Not overfishing?

This can’t be right:

“For the first time in at least a century, U.S. fishermen won’t take too much of any species from the sea, one of the nation’s top fishery scientists says.”

Not overfishing? We’re going to have a hard time ginning up any alarm over that. And it gets worse:

“‘When you compare the United States with the European Union, with Asian countries, et cetera, we are the only industrialized fishing nation who actually has succeeded in ending overfishing,’ [the scientist] said.”

Oh, come on. They’d have us believe the US has done something good for the environment, where the EU has failed? This must be some new variety of denialism. The scientists need to get on this and structure a new study that will show some kind of impending eco-disaster if US fishermen don’t stop at once. They’d better tamp this down before it goes out of control. Good news about the environment could easily lead to profits being made by someone in the private sector.


6 Replies to “Not overfishing?”

      1. Heck, no, the Fisheries department. They’re “genetically inferior” or some claptrap.

        Dang near had a riot in my home town when they started trying to hire folks to club them to death and feed them to the bears. That was over a decade ago, doesn’t seem to have hit the big news much since then. Still going on, but I can’t given very good current links.

        Look for phrases like “hatchery adult (fish) collected in excess of annual broodstock needs.” Also “excess broodstock.” (This would be in the fishery paperwork, like here: )

        A quick grab:

  1. Ah, here’s the first big blowup that I know of.

    Methow irrigators see irony in plan to kill hatchery fish
    Seattle Times staff: Seattle Times news services
    WINTHROP, Okanogan County – A federal agency that has sued Methow Valley irrigators for killing young wild salmon has ordered the destruction of some 1,000 adult salmon raised in hatcheries.

    The National Marine Fisheries Service says the juveniles are endangered wild fish, while the doomed adults are hatchery-reared – a different kettle of fish.

    But the distinction means little in the Methow Valley, where more than 300 farmers could lose irrigation this summer if a judge allows federal action aimed at protecting wild fish. Some residents plan to picket when spring chinook salmon are clubbed to death later this month at the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery.

    On Friday, the Justice Department asked U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle to issue a temporary restraining order and injunction forcing the Methow Valley Irrigation District to convert from open ditches to pressurized pipelines.

    The federal officials sought an order to immediately stop diversions from the Methow and Twisp rivers. The government contends water velocities at the ditches’ antiquated intake screens are so high that they kill young fish, or suck them into the ditches, where they are stranded and die.

    But the judge declined to issue the order, awaiting a meeting of the district’s directors tonight. He scheduled another hearing tomorrow in Yakima to decide whether to approve the government’s request.

    Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

    1. The distinction between wild fish and hatchery fish seems pretty finely drawn to me, and I can imagine the experts favoring the other side twenty years ago, or twenty years from now. I admit it’s all more complex than I can sort out, but if it ends up with government employees clubbing salmon something has gone wrong – unless they’re serving the salmon in the mess hall at Fort Lewis.

      1. From word of mouth, they’re mostly fertilizer….

        The annoying thing is, all the hatchery fish are from wild stock. Left alone, they’d probably interbreed with their wild cousins fine. (Some print research I saw suggested that a lot fewer salmon than we thought go back to where they were spawned, so it’s likely that some hatchery salmon have already ‘tainted’ the wild ones with their…um… simi-domesticated wild genes?)

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