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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sven10077

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.

The Old Crusader

“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.

Brad

HOLY carp crap…

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

rgbatduke

Or, we could plant a billion or so trees.
rgb

Kevin R.

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

Kaboom

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?

Jimbo

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).

Doug Proctor

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.

“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?

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).

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!

Gary Hladik

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”! 🙂

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.

DD More

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.

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!!

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

Bob Koss

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 …

albertalad

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.

Leon Brozyna

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

MattN

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

strike

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?

CRS, DrPH

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.

Chad Wozniak

@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!)

motogeek

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?

Rud Istvan

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

Mac the Knife

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

sophocles

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.

cmcmail

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.

jmichna

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

mkelly

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.

James Strom

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?

bonanzapilot

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. 😉

JJ

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!

nc

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

Grant

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.

“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

ossqss

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

Akatsukami

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?

hunter

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.

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.

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

Bingo.

vigilantfish

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

george e. conant

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….

Bob Koss

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.

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.

Stephen Skinner

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?

Peppykiwi

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

Gunga Din

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?

michael hart

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.