Fishing for Citations

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Charles The Moderator, who is the man whose endless work keeps this site ticking over, pointed me to an interesting happenstance involving the world of commercial fishing.

Now, I spent a good chunk of my life fishing commercially off the west coast of the US. This included:

• Three seasons fishing on a lampara net boat for pompano out of Santa Cruz.

• Two seasons fishing on a lampara net boat for anchovies out of Moss Landing.

• One season fishing on a leased salmon troller out of San Francisco.

• One season fishing on an albacore bait boat out of Sausalito.

• One season fishing beach seine for surf perch in Tomales Bay with the mad artist Clayton Lewis. Here’s the bad boy himself with the net and the boat.

• Three seasons trolling for salmon with a partner in a 21 foot (6m) steel sailboat out of Bodega Bay.

• Half a season fishing for crab out of Eureka. Not recommended, the bar at the mouth of Humboldt Bay has eaten lots of boats and fishermen.

• Two seasons gill-net fishing for salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

• One season gill-net fishing for herring in San Francisco Bay.

• One season purse-seining for herring in the Bering Sea, home of the “Deadliest Catch”.

• One season as a sport salmon guide on the Kenai River, Alaska.

So with that history, as you might imagine, when Charles pointed me to a controversy in the fishing world, I was most interested. It all relates to a paper published by Cabral et al. entitled “A global network of marine protected areas for food”. Here’s their Abstract


Marine protected areas (MPAs) are conservation tools that are increasingly implemented, with growing national commitments for MPA expansion. Perhaps the greatest challenge to expanded use of MPAs is the perceived trade-off between protection and food production. Since MPAs can benefit both conservation and fisheries in areas experiencing overfishing and since overfishing is common in many coastal nations, we ask how MPAs can be designed specifically to improve fisheries yields.

We assembled distribution, life history, and fisheries exploitation data for 1,338 commercially important stocks to derive an optimized network of MPAs globally. We show that strategically expanding the existing global MPA network to protect an additional 5% of the ocean could increase future catch by at least 20% via spillover, generating 9 to 12 million metric tons more food annually than in a business-as-usual world with no additional protection.

Seems pretty bland, protecting the fish, what’s not to like? … but here’s what’s at the heart of the madness, a retraction from the publisher, PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America:

Retraction for Cabral et al., A global network of marine protected areas for food

PNAS October 26, 2021 118 (43) e2117750118;

See original article:

ECOLOGY, SUSTAINABILITY SCIENCE Retraction for “A global network of marine protected areas for food,” by Reniel B. Cabral, Darcy Bradley, Juan Mayorga, Whitney Goodell, Alan M. Friedlander, Enric Sala, Christopher Costello, and Steven D. Gaines, which was first published October 26, 2020; 10.1073/pnas.2000174117 (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 11728134–28139).

The editors are retracting this article. The authors note the following:

“Following publication, we were informed of a data error from the version of the RAM database (RAM version 4.44 and older) that we used in our paper. An updated version of the RAM database exists (RAM version 4.491) that corrects this error, and, notably, the fisheries status of some RAM stocks are improved relative to prior versions. In particular, the inclusion of the erroneous unassessed Trachurus trachurus stock from the older version of RAM used in our analysis led to an overestimate of the potential food benefit from expanding existing global marine protected area (MPA) coverage. Notably, catch benefits from MPA expansion are still positive and substantial once the erroneous stock is removed from the analysis, and the qualitative conclusions of our work remain the same. However, we have been informed that the changes to our results arising from the data error have cast doubt over the outcome of the peer review process, ultimately leading to the retraction of this paper. We intend to submit a corrected version of the paper elsewhere.”

The editors also note that the article’s editor, J.L., recently published a related paper with the article’s authors and has a personal relationship with one of the authors, both of which are disallowed by PNAS editorial policies.

May R. Berenbaum

Hmmm … sounds kinda innocuous. They used an old database instead of the updated version, but the conclusion are the same. Oh, and “J.L.” has both a professional and personal relationship with the authors, which are against the PNAS policies.

So … what’s happening under this bland vanilla surface?

