Posted on November 5, 2006 Comments (9)
“It looks grim, and the projections into the future are even grimmer,” said Boris Worm, a marine biologist and a lead author in the peer-reviewed study, which was published today in the journal Science.
But other scientists question that forecast. “It’s just mind-boggling stupid,” said Ray Hilborn, a University of Washington professor of aquatic and fishery sciences.
The evidence seems pretty convincing overfishing has created serious problems and if unchecked those problems threaten to become even more serious. It also seems a stretch to claim those problems will be unchecked (that the checks will be less than they should be I think is a reasonable position). It seems to me the original stories talking about the end of fishing stocks in the next 40 years are alarmist to the point of being counterproductive.
The measured effects today should be enough for sensible people to realise the tragedy of the commons applies to fishing and obviously governments need to regulate the fishing to assure that fishing is sustainable. This is a serious problem exacerbated by scientific and economic illiteracy. The obvious scientific and economic solution is regulation. Determining the best regulation is tricky (and political and scientific and economic) but obviously regulation (and enforcement) is the answer.
Related: Overfishing: a threat to marine biodiversity – International talks on overfishing in May – Our oceans are being plundered – World’s Fish Supply Running Out, Researchers Warn – Defining Best Scientific Information Available for Fisheries Management (I sure wish the National Academies would improve the usability of their sites)