Friday, July 27, 2007

Jellyfish swarm worsens, be very afraid

Toxic jellyfish are invading Europe's Mediterranean beaches, and people are suffering. Is it overfishing? Or is it...THE SWARM

As blogfish packs for vacation, I must admit I've finally picked up a copy of Frank Schatzing's THE SWARM. It's an ocean techno-thriller, where the ocean fights back against our misuse and abuse. Jellyfish start to...wait, you'll just have to read it.

In the real world, jellyfish swarms seem to be getting worse. Climate change, overfishing, or natural? You be the judge.

Meanwhile, I can't wait to get on the plane and get back into THE SWARM...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What are oceans for?

As I travel and talk to people about oceans I’m hearing the same conversation begin over and over again. Halting, preliminary, incomplete, but recognizable. Using different jargon in different fora, some technical and some not.

People are beginning to ask: what are oceans for?

The long history of unconsidered use is being questioned. Decades of fishing pushed favorite fish into deep decline, and the response is starting to sound new.

For years, overfishing was a technical problem, to be fixed by better stock assessments and tweaking the way people fish. A new model here and modified nets there. But now we’re seeing some new responses. People are starting to say that our oceans are not just for jobs. We need to start worrying about our oceans, because they’re natural capital that we need to protect.

Conservation groups are giving fishermen money to stop fishing. Governments are declaring some areas off-limits to fishing in a new ocean refuge movement. Retail chains that buy lots of seafood are asking for sustainable fishing because they’re worried about running out of seafood.

These ocean future conversations are just beginning, and they’ll take time. How will they end? These things only go one way.

Logging of old growth forests was for jobs when I was growing up in Oregon, and now logging proponents say it’s for the good of the forest. That conversation has changed in my lifetime, and it ain’t going back.

Everybody knows that it’s bad to dump sewage in rivers, and we’re slowly getting about the business of fixing that problem. It’s expensive and slow, but we know what we have to do and there’s no going back.

Today’s ocean conversations are starting down the same path. What are oceans for?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Solving the ocean plastic plague

I'm in DC again (frequent flyer miles piling up this year), planning the future of ocean conservation.

A friendly group rapidly found passionate concern over plastics in the ocean, in particular the effects on ocean wildlife like sea turtles. What shall we do?

Two major ideas surfaced.

1. Changing the production and use of plastics to favor less harmful materials, including so-called degradable plastics that break down fairly quickly.

2. Changing people's behavior so that plastics are not discarded carelessly and they don't find their way into the ocean.

The problem with so-called degradable plastics is that they don't actually degrade quickly in important places like the stomach of a sea turtle (yikes).

The problem with eliminating plastic litter is that it's hard to get people to stop littering no matter how much money you have to spend on outreach campaigns.

Sounds nearly insoluble, just like plastics. Which seems more likely to work? Changing the production process so that plastic bags are harmless? Changing people's behavior so that bags never get eaten by ocean animals?

That's today's blogfish question, more to come when the meetings end and blogfish catches a break.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Politics meet science (again) over salmon

Once again we have a judge sticking up for science after government officials didn't bother. Oregon's coho salmon are in deep trouble, and a judge ordered stronger protection from state and federal fish agencies.

This is another in a long line of rulings necessary to get coho salmon on the road to recovery. The state of Oregon has preferred voluntary action (pretty please, timber companies, be nice to fish?), and the federal government said that sounds just fine. The latest action was to count farm-bred hatchery fish as part of salmon populations, so we can farm coho salmon back to recovery.

Scientsts called foul, and a federal judge agreed. Where is the scientific integrity of the government?

Blogfish has a strong fondness for coho salmon, and this is good news.

I belive strongly that we need to get people to invest in saving salmon. We can't just attack and pass outrageous laws and regulations and expect fish to bounce back. But we can't just say pretty please to the people who did the damage, and expect the fish to bounce back. The state of Oregon has been bending over too far to please property owners and resource users. A federal judge agreed, once again.

Sigh. deja vu all over again. My first salmon lawsuit was in the mid-1990s over the first ill-fated "Oregon salmon plan." I have a feeling this will become a lifelong pursuit.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Record Gulf dead zone expected this summer

Oxygen is nice stuff, and most people get grouchy if someone tries to take their oxygen away. So why do we feel ok about suffocating fish and other ocean animals?