Well, to start with, “J.L.” is Jane Lubchenco, not just any unknown scientist.

Jane Lubchenco, a well-known Oregon State University distinguished professor and a former Obama administration official, has been appointed a top climate change science role under President Joe Biden.

Last week, Lubchenco was named the deputy director for climate and the environment for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In her role, Lubchenco will focus and lead efforts on climate change and environmental challenges we are currently facing that include health, economic recovery, equity, and sustainability.

Under Obama, she was the Administrator of NOAA and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. And now she’s selling climate alarmism for the Biden Administration.

As a result, she must know that it’s not ethical for someone who wrote a paper with some of the authors of a new paper under PNAS consideration to be an Editor for that new paper. Bad scientist, no cookies.

And as to the “personal relationship” with one of the authors … it’s not like he’s just her friend or co-worker or something.

He’s her brother-in-law.

And the errors in the paper were not just the use of an outdated dataset, as the authors claim. There were two submissions to PNAS pointing out huge logical errors in the paper. Here’s the first one:

Increasing fisheries harvest with MPAs: Leaving South and Southeast Asia behind

 View ORCID Profile Ray Hilborn

 See all authors and affiliationsPNAS April 27, 2021 118 (17) e2026410118;

Cabral et al. (1) estimate that putting 5 to 90% of the global oceans in no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) could increase global marine capture food production by 20%. Their model assumes that closing a portion of a stocks range can increase yield if stocks are subject to overfishing, but yield for a stock will necessarily be reduced by any closed areas if it is not subject to overfishing. They also use a previous paper (2) to estimate the status of stocks in 2050 under what is called the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario. This scenario estimates that the maximum sustainable yield for the 7,845 stocks analyzed was 76.6 million metric tons (MMT), and at the fishing pressure estimated for 2050, the realized yield would be 58.2 MMT so there would be the potential to increase yield by more than 20%. Of this potential, 44% comes from South Asian countries including India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, and the Philippines.

However, Cabral et al. (1) (in their figure S4) show no MPAs in these countries’ coastal waters when 20% of the global ocean is closed, and their yield maximized closure pattern has only a small area near China closed. Furthermore, we know from Hilborn et al. (3) and Hilborn and Costello (4) that there is almost no potential for MPAs to increase yield in North America or Europe because few stocks in those regions are subject to overfishing, yet their yield maximizing MPA pattern shows extensive MPAs in those places.

This is simply not credible and must cause us to doubt their results. A key reason for this unlikely result is that almost all of the potential increase in catch comes from species where they assume the entire global range is closely connected by both larval and adult dispersal. Thus, these stocks are equally exploited over their entire range, and a closure anywhere in their distributions benefits all other parts of their distribution. This is biologically impossible, especially when the global range of the species spans different oceans. MPAs in the Atlantic cannot possibly benefit fish stocks in the Pacific, and yet this is what the authors assume.

Finally, their results rely heavily on the BAU scenario and 75% of the potential benefits of MPAs come from 28 species, many of which are assumed to be nearly extinct under the BAU scenario. This too is not credible. Fisheries management for most of these species is improving, and the pessimistic assumptions of the BAU scenario is not supported by what is observed on the fishing grounds. For instance, since the study by Costello et al. (2) was published, many countries such as Russia, Peru, Chile, and Japan have reduced the fishing pressure on their stocks (3).

The inexplicable failure to place MPAs in South Asia and the overestimation of the amount of overfishing in the BAU scenario mean that the results of this paper simply cannot be accepted.

As Ray Hilborn points out, their results are “simply not credible” … tru ‘dat …

The second submission pointing out errors, by Ovando et al., is here. Inter alia it says:

Any global model must make simplifying assumptions, but the assumptions made in Cabral et al. (1) are not necessary and produce misleading results. A global model of MPAs must consider biological constraints of movement and spatial heterogeneity of fishery institutions. Reducing the effective range of populations by following the same stock structure as Costello et al. (4) would be a start in this direction, but explicitly modeling the role that distance plays in ecological and economic responses to MPAs would be preferred. Either of these approaches would be computationally intensive but feasible and, we suspect, would produce markedly different results from the findings Cabral et al. currently report.

