The Ocean. Fishing & Whaling. Sustainable? Illegal? Over fished?

@brianlux @oftenreading

I'd like to talk about the ocean in general.

I hear about not fishing the ocean at all.  Why?  Alaska has sustainability in their practices.  I know personally that it works.  I used to work there.  

The quotas that they have in place are to make sure that what happened to the King crab population in the late 70's never happens again.

Whaling on the other hand I think should be banned by everyone.  I'm not sure it's ok for the Inuits to be hunting whales either.  Thoughts?



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Comments

  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 17,043
    I agree the whales should be off limits except for the indeginous population..
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 9,807
    I agree the whales should be off limits except for the indeginous population..
    I do know a whale, decent sized one, feed their families all year long.

    What if they kill something that's endangered?
  • Sharks.

    The ecosystem of the ocean is a mess right now. Chinese people think eating shark fin soup will prevent cancer (they think eating a tiger's dick will make them manly too). Of course they are wrong, but that doesn't stop people from raping the ocean of it's shark population which is leading to a host of other problems given the disproportionate balance of ocean life.
    "My brain's a good brain!"
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 21,095
    @brianlux @oftenreading

    I'd like to talk about the ocean in general.

    I hear about not fishing the ocean at all.  Why?  Alaska has sustainability in their practices.  I know personally that it works.  I used to work there.  

    The quotas that they have in place are to make sure that what happened to the King crab population in the late 70's never happens again.

    Whaling on the other hand I think should be banned by everyone.  I'm not sure it's ok for the Inuits to be hunting whales either.  Thoughts?



    Good questions!

    I'm not all that familiar with fishing practices in Alaska.  If they are truly practicing sustainable fishing, that's great.  I'm highly suspicious though of the use of the word "sustainable".  The same is true of "organic".  Those words are great marketing tools.   Are foods labeled "organic" really healthier than those not labeled?  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  There's a lot involved here but my brother is a grower and I've talked to other growers who have explained how all that works. The term "organic" can be misleading.  I often do buy "organic" produce in the store but at the farmers market, my choice are more broad. 

    So what about "sustainable"?  Is that word used literally or is there a degree of interpretation in it's use?  I'm strongly convinced the literal meaning of that word is often misconstrued.  So just how sustainable are fishing practices?  Perhaps in some areas where fish do not migrate, sustainable fishing really does occur.  But for me, the risk is too great.  The oceans are in peril and many fish species have been eliminated or are endangered.  Coral reefs are dying off.  With heavy metal pollution in the oceans, eating most if not all shell fish is a health hazard.

    The question on Inuits whale hunting gets a bit trickier.  I've been very vocal for years about Native American rights and do not mince words about how their cultures have been decimated by genocide.  Many people take a politically correct stance on Inuit and believe their right to hunt whales should be maintained.  But I strongly disagree based on a biocentric viewpoint.  First of all, most modern Inuit do not rely on whales for their energy (whale oil) or their dietary needs.  Secondly, even if they did, whales are endangered.  Why would someone continue the practice of whale hunting if it would result in killing off their livelihood? There is absolutely no reason on earth to kill whales.

    The bottom line on all of this for me goes straight to my concern for the oceans and the planet as a whole and, to a degree, the effect of ocean health on our own ability to live.  If the oceans die, it's likely that humans (maybe all large mammals) will die.  That's explained here:

    http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-commentary/commentary/if-the-ocean-dies-we-all-die.html

    We're living on the edge of something big. It's a fantastic time in history to be alive.
    AMT, 1.25.15, 00:36 hrs.
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.
  • Sustainability might be an impossibility given our population and the looming exponential growth as well.
    "My brain's a good brain!"
  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 17,043
    I agree the whales should be off limits except for the indeginous population..
    I do know a whale, decent sized one, feed their families all year long.

    What if they kill something that's endangered?
    Yeah not good if endangered I'd say it's off limits...
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 9,807
    @brianlux
    The fishing industry in Alaska actually hires a person called an "observer".  They take note of all the by-catch and tonnage of fish.  There is a set number of tonnage of fish pre determined before the start of the season.  The tonnage and/or season could come to an end if there is an abundance of by-catch caught.

    For salmon there are hatcheries up and down the coast and it is proven that most of the fish come back to spawn where they were hatched.

    In the late 70's the king crab was at 20% the previous years numbers.  The crab was almost fished to extinction.  Most of the crab boats converted into fishing boats so they could still make a living.

    After years of controlling and monitoring catch quotas there is a thriving King crab market and the crab come back every year.