This year the Gulf of Mexico dead zone is predicted to set a nasty record. Scientists think the Gulf dead zone will be bigger and badder than ever. More dead animals, more ruined ocean.

All thanks to excess fertilizer that runs off of Iowa's cornfields. Ok, it's not just Iowa and not only corn, but you get the idea. Anyway, the excess fertilizer pours down the Mississippi River and fertilizes the ocean to death. Ugh.

Dead zones are becomming more common, and there may be links to climate change but that's another story.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Huge underwater creature filmed in China

Chinese cousin to the Loch Ness monster? Is it real or a hoax? Watch the video and decide for yourself.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Science scores a victory over the big lie of "salvage logging"

Five years after the notorious "Biscuit" forest fire in southern Oregon, one lesson is clear. Logging a burned forest doesn't help forest recovery, it's all about making money.

This forest fire has spawned a number of controversies, including attempts to protect the practice of salvage logging by savagely attacking a gradutate student who grilled some sacred cows with his research.

I've lived and worked in the forests of southern Oregon, including the site of the Biscuit fire. It's tough country to grow trees with hot, dry summers. And the salmon in the rivers live on the edge of being too hot, so careful forest management is critically important for their survival.

A small news story now out on the 5 year anniversary of the fire is evidence of an important scientific tipping point. Simply stated, logging burned trees is not defended anymore as being good for the forest. US Forest Service spokesperson Rob Schull said:

"...people will be careful about their language in the future, that ecological recovery does not need salvage logging by any means. We achieve other objectives through salvage logging than any ecological recovery."

In other words, the logging is to make some money from some dead, damaged, and nearby trees, not to help the forest. Ok, fine, now we can have a reasoned debate about whether to log burned forests.

This is a big lie falling in the forest, I hope people can hear it. It's a good day for science, forests, and salmon.

Al Gore's sustainable seafood dinner

Poor Al Gore, he just can't win. Nearly crucified for eating fish that wasn't holy and pure enough, it turns out he did nothing wrong.

It's a silly story, he attended a rehearsal dinner for his daughter's wedding and was reported to dine with the crowd on Chilean seabass. A number of people went off at him, declaring the consumption unsustainable.

Last laugh to Gore, apparently the fish was from a fishery certified to be sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. Yes, some Chilean seabass is caught with unsustainable fishing, but does that mean we should never eat another one? How about supporting the fishermen who do the right thing?

"Just say no" to unsustainable seafood is not a good strategy, and look at the silliness it creates.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ocean conservation: you can't get there from here

You can't get there from here. We need real conservation to save our oceans, and so far we're not getting real conservation. Some big changes are needed.

The water taxi from downtown to Boston airport was a good time to ponder the lessons from the best practices in US fisheries workshop. A perfect afternoon with a warm breeze and a nice city harbor view. It looks ok, so long as you don't look too deep. Just like US fisheries.

Boston Harbor is a fitting metaphor for best practices in US fisheries. Things are better than they were, but there's a long ways to go. And sadly, to borrow a New England saying, "you can't get there from here." We have some broken approaches that need major overhauls before we can get to real conservation.

Much of the Best Practices workshop was focused on getting fishing interests to accept the very reasonable "best practices" that currently exist. That means setting The Good Depletion as a goal. Leaving a few fish in the water to spawn is better than many US fisheries, but it's not good enough as a conservation goal.

So long as we still have fishing interests controlling the management of US fisheries, we won't get to real conservation.

Conflict of interest is the heart of the problem. Boring story to anyone involved in fisheries, but it's amazing to anyone else.

Fisheries are managed by appointed Councils where fishing interests have a clear majority. The appointees get a nice federal salary for writing their own rules. The Councils are called "advisory" but Federal Government can only block their action if it's illegal. And not much is illegal. The Councils have what appears to be a unique exemption from conflict of interest law. The law simply does not apply. Conflict of interest is legal, and it's the normal way fisheries operate. Zowee, that's a nice gig if you can get it. Write the rules, and then go make money working under the rules that you wrote.