And these problems should have been visible to anyone reading the Cabral paper. Here’s why. Fisheries all around the US are well protected via a host of overlapping Federal and State regulations and laws. As a result, there’s no need for additional protection of the type proposed by Cabral et al.

However, the areas off of China and Southeast Asia are some of the least protected and most heavily overfished waters of the planet. But here’s where Cabral et al. want to protect first:

Bizarre … they want to start by protecting all of the waters off of the US, and basically nothing off of Asia … say what?

For me, there are two big lessons from this episode:

• Do not trust government scientists. Far too often they are in thrall to political masters rather than scientific principles, and the pressure to trim their sails to the political winds is often irresistible.

• Trust in science in general is at an all-time low … and people like Dr. Lubchenco are very high on the list of reasons for that. She’s now wandered off into politically-driven climate alarmism … why am I not surprised?

Anyhow, that’s the hot news from the world aquatic. You’ve heard of “Post-Normal Science“? … sadly, we’re now well into the world of “Post-Abnormal Science”.

My best to all, seafolk and landlubbers alike,


As Is My Custom: I ask that when you comment, you quote the exact words you’re referring to, so we can all be clear exactly who and what you are discussing.

Further Reading: There’s an excellent overview of this entire goat-rope at the University of Washington Sustainable Fisheries site.

And Further Reading Yet: Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. has an excellent article on this subject over at Substack. 

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Michael E McHenry
December 21, 2021 6:07 pm

I have been reading for years that fish farming will eventually displace fishing. What am I missing?

Reply to  Michael E McHenry
December 21, 2021 6:20 pm

Its a process. Fishing production has flatlined but farmed production has recently exceeded it. So basicallly growth has been driven by farming…
scroll down to see a good chart

Michael E McHenry
Reply to  menace
December 21, 2021 6:23 pm

So no problem. Encourage farming

Reply to  Michael E McHenry
December 21, 2021 6:24 pm

I think free markets are all that is necessary

Alan Robertson
Reply to  menace
December 22, 2021 7:34 am

I was with a group pursuing the annual Sand Bass run on a creek feeding one of Oklahoma’s reservoirs. I had a bucket and would express a stream of eggs from each heavily burdened female and milt from each male, into a few inches of water in the bucket and poured the mix into the swift stream before leaving. There had to have been millions of eggs fertilized during that episode and if even 100 fish survived to breeding adulthood, then my efforts would have been a success, replenishing more fish than we took.
Curiously, I was chastised by others for my efforts as being fruitless and a waste of fishing time, (but I still caught as many as the others.)

There is at least one video on “—Tube” showing salmon fisherman doing essentially the same thing, but keeping the eggs in aerated tanks until the tiny juveniles emerged, before release into Salmon streams.

If seagoing fishermen tried the same technique with their catches which spawn at sea, then they might be helping to insure future catch.
The process is simple and doesn’t require a lot of effort.
Couldn’t hurt, (but might require a thick skin.)

Reply to  Alan Robertson
December 22, 2021 11:10 am

The aerated tanks are a good idea as more eggs will become fry.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
December 23, 2021 9:40 am

Menage a peche?

Reply to  Michael E McHenry
December 22, 2021 1:18 am

Sea lice…

Reply to  Michael E McHenry
December 22, 2021 6:10 am

Seems unlikely given that my understanding of fish farming, is that it requires wild fish feedstock. So the “replacement” is wild fish types – the name plate species like salmon with the cheaper, common fish types.

December 21, 2021 6:14 pm

The world aquatic – reminds me a movie, eh?

Did a jaguar shark eat your friend Clayton?

Tom Halla
December 21, 2021 6:19 pm

No restrictions on fishing from Korea to Somalia? It rather looks like someone does not want to involve certain Asian countries.

December 21, 2021 6:20 pm

Lubchenco becomes bait off of Sausalito has a ring to it.

December 21, 2021 6:23 pm

Who would ever have thought that Academia would have to be shown better standards in ethics & professionalism by Wall Street?

