Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spinning a fishery decline

Is it a good thing or a bad thing for managers to cut back a sustainable fishery. Is it a problem that the fish decline? Or is it a good thing that managers respond to that decline? It seems to depend on how you look at the situation.

The MSC-certified sustainable Alaska pollock fishery must reduce fishing next year. Everyone seems to agree on that. But opinions diverge widely on how much to reduce fishing and what it all means.

According to Greenpeace, we're looking at a historic fishery collapse, signs that the entire Alaskan ocean has been devastated by a so-called "sustainable" fishery, because common sense has been thrown out the window due to the amount of money involved. Strong words.

But the fishery scientists who count the fish think that would be an overstatement.

The fishery stock assessment that will be the final word on the status of Alaska's pollock isn't done yet, and when it is done, that will be the best answer. Greenpeace is responding to some preliminary and incomplete scientific results, and may not find support from fishery scientists for their stark claims.

Meanwhile, here are the views of some of the people who catch pollock, although there's nothing on the current situation yet.

Blogfish is keenly intersted in how this turns out, and how the players respond. Stay tuned for more as the situation develops.


Latitude 43 said...

I read somewhere that most of the fish caught is for feeding livestock. How true do you guys think this is?

Mark Powell said...

I don't think that's true, I think most pollock goes to higher value products than livestock feed.