Bloggers for positive global change

Blogfish gets tagged, so I'm spreading the tag. I received the Bloggers for Positive Global Change award. Now I'm supposed to nominate 5 more and spread the tag. How far will this go? Who knows, but hey it's blogfun.

Here are my tagged blogs, all people blogging for the good of the world:

1. Shifting baselines--don't forget the good old days in the ocean.

2. Chews Wise--food in balance with life.

3. Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and Sunsets--oceans and more.

4. The Natural Patriot--it's righteous to save the world.

5. J--that sea turtle guy.

How this works for those tagged:

Write a post with links to up to 5 blogs that you think are trying to change the world in a positive way.

Leave a comment or message for the bloggers you've tagged, so they know they're now part of the meme.

Optional: Proudly display the "Bloggers for Positive Global Change" award badge.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cod overfishing spawns cod nursery ideas

Things are really bad when people on Martha's Vineyard are trying to start a cod nursery to re-seed local waters with cod.

It's a sad day when we can't rely on natural cod reproduction to grow cod in New England. Fishery management has truly failed when people are so desperate for solutions.

I'm glad to see people trying to solve problems with a cod nursery. But I worry that they'll end up doing more harm than good. See the sad history of salmon hatcheries in the northwest for a lesson on how good intentions can go badly wrong.

When will we finally figure out that overfishing is bad for fish and bad for people? Is it really that difficult to understand?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

New ways to end overfishing-sustainability incentives

Sustainability incentives work! Fishing will be reduced in Iceland and New Zealand to maintain market position as sustainable fisheries.

The theory behind the sustainable seafood movement is proving true--sustainability incentives can be strong enough to promote conservation of fish in big industrial fisheries.

First, fishing industry leaders in New Zealand are calling for reduced fishing of hoki, to preserve their reputation for sustainable management and to maintain their certification as a sustainable fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council.

And in Iceland, fishery managers have cut the quota for cod fishing, to preserve their reputation for sustainable fishing.

After a day of the Boston meeting on best practices in US fisheries, here's a new best practice emerging. Bring sustainability incentives to fisheries and then see how the rewards of sustainability motivate good behavior by fishermen and managers.

This fits my take on the meeting so far, most of if is focused on how to get fishermen to accept sustainable management. We know how to do sustainable management, but what is harder is getting the political support (or insulation) to keep sustainable management in place. Sustainability incentives are proving up as a good reward, one that matters where it counts, in the wallet.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Will you buy certified low mercury seafood?

It had to happen. Seafood buyers can now choose seafood that is certified to be low in mercury, based on chemical testing.

Seafood contamination scares have created an opportunity to sell certified "safe" seafood, and now some seafood businesses are filling the demand. Mercury in seafood is bad, and the seafood industry needs to do more than tell conumers "everything's fine."

Bristol Farms markets in Southern California has stepped up to the plate, and will be selling Safe Harbor certified, low-mercury seafood.

What's next? Broader chemical testing and certification? How about seafood that's certified to be what it says on the label? Now there's a concept.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Best practices in US fisheries

How can we make US fisheries work? What does success look like? Do we care most about fish, fishermen, or industry infrastructure?

These questions and more are up for debate at a meeting in Boston this week, where I'll be your representative if you have good ideas. We're set to debate "Best Practices in US Fisheries" thanks to the Lenfest Ocean Program. So let's hear it, what makes some fisheries work and some fail? And how do you define success?

One thing on my mind is overcapacity. When fishing fleets have too much catching power, when they can easily outfish the productivity of fish, then the sh*t hits the fan.

Our typical fishery management lets too many people go after the fish. It's like having a party for a high school football team and serving one pizza and one beer. Don't do much good to set rules like only using tiny forks or no more than 1 sip each. You'd get mayhem--sort of like some US fisheries.

So what shall we do? Any thoughts I should carry to the august group of scientists, managers, and "others" (that's me)?