I reckon that research grant applications for taxpayer funding should have to meet the same probity standards as prospectuses for capital raising on the stock exchanges.

Reply to  Mr.
December 21, 2021 7:09 pm

I know folks who spend waaay more time writing grant applications than doing actual research. Plus, if humans or critters are the test subjects, ethics approval will drive you insane.

The net result is that curiosity based research is very difficult to get approved.

Science is in a bad place right now and ramping up the bureaucracy is not the answer. To get actual scientific breakthroughs, we need researchers to try stuff that hasn’t been tried before and stumble over things they hadn’t expected and realize the importance of what they’ve stumbled upon. link

Reply to  commieBob
December 21, 2021 7:48 pm

I’m not talking about medical research that has to pass clinical trials.

I’m talking about computer games based numbers shuffling vignettes that are of interest to a handful of other academics only.

Anything coming out of units who call themselves “center of excellence” in something or other should be automatically excluded from taxpayer funded research grants, in my opinion.

Reply to  Mr.
December 22, 2021 7:39 am

Center of Groupthink

December 21, 2021 6:37 pm

Whom are they “protecting” the fish for? Not for the masses! Waiting for Gates-the-chemist to conjure up some fake fish.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  marlene
December 21, 2021 7:26 pm

Who are they …. or For whom are they …

Reply to  Rory Forbes
December 22, 2021 2:30 pm

I believe ‘whom’ is correct in the OP’s comment. Your second suggestion that avoids ending with a preposition is better, but rarely followed.

Reply to  marlene
December 21, 2021 9:52 pm

Close, not quite.
Fish protection is far down their list of desirables.
First and foremost is their intention to create “Marine protected areas (MPAs)”.

From the first paper pointing out how illogical the PNAS published paper is:

Cabral et al. (1) estimate that putting 5 to 90% of the global oceans in no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) could increase global marine capture food production by 20%.”

And that Cabral et al want to start by increasing MPAs surrounding North America where state and Federal regulations already protect from overfishing.

What Lubchenco and Cabra et al really want is all of those MPAs where human activity is restricted or banned.

I suppose catch shares would then be pushed again.

Last edited 1 month ago by ATheoK
Jim Gorman
Reply to  ATheoK
December 22, 2021 4:38 am

This whole thing makes no sense. Close fishing areas by 90% and the fish will reach such a population level that catches in the remaining 10% will exceed what is taken today? Abra Cadabra, f*ing magic.

Take all the boats in the fishing areas and concentrate them to 10% of the current area? Talk about traffic jams or net entanglements!

Anyone with a lick of sense would have said “WHAT?”. Something is out of whack here.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
December 22, 2021 1:40 pm

you don’t let all the boats fish. you only permit 20% of what is out there now and tell the others that they are done.

the permitted guys get to make a lot of money & the regulatory folks have a manageable, malleable group of happy people.

the ones that are done can then become coders … much easier work.

Reply to  DonM
December 29, 2021 10:48 am

Catch shares.
Where only pals get permits for fish.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
December 29, 2021 10:45 am

Anyone with a lick of sense would have said “WHAT?”

That leaves Lubchenco and her ilk out. They are anything but common sense.

December 21, 2021 7:15 pm

I know next to nothing about commercial fishing.

As I read the above article it seemed to me that the collapse and non-return of the Newfoundland cod fishery would provide a practical example of why Cabral et al. is wrong. Is that even close to being correct?

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  commieBob
December 22, 2021 11:25 am

There’s a “No take zone” on the Firth of Clyde. I think that it was created partially because there were no fish caught in an annual line fishing competition. This could be an urban legend though.

But these things don’t always have the intended results.

Clyde’s fish stocks start to recover – with a different fish than beforeBanning fishing does not mean populations simply bounce back, as scientists found off Scotland’s west coast

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 29, 2021 11:09 am

There is a theory that when stocks of wildlife are depleted, that other wildlife will fill the missing biomass position.

e.g., recent marine animal explosions of jellyfish and sand sharks circa 2000.

Replacement biomass does not need to be an exact replacement. Any marine animal that benefits from the same habitat and food chain.