    The Cod come back every year.
    The Pollock come back every year.
    The salmon come back every year.
  • chadwickchadwick up my assPosts: 21,142

    interesting subject here

    for poetry through the ceiling. ISBN: 1 4241 8840 7

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    no more forever."

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  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 21,095
    @brianlux
    The fishing industry in Alaska actually hires a person called an "observer".  They take note of all the by-catch and tonnage of fish.  There is a set number of tonnage of fish pre determined before the start of the season.  The tonnage and/or season could come to an end if there is an abundance of by-catch caught.

    For salmon there are hatcheries up and down the coast and it is proven that most of the fish come back to spawn where they were hatched.

    In the late 70's the king crab was at 20% the previous years numbers.  The crab was almost fished to extinction.  Most of the crab boats converted into fishing boats so they could still make a living.

    After years of controlling and monitoring catch quotas there is a thriving King crab market and the crab come back every year.

    The Cod come back every year.
    The Pollock come back every year.
    The salmon come back every year.
    This is one of those subjects for which every argument for or against will have it's backing in numerous places.  All I can say for anyone concerned with the subject is to suggest reading up on it copiously, widely, and critically while maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism. 

    At this point in my life, I'm strongly committed to abstaining from eating all sea food other than small amounts of sea vegetables (including farmed fish which is another subject very much worth reading up on- you might be surprised), and I encourage (not badger or criticize) others to do the same.

    As for illegal fishing and the killing of whales and marine mammals-- no holds barred!  I'm  100% against it.
    We're living on the edge of something big. It's a fantastic time in history to be alive.
    AMT, 1.25.15, 00:36 hrs.
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.
  • oftenreadingoftenreading Victoria, BCPosts: 6,305
    Yes, fish farming is a different beast, but while you're reading up on it, be aware of the sources and their biases. For instance, here in BC there has been a longstanding and concerted campaign against fish farming largely driven by one individual with a grudge against fish farms and an axe to grind. Massive amounts of misinformation has been put out to the public over the years, all of it alarmist and most without any scientific basis. One big "scandal" after another, and when one has proven false they are on to the next. It has caused a lot of damage to an industry that is otherwise potentially a viable alternative to the problems of the capture fisheries that you allude to, Brian. 
    my small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf
  • Go BeaversGo Beavers Posts: 5,961
    What makes fish more interesting is that it's one of the only foods for the masses that is essentially hunted. Nearly all other food is controlled by farming or meat that is raised (beef and poultry). I guess I'm stating the obvious, but since seafood is the only meat I eat, It's something I think about more often. Farm raised seafood just sounds like a toxic bomb, so I avoid it.  
  • jeffbrjeffbr SeattlePosts: 5,552
    The Alaska fisheries are some of the most sustainable in the world. Limited entries, controlled quotas, and lots of monitoring.

    Like Go Beavers, I eat seafood, but avoid farmed seafood. Those shrimp farms in Asia are disgusting mud holes (and they provide 90% of the shrimp in the US).  And for some reason Atlantic salmon is farmed up here in the Northwest, even though wild Pacific salmon is the best in the world. I dislike the taste and texture of farm raised Atlantic salmon (not to mention the coloring they have to add to make it look halfway appetizing). We just had a disaster here where an Atlantic salmon fish farm's pen collapsed, and a quarter million Atlantic salmon are now swimming free. Department of Wildlife just gave the green light to fishermen to catch as many as they can, no limits, no size restrictions, just to try to get as many as possible out of the water before they start heading for local rivers. Apparently these farm raised salmon are harder to catch, because they've been fed pellets all their lives, so normal salmon fishing techniques aren't as effective. :angry: 
    "I'll use the magic word - let's just shut the fuck up, please." EV, 04/13/08
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 21,095
    edited August 25
    Yes, fish farming is a different beast, but while you're reading up on it, be aware of the sources and their biases. For instance, here in BC there has been a longstanding and concerted campaign against fish farming largely driven by one individual with a grudge against fish farms and an axe to grind. Massive amounts of misinformation has been put out to the public over the years, all of it alarmist and most without any scientific basis. One big "scandal" after another, and when one has proven false they are on to the next. It has caused a lot of damage to an industry that is otherwise potentially a viable alternative to the problems of the capture fisheries that you allude to, Brian. 
    Yes, oftenreading, basing an opinion on ones man being on a mission is not a good way to go.