Ocean conservation interview-Mike Sutton

Stop by Mongabay for an inteview of Mike Sutton, an ocean conservation leader now with the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Here's a teaser clip:

The Bluefin tuna is really the poster child of overfishing. It is the most valuable fish in the sea: one fish in the Tokyo market can bring more than $150,000. We call it the "Porsche of the Oceans" because the bluefin tuna is the size of a Porsche, 10 feet long and a 1500-pound upper size limit; it as fast as a Porsche, 0 to 60 in 5 seconds; and they are as valuable as a Porsche, 100 grand.
and another one:
Well, the whole idea is to create powerful economic incentives for sustainable fishing and ultimately conservation of the ocean. The Seafood Watch program, which is about seven years old now, was originally intended to build and maintain the salience of this issue with consumers, chefs, and businesses. The idea is that if consumers and businesses give preference to sustainable fisheries, they send a powerful signal from the marketplace back into the industry that there is a reward for improving fishing practices.

What we really want to do at the end of the day is change the politics of fishing by swinging industry support behind more effective regulation. In the past industry has been at best a benign force, while at worst it has actively lobbied against conservation measures. We want to turn that on its head. The ultimate goal of Seafood Watch is to change the politics of fishing.

What we've succeeded in doing so far after seven years and 20 million Seafood Watch cards is build the salience of this issue dramatically. The seafood cards are the most popular things we have ever done for aquarium visitors. Recent evaluations have shown that they make a huge difference in terms of awareness and behavior change among consumers, but more importantly we've also won the attention of the biggest seafood buyers in the nation; Wal-Mart, Costco, Aramark. Food service, retailers, and distributors like Sysco. Many of the nation’s biggest seafood buyers are now making commitments to sustainable seafood. So, it's rapidly becoming the commercial norm for big seafood buyers to pledge to buy only seafood from sustainable sources. Now, it's the same problem that Michael Pollan identified in his book, The Omnivore's Dilemma. He talked about the growth of industrial organic. When Wal-Mart goes organic, can the organic industry scale up to supply Wal-Mart, the biggest food retailer in the United States, or do you lose the essence of the movement in so doing? The jury is still out on that, and whether sustainable seafood can supply the biggest buyers in the nation. But what we have achieved so far is the biggest retailer and biggest food service company in the United States have made commitments for sustainable seafood and that is huge because if it is not on a shelf or not on the menu, you and I can't order it. These businesses make the choices on our behalf.

Before long, we hope unsustainable seafood simply won’t be available to consumers which will be a good thing.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Great new ocean blog-Carl Safina

I invite you to stop by Carl Safina's (fairly) new blog.

Carl is an ocean conservation leader and a great writer. I look forward to reading his blog. Right now, he's reporting from sea, which is tremendous fun to read when you're stuck behind a desk as I am today.

For a taste of his unique conservation message, check out Bye-Bye Bluefin, and the "Opposite Land" inhabited by the people who are managing bluefin tuna into collapse. I've seen this opposite land and it's a bizarro world where up is down and collapse is recovery.

Good luck, Carl!

Can money hold back the sea?

We'll find out on Nantucket. As a beach erodes, wealthy homeowners are engaged in a high-stakes battle to "just say no" to coastal erosion.

A foolish project on a geological scale, but one that makes sense in the here and now. What to do with a tenuous piece of land treasured by people with large treasure chests?

The Sconset Beach Preservation Fund is drawing a line in the sand and saying no to further erosion. They're looking to spend $25 million of their own money to dredge sand offshore, dump it on the beach, and then watch it slowly erode away. They understand that it's a temporary solution, and they'll likely have to do it again in a few years to keep their beach. Check out this interesting powerpoint presentation on the erosion control plan.

The amount of sand is big. For now, they want to move 260,000 dump truck loads. That's right, two hundred sixty thousand loads.

Strong arguments are made on both sides, possible impacts to marine life vs. cultural preservation. An interesting twist is that some of those arguing are used to getting their way in life. Like Cape Wind, the wind power electricity generation station proposed in Nantucket Sound, this is no ordinary coastal development vs. environmental protection fight. (btw, lemme know if you wanna see blogfish do Cape Wind)

Folks, it ain't gonna work. You may win a few years, but the great mother ocean will take what she wants. And she seems to want your land.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cod farming replacing cod fishing?

Hold onto your nets. As wild cod disappear from our oceans, farmed cod are being rushed to market to fill the seafood gap.