Codfish, not only need to reproduce. They need to retake their former position in the food chain and somehow reach substantial spawning success again.
As long as cod have their eggs, fry and young consumed by other critters, codfish populations will struggle.

H. D. Hoese
December 21, 2021 7:42 pm

SAVE COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN—ENDANGERED SPECIES on my pullover sweater obtained in Canada.

I have many decades experience dealing with commercial fishermen, fishers as now the politically correct word, actually a nasty weasel that eats porcupines. Only actual fishing experience was when my father-in-law brought a derelict shrimp boat. Embarrassment saved by a hurricane. Tough business, lots of nasty politics against them. In the US Gulf they have nearly been run out of business by sports fishing politics. I divert, but I do have significant experience with the subject and have commented here a few times on it. One example is on the famous “blackened redfish” fiasco when we knew they weren’t overfished, now proven by the sports catch now being consistently as high for years with numbers comparable to the former highest commercial catches. Like climate the modelers were behind the commercial fishermen and shrimpers, now evident in the literature. The second part of this report was a model from an honest biologist that had populations somewhere between overfished and needing a bounty.
   Hoese, H. D., D. W. Beckman, R. H. Blanchet, D. Drullinger, and D. L. Nieland. 1991. A biological and fisheries profile of Louisiana red drum Sciaenops ocellatus. Fishery management plan series Louisiana Dept. Wildl. Fisher. Baton Rouge, LA.. 49(1), 93 p). If anybody is interested this is the last of four books on the GOM situation, one titled “Missing Redfish,” only could be found by fishing rods. Fritchey, R. 2020. A Different Breed of Cat. New Moon Press. Golden Meadow. La. 362pp.

 Two examples, not the whole world but successful stocks, first where Hilborn is one of the authors, second ~3X as many actual snapper than the modelers simulated.
Melnychuk M. C., et al. 2020. Global trends in status and management of assessed stocks: achieving sustainable fisheries through effective management. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Tech. Pap. 665. Rome.
Stunz, G. W., and 17 other authors 2021. Estimating the absolute abundance of age-2+ red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, NOAA Sea Grant. 439 pages.

As to the reserves, have not studied that literature much, but it is not all roses. The point here is that is doubtful that Lubencho either hasn’t seen, doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care about the real scientific fisheries literature, except maybe the models. I looked into her resume sometime ago, don’t recall the details, but not at all impressive. I suspect that she is part of the all is negative crowd. As to Maine, in 1995 I gave a paper at a American Fisheries Society meeting in Nova Scotia where there was some hysteria, but rational paper that pointed out the hydrographic changes.

About their paper this sort of language is too common in the fish(er)y model literature.
“Our model of biomass export from MPAs to fished areas by adult spillover and larval subsidy is simple and deterministic. We assume a general larval pool model (24, 47) that ignores directional movement of larvae (48⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓–54) but accounts for density-dependent movement of adults (19, 25, 55). Information about local habitat quality and availability—which affect larval settlement, recruitment, and adult movement directionality—is not available globally and therefore was not included in our analyses.”   SAY WHAT!!!!

Reply to  H. D. Hoese
December 21, 2021 9:40 pm

How can anyone, “estimate an absolute abundance”?

They should be escorted out of the building, from there.

Reply to  H. D. Hoese
December 21, 2021 10:23 pm

One example is on the famous “blackened redfish” fiasco when we knew they weren’t overfished”

That, 1991, was shortly after the freeze killed large amounts of redfish (red drum), shrimp and speckled trout (weakfish).
The inshore waters were decimated of shrimp, redfish and specks.

In a panic, Louisiana locked down fishing for all three in state waters.

For some strange reason, the Feds locked down fishing for redfish and shrimp in Federal waters, which is three miles to 200 miles offshore.

Because so many people earned their living from shrimp, that was the first opened to commercial fishing by Louisiana. Though, that was at the time of their TED (turtle excluder device) Federal harassment of shrimpers.
Another time when commercial fishermen were ignored while every harebrained researcher was believed wholeheartedly.