    I've read a fair amount about fish farming and several sources concur that fish farming:

    -On numerous occasions has lead to escaped exotic fish being introduced to an ecosystem thus throwing off the balance of that system
    -Alien species spread disease to native species.
    -Often times, domesticated fish are fed steroids and antibiotics
    -Hundreds of thousands of tons of small fish are converted to fish meal to provide food for farmed fish
    -Fewer small fish means less competition for jellyfish which are beginning to proliferate widely.  These jellyfish kill both wild and domestic fish.
    -Algae blooms result from excessive amounts of nutrients added to the ecosystem creating another system imbalance
    -Sea lice from farmed salmon are a problem for wild salmon
    -Some salmon farms use Emamectin benzoate (marketed as SLICE) as a chemical treatment.  Long-term effects are unknown and potentially hazardous
    -Farmed fish waste matter collects on the ocean floor creating yet another imbalance, contaminating marine ecosystems and depriving some species of oxygen
    -Marine debris from fish farms is often let loose into open waters due to storms, accidents or carelessness
    -Many farmed fish contain higher than normal concentrations of PCBs
    -Farmed fish are dependent on a variety of chemicals.

    Again, look widely.  Read many sources.

    You will never see me eating farmed fish.


    This post was not cut and pasted.


    We're living on the edge of something big. It's a fantastic time in history to be alive.
    AMT, 1.25.15, 00:36 hrs.
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.
  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 12,423
    jeffbr said:
    The Alaska fisheries are some of the most sustainable in the world. Limited entries, controlled quotas, and lots of monitoring.

    Like Go Beavers, I eat seafood, but avoid farmed seafood. Those shrimp farms in Asia are disgusting mud holes (and they provide 90% of the shrimp in the US).  And for some reason Atlantic salmon is farmed up here in the Northwest, even though wild Pacific salmon is the best in the world. I dislike the taste and texture of farm raised Atlantic salmon (not to mention the coloring they have to add to make it look halfway appetizing). We just had a disaster here where an Atlantic salmon fish farm's pen collapsed, and a quarter million Atlantic salmon are now swimming free. Department of Wildlife just gave the green light to fishermen to catch as many as they can, no limits, no size restrictions, just to try to get as many as possible out of the water before they start heading for local rivers. Apparently these farm raised salmon are harder to catch, because they've been fed pellets all their lives, so normal salmon fishing techniques aren't as effective. :angry: 
    The most disgusting fish in the world is tilapia.  I refuse to eat that shit (no pun intended).  But I do agree, I won't eat seafood unless it's wild caught.  Those asian shrimp are definitely nasty Jeff!
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • oftenreadingoftenreading Victoria, BCPosts: 6,305
    edited August 25
    brianlux said:
    Yes, fish farming is a different beast, but while you're reading up on it, be aware of the sources and their biases. For instance, here in BC there has been a longstanding and concerted campaign against fish farming largely driven by one individual with a grudge against fish farms and an axe to grind. Massive amounts of misinformation has been put out to the public over the years, all of it alarmist and most without any scientific basis. One big "scandal" after another, and when one has proven false they are on to the next. It has caused a lot of damage to an industry that is otherwise potentially a viable alternative to the problems of the capture fisheries that you allude to, Brian. 
    Yes, oftenreading, basing an opinion on ones man being on a mission is not a good way to go.

    I've read a fair amount about fish farming and several sources concur that fish farming:

    -On numerous occasions has lead to escaped exotic fish being introduced to an ecosystem thus throwing off the balance of that system
    -Alien species spread disease to native species.
    -Often times, domesticated fish are fed steroids and antibiotics
    -Hundreds of thousands of tons of small fish are converted to fish meal to provide food for farmed fish
    -Fewer small fish means less competition for jellyfish which are beginning to proliferate widely.  These jellyfish kill both wild and domestic fish.
    -Algae blooms result from excessive amounts of nutrients added to the ecosystem creating another system imbalance
    -Sea lice from farmed salmon are a problem for wild salmon
    -Some salmon farms use Emamectin benzoate (marketed as SLICE) as a chemical treatment.  Long-term effects are unknown and potentially hazardous
    -Farmed fish waste matter collects on the ocean floor creating yet another imbalance, contaminating marine ecosystems and depriving some species of oxygen
    -Marine debris from fish farms is often let loose into open waters due to storms, accidents or carelessness
    -Many farmed fish contain higher than normal concentrations of PCBs
    -Farmed fish are dependent on a variety of chemicals.

    Again, look widely.  Read many sources.

    You will never see me eating farmed fish.


    This post was not cut and pasted.


    Still at work so don't have time to respond to all of this post but some jump out that I can answer quickly. 

    Where do the farmed fish get the sea lice?

    They catch them from  the wild fish. They are the reservoir. 