We've seen the results, good and bad, as farmed salmon replaced wild salmon in the seafood marketplace. Now, wild salmon has to be a specialty product to survive.

Will cod be the next fish to go the way of farmed salmon? Would it be a good thing if cod farms filled fish markets with cheap, reliable supplies of codfish?

Here's the real ocean conservation better served by farms or catching wild fish? We can list the impacts of farms and fishing, and how they're weighed depends on perspective.

Is it better to have fish farms, with all their problems such as disease, pollution, escaped fish and excess fishing to make fish feed?

Or is it better to get our fish from the wild, with overfishing causing population crashes, gear that destroys habitat, and harm to marine mammals, turtles and other fish?

It's not an easy question. Many environmentalists say farms are bad and wild fish are better, but I'm not so sure. Farms done right might be better for our oceans than our current overfishing mess.

And when you dig deeper on salmon, you see that so-called "wild" salmon from Washington, Oregon, and California are mostly raised in fish farms called "hatcheries" for around half of their life. They're only half wild and they cause serious problems for the truly wild salmon they mix with.

Fish farms won't just go away. We need to learn to do fish farming right. It might be easier than getting people to start fishing right.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Even whales get the runs?

Was it the diarrhea? Five melon-headed whales that beached themselves in Florida last year were suffering from a nasty colon disease that produces chronic diarrhea in humans.

Collagenous colitis may have caused distress that led to the beaching. Where did the disease, previously known only in humans, come from? Pollution or climate change are the possible causes mentioned by scientists in the know.

Another in the long list of ocean issues that may be linked to climate change.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Surfing huge ocean wave

More amazing video. Surfer tows onto a huge ocean wave and rides it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Great white shark attack on seal

Amazing, super slow motion video of a great white shark attacking a seal. The shark hits the seal from below, flying way out of the water as the attack is complete. Unbelievable, said to be from Planet Earth.

Extreme rubber duckie adventure

Joining the extreme vacation trend, a flotilla of Rubber Duckies have now travelled 17,000 miles on the ocean with nothing more than their wits.

Washed overboard from a cargo ship in the North Pacific Ocean, the duckies busted out of their cargo container and began their trip. Traveling with a team of blue turtles and green frogs 29,000 strong, they've now wandered the ocean for 15 years.

The roughest part of their trip? Years frozen in an Arctic ice pack. Where are they now? In the Mid-Atlantic Ocean, headed for Britain. Tired and bleached white by the sun, who knows how much longer they'll keep going.

Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer has been tracking them for years and thinks many will probably make landfall in England and stay put. The Duckies were unavailable for comment, but they're rumored to be considering a book deal.

Octosquid found off Hawaii

Is it a new species? The so-called octosquid is certainly unusual and might be new, according to local scientists.

Caught in the filter of a deep water intake pipe, the animal has 8 octopus-like tentacles, with a squid like body (see picture). Enough to stir the imagination.

Ocean fun never ends, so long as we do a decent job at keeping our oceans clean and healthy.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Will seafood make you sick?

Can I feed tuna to my kids? Will I get sick from swordfish? Is it true that I'll glow after eating farmed salmon?

If there's one ocean worry that is widely shared, this is it. How healthy is seafood? The scary answer? Nobody knows.

"Don't worry, be happy" seems to be the message from most of the seafood industry. That won't fly anymore with the latest news of bans on imported Chinese seafood. And these bans are just the tip of the iceberg.

A seafood industry journalist has scathing comments for the industry in the wake of the ban. Now some government scientists are calling for a nationwide study of seafood safety. Ouch. The new consensus is that it's time for the seafood industry to wake up and get serious about quality.

Quality and sustainability are natural partners. Anyone who cares about quality already cares about sustainability, even if they don't know it yet. And then there's the mislabeling issue, paying high grouper prices and getting cheap basa grown on an Asian fish farm. Who's paying attention? Who's responsible? Who will fix this?

The seafood industry is a natural partner for ocean conservation, and we need to find the people and groups who want to work together on quality, sustainability, and reliability. Otherwise, consumers will turn off and quit eating seafood altogether, and that's not even good for fish. If we quit eating fish, who will care about ocean pollution and other ocean ills?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Carnival of the blue 2

With this month's carnival, the torch is passed. Next month's Carnival of the Blue 3 will be at Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and Sunsets on August 6. Please be as nice to Rick as you've all been to me!