It took Louisiana years to finally admit redfish were abundant again. I’m not sure the Feds ever did.

I’ve never understood that action. Admittedly, the blackened redfish crowd preferred the small redfish, but large redfish are just as tasty.

The same absurd fishery models were used to declare red snapper overfished… That battle still rages.
Red snapper are structure oriented fish. In the Northern Gulf of Mexico, that structure is only provided by oil rigs.
Find a good rig and there were plenty of red snapper on the bottom.

Fish the open gulf over sediments deposited by the Mississippi River and you won’t catch red any snapper.
I could never prove it, but I suspect the models relied upon fish samples from the open gulf…

I liked catching the members of the mackerel family most.
Spanish Mackerel were abundant in the North GOA, they were decently large, fought well, very toothy and made perfect fish filets.
Unlike the redfish with it’s heavy bone structure and armored scales.

Reply to  ATheoK
December 22, 2021 1:51 pm

NMFS had a long term plan to further tie up Washington, Oregon, and then in turn Louisiana by utilizing the Endangered Species Act and suing FEMA.

Fema would not really respond to the suit and NMFS would supply the court with a ‘biological opinion’ (almost 400 pages of non-legislative, court approved regulation) that would be adopted as gospel, and hold the rule of law.

They need appropriate ongoing threatened/endangered species to follow thru with the plan.

Last edited 30 days ago by DonM
Reply to  DonM
December 29, 2021 11:33 am

That does not surprise me, DonM.

NMFS has always been complicit with PEW and anti-fishing activists, except where high dollar species and few corporations are involved.

FEMA is not directly responsible for animals or marine life.

Shrimp fishermen got their TEDs ‘turtle excluder device’ working very efficiently.
NOAA and NMFS both tried to find fault with the excluders, including installing them incorrectly. Other shrimpers spotted the sabotage and radioed how to fix the installation. Making every boat within radio range aware of NMFS’ intentions.

Shrimp, crabs, redfish, specks, mullet, red snapper, etc. are all harvestable without disturbing less common animals.

Now NMFS and activists are trying to shut down dungeness, king crab, opilio crabs because they claim the ropes harm whales.
One of the reasons northern Right whales were split into three species is to enable an endangered opinion.

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  ATheoK
December 22, 2021 3:26 pm

“In a panic, Louisiana locked down fishing for all three in state waters.” Not quite, however, it was their legislature who rammed it through without due process, as one could always find a “famous” sycophant biologist that denied freezes and blamed commercials. Because seatrout were important to New Orleans restaurants they went to court. I testified for a colleague who couldn’t be there about it. Lost track of all the details, but Mississippi was the only commercial redfish US Gulf fishery left. Not long deceased former governor Edward Edwards of considerable fame admitted that it was wrong, but could do nothing about it.

“Due to fog, icebergs, places in Bay Moncleuse and Caillou Lake still frozen solid, low tides, and dirty water, we were limited to areas where we could travel. ..No dead birds were found, but the pelicans were actively feeding on dead fish all day in areas where there was no ice……We also got reports on December 27 and 28 that sport fishermen picked up about 30 to 40 pounds of fish (spotted seatrout and red drum) per person, per boat.” (Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. 1990). Similar to Texas reports after their 1947 freeze, but 1989 was also significant. Nothing new about the importance of freezes, no commercials to blame for 2021. Lots of literature on it.

Reply to  H. D. Hoese
December 29, 2021 11:40 am

governor Edward Edwards”

Who was completely corrupt.

When a northerner complained about corruption in Louisiana, my boss lashed back naming corrupt legislators from that Yankee’s state.
Then he proudly stated that at least in Louisiana, once a legislator was bought, they stayed bought; unlike the Yankees who frequently shopped for better deals.

Mike Dubrasich
December 21, 2021 9:04 pm

Here in Oregon we know about Dr. Lubchenco. She has a long history of alarmism and political agenda “science”. Last Millenium she was already touting “creeping dead zones” or oceanic anoxia patches, which turned out to be transitory and normal nothings. She blamed human caused global warming for these natural processes that have been happening for millions of years.

