

    Never having fished Alaskan waters, I’ve no idea how Alaskan commercial fishermen take salmon. If they use nets, then they are asking for what they receive – or don’t. BTW, I doubt the Fraser River run transits the Alaskan coast. Characteristic migration routes work counter-clockwise, so we and the Canadian trawlers were intercepting Fraser River runs, as well as the Columbia and the Klammath runs.

    When I fished, your typical inshore boat carried two “out-riggers” – booms on pulleys – with two to three lines per out-rigger and hooks on two-fathom leaders at two-fathom intervals. That would mean anywhere from about 30 to 90 or more leaders and hooks to manage. At the “test” weight we used, the line in each “pull” weighed about 50 lbs by itself with another 20 lbs in a lead weight. Water displacement reduced the load a little, but hand cranking each line about four times an hour adds up to some real work over the day. We whined a lot about not having hydraulics. The boat I was on carried a crew of four and mostly worked a 12-hour day – high tide to high tide. Hook fishing is not “over-efficient”, but at the time it successfully supplied the demand for wild salmon in California. Lots of breeding salmon make it to the river mouth past the line-fishermen and head upstream. The trawlers swept up much of the local schools we were working. Since the salmon schools were migrating, we had to wait until new schools arrived – usually over night – before fishing would pick back up to a paying rate. Catch was sold at the dock and was partitioned so that first boat operations and repairs were paid for, then the skipper and the crew took their shares. Nobody was paid a wage in cash. You could sell your share or have it smoked – or smoke it yourself – alder wood smoke is my favorite. To this day I’m ruined for most store-bought fish.

  88. Fish caught by humans eat other carbon-sinking life forms. If the population of fish typically eaten by humans declines, then the population of vegetarian ocean animals would probably increase. That could increase the production rate of feces that falls to the ocean floor, where its carbon would be largely sequestered.

    Another thing about reducing supply of fish to eat: This would probably increase demand for meat from land animals, whose fats are less healthy, and whose farming results in more greenhouse gas emissions.

    Something else: There is a matter of “sustainable harvest” of most wild species. If the wild species has its death rate increased by some external factor, then the remaining individuals have more food available, and/or fewer predators dependent on them being around, and get more vigorous. So, humans can harvest some percentage of the individuals of that species and that species can sustain a slightly reduced population.

  89. RACookPE1978 says:

    Vegetarian ocean animals?

    Ain’t very many of those.

    (Krill ? Nope they are mini-animals/shrimp-like.) The veggies are at the very, very low bottom end. Even fresh water fish eat smaller animals and insects.

  90. Unmentionable says:

    I think we all need to take a step back for a bit and accept that humans have no right to be a part of the natural biota, or to eat anything they normally do, nor to be on such a planet. We clearly did not evolve here as a part of the natural order and ecosystem, were did not develop to exist on and only on this surface, in parallel with this ecosystem, we have no right to inhabit to migrate and colonize the entire earth, and all of our technology and culture is entirely foreign to Earth and the entire universe and clearly did not arise from natural processes of evolutionary development and survival. So we obviously have no right and no say in things here, and our flagrant use of any natural laws, features and the natural logic of math and mechanism, to enhance our survival, is simply out of line and completely unacceptable.

    And frankly, I find it objectionable and reprehensible that sneaky homing pigeons are navigating using iron in their brains to align with, and offset from the natural geomagnetic field lines! That’s simply cheating! And if these naughty pigeons don’t stop doing what comes entirely naturally to them I think we should eliminate the pigeons. And th Chimps must be watched, they are already sneaks using tools and we should demand they immediately desist and not use their brains at all, so we can all live in eco-nutter land together in peace, impoverishment and mass starvation.

    Flagrant use of technology and natural laws or physical materials to enhance your own survival is bad … mmmkay?

    The assertions by the department of Eco-nutery are nothing other than pseudo-scientific ECO-TROLLING … for a bite … no less.

  91. Bill says:

    Well said, Unmentionable. I am slowly coming to realize just how anti-human and naive some “environmentalists” really are. One wake-up for me was when I went hunting for the answer to how much of our energy comes from fossil fuels and found out the 80% give-or-take is the number. CAGW or not aside, we can’t halt CO2 emissions without pretty much returning to caves. I read somewhere else that a smart phone, after taking into account all of the supporting infrastructure, consumes as much energy as a refrigerator. Can anyone here confirm that?

    Thank you Anthony and all posters for the work you do.

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