From now on, please email your contributions to:
carnivaloftheblue at gmail dot com
and they'll be forwarded to that month's host. Please contribute early to allow hosts to get things together on time.

Now for more blue fun...

Top of the list this month is a striking report on the planet's largest time release capsules, Antarctic icebergs. surf.bird.scribble gives us info and commentary on the mundane dirt in icebergs and it's less mundane fate and effects (think climate change). Great stuff, and we're not related...really.

J sees the future, and it's better, thanks to the styrofoam ban that began in little Capitola this year and spread around the world like wildfire.

When fish meet politics, strange things happen, and Hope for Pandora tackles with characteristic aplomb a fish science problem that's been in the news.

Offering a brand new 4th of July idea from safely north of the border, Shifting Baselines brings us jellyfish burgers. The picture alone is worth the visit, suitable for framing--our ocean future.

Team yin and yang deliver again, going from the engaging to the enraging. Deep Sea News marks 30 years studying an "alternative lifestyle" at hydrothermal vents, and also offers for your reading displeasure, the infuriating record of chemical weapons disposal at sea.

If you lack a backbone or just pine for invertebrates, pay a visit to The Other 95% and learn about the elusive Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus and browse for some more serious fare.

If you've ever wondered what does the deep sea say? stop by Water Words that Work and Eric will tell you. One hint, very few things speak for themselves.

Some real (sad) conservation news over at Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and Sunsets, where Rick explains the international intrigue and shenanigans at CITES, where precious red and pink corals were protected and then unprotected. It's enough to promote aging, so Rick offers some thoughts on stayin' alive through it all.

Coming to us from the wonderful Spud Point in magical Bodega Bay, I'm a chordata, urochordata asks where have all the chitons gone? and then gives us the answer.

If you're feeling robust, check out the extreme paddleboarding at Three Tree Journal, because I won't tell you here how it made him feel.

We're visited by ocean birds this month, 10,000 birds says it's all connected and explains why bird lovers should care about overfishing and ocean decline. This puts 10,000 birds on my list.

And speaking of birds, who can resist giant penguins? Swing by Laelaps and read about some magnificent and very large extinct ocean birds and what they tell us about life.

As if we're not having enough fun yet, The Natural Patriot relates an excursion that reminds us how and why we got into ocean doings in the first place. Not fair, Emmett, it sounds like to much fun. BTW, how's that Natural Patriot of the year contest going?

A very old whale spurs Ouroboros to wonder if whales age and how could we know anyway?

In the upstream part of the ocean, at the head of Narragansett Bay, comes a story of riotous life officially called a "romp." Mark H's diary at Daily Kos chronicles river otters and what they do with their time (they do occassionally get salty).

In the South Pacific, The Saipan Blog brings ocean conservation to people with a summer camp. Check out the happy faces if you wonder whether it works.

If you wonder whether overfishing matters, blogfish says maybe so, unless you're prepared to eat deer meat sushi, the latest substitue being prepared for you now that tuna are getting scarce.

Missing a few friends, blogfish went beachcombing again this month and found some gems...

Worried that cephalopods may just be this month's fad? Fear not, cephalopod centerfold is confident that cephalopods have staying power so they'll be more like Justin Timberlake than say Vanilla Ice.

More cephalopod news avaialble at, including how whales attack squid.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Artificial reef plans in New York

Not satisfied with 49 acres of artificial reefs made from old junk, New York wants to expand to 825 acres by putting old subway cars and navy ships on the ocean bottom.

It's a great idea, but the road to ...well ruin can be paved with good intentions. Artifical reefs can be a good idea, if designed with the right goals in mind. But we know only too well that poorly designed reefs can become a huge cleanup nightmare.

Subway cars, debris and old ships seem like materials of opportunity rather than a real attempt to make a nice reef. Will they help fish? Likely not, when the stated purpose is to attract fish for people to catch.

Another in a long line of ideas that sound good but may not withstand scrutiny, I'm sorry to say.