She has also hyped ocean acidification, over fishing, marine “reserves”, and every touchy-feely alarmist eco-disaster narrative imaginable, and has been doing so for years.

It’s worked for her. She’s made a ton of dough doing phony bureaucracy milking, garnered numerous awards for hysteria, and now is a “recognized expert” in claptrap. She’s been doing the nepotism thing for decades. She’s one of Them. Nothing new about that.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
December 22, 2021 6:11 am

I was about to post that I am certain I’ve seen that name before in the alarmism circles.

December 21, 2021 9:14 pm

“… Thus, these stocks are equally exploited over their entire range, and a closure anywhere in their distributions benefits all other parts of their distribution. This is biologically impossible, especially when the global range of the species spans different oceans. MPAs in the Atlantic cannot possibly benefit fish stocks in the Pacific, and yet this is what the authors assume. …”

Did they take Marine Science 101:O90 at any point?

Obvious, undeniable massive incompetence … the other alternative is flagrant corruption and considered dishonesty.

Surely this is measure and grounds for firing such persons from any administrative or policy roles? A first year student knows what they’re proposing and why, is absolute a-scientific nonsense from a crackpot, or someone not interested in good public policy and fisheries management.

Reply to  WXcycles
December 22, 2021 3:25 am

The first year student might know it is nonsense but by the time they finish the course they have either been brainwashed into accepting they were wrong before or they have realised that to get good grades they must regurgitate what their teachers tell them.

December 21, 2021 9:26 pm

I read about the retraction in the National Fisherman in an article written by NF’s woke editor. An editor that caused me to unsubscribe several years ago.

I left a comment under the online article. A comment that has since disappeared.

Retraction: Study of marine protected areas deemed flawed with conflict of interest


 3 days ago

Nothing near or related to Lubchenco or the National Academy of Sciences can be trusted, let alone the NCAS publication.

In most environment, weather, climate fields plus many medical researches, peer review is known as pal review, as the editors of the publications ignore their own rules regarding reviewers.

FOIA emails and Climategate exposed researchers bullying editors and editors functioning as gate blockers to inconvenient research or research from black listed scientists.”

Your in depth dissection and summation of this egregious Lubchenco behavior and that of Cabral et al, is far better than my short comment of outrage.

December 21, 2021 9:27 pm

At a time where the west and Asian allies are again being challenged by anti-democratic extreme authoritarian forces, it’s so sad and demoralizing to see such disgusting examples of poor government policy administrators. This does so much disservice to the very concept of electing free constitutional democratic governments.

It’s so disgusting that this is the best they can put forwards, to govern “by the people, for the people”. What a total disgrace. This sort of bad government representation and administration just gives the Xi Jinping’s of our world, more reasons to view Democracy as an evident grand failure.

But worse, it drives democratic voting populations to similar views.


Reply to  WXcycles
December 21, 2021 11:03 pm

Totally agree with you on this. Western style democracy has been failing for decades as our ruling elites have become the tools of the globalists and drifted away from being the servants of the people. The fishing industry has always been a political football for some reason, but for the life of me I can’t see why this should be.

The idea of Marine Protected Areas is ludicrous. Our understanding of the complexities of fishery stocks is rudimentary and applying crude models to widespread ocean areas will inevitably result in poor political decisions. This approach will have serous consequences, both for the marine environment and for those who’s livelihoods depend on it.

John Tillman
Reply to  WXcycles
December 22, 2021 4:45 am

Meanwhile, Red China has fished out the Western Pacific and is working on the SE Pacific and South Atlantic. Especially squid, which, granted aren’t fish (not even shellfish, though mollusks), but lots of vertebrate oceanic species as well.

Reply to  WXcycles
December 29, 2021 11:51 am

Xi Jinping has plenty of corruption examples in China.
As he just proved by removing the Tiananmen memorial.

Corruption in China is rife across the board. In America, key legislators and businessmen are corrupt, but not every manager, supervisor fool who believes they deserve a big cut.

China products are still made to resemble western products, not be identical. So stainless steel rusts, milk is replaced with melamine waste, alloy steels have excess quantities of bismuth and other elements that weaken the steel, plastics that are UV resistant when made in the USA or Germany degrade very fast in sunlight, ground gear teeth are not properly ground, etc. etc.

December 21, 2021 9:37 pm

“It’s models all the way down.”

Steve Oregon
December 21, 2021 10:15 pm

Having followed and researched JL for years I thought this was heading her way at first mention of MPAs.
From my research JL is a long time activist scoundrel.
She was fired from her NOAA job after east coast bipartisan demands persuaded Obama to replace her. Why? Because of her over zealous and harmful over regulation of fisheries.
Here in Oregon she lead the fabrication/frauds of AGW Ocean Dead Zones and Osteoporosis of the Sea (Acidification) that led to immense misappropriation of millions towards faulty research that continues today.
Furthermore she used those concocted threats to persuade the Oregon legislature to adopt three large marine reserves. That effort face little opposition from fisheries who were threatened with a full coastal ban initiative if they didn’t go along with it.
The AGW Dead Zone sham dwindled into nothing for a few years as little hypoxia appeared. Recently, OSU again detected hypoxia levels they could use to again echo the phony alarm.
They are out there on their Hypoxia and Acid measuring cruises collecting the most useless data and turning into tall tales and alarms for funding.

another ian
December 22, 2021 1:00 am

The next iteration doesn’t just happen to produce a marine equivalent of this?
comment image

Ed Zuiderwijk
December 22, 2021 3:31 am

If you use a model of climate-model quality …. you get ‘simply not credible’ results.

December 22, 2021 3:35 am

Instead of “defund the police”, it should be defund the science. The corrupting influence of government money cannot be overcome.

Captain climate
December 22, 2021 3:56 am

Take an absurd business as usual case as a baseline and don’t question it’s assumptions and you do can find miraculous solution.

John Garrett
December 22, 2021 4:57 am

It’s even worse than I thought.

It should be presumed that these little professional Machiavellians (like Lubchenco) have no conscience whatsoever. Jane Lubchenco, MacArthur Award winner, you should be ashamed.

I am grateful for Ray Hilborn and Ovando et al. They did the job scientists are supposed to do.

I am also grateful for the irreplaceable Willis Eschenbach and CTM.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Garrett
December 22, 2021 5:10 am

“…distinguished professor and a former Obama administration official, has been appointed…”

Well, I stopped right there. Slammed on the brakes. That was all I needed to know, that she was a stooge for Obama. It will take a lot to convince me otherwise.

Yes, let’s ruin everything we see, everything we can touch\, since we have “the power” to do so and pretend that it will benefit anyone at all.

Jules Guidry
Reply to  Sara
December 22, 2021 7:22 am

Yep. Even if she was the most qualified, by someone’s estimation, the key word for me was “Obama”, then there is my extreme disdain for anything coming out of academia. Especially if it is the bastions of the left coast. Nothing good can come of her appointment to anything.

John Bell
December 22, 2021 5:50 am
Mumbles McGuirck
December 22, 2021 6:44 am

I guess we should’nt be surprised. PNAS has a long history of pal review. Now it’s sister-in-law editing.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mumbles McGuirck
Michael Nagy
December 22, 2021 7:17 am

Willis, with all your fishing experience I’d love to hear your opinion on sea lions and harbor seals still being protected.

December 22, 2021 8:26 am

That is a rather amazing exposé.

December 22, 2021 9:15 am
December 22, 2021 10:31 am

Furthermore, we know from Hilborn et al. (3) and Hilborn and Costello (4) that there is almost no potential for MPAs to increase yield in North America or Europe because few stocks in those regions are subject to overfishing”

I find this comment by Hilborn hard to believe because my experience is that there is overfishing around the UK for instance.

December 22, 2021 3:42 pm

• Do not trust government scientists. Far too often they are in thrall to political masters rather than scientific principles, and the pressure to trim their sails to the political winds is often irresistible.

Alas, sad but true. When dealing with our public health officials, I am often tempted to say things like, “Even a government scientist can see from this table of data that things are not what they claim…” and so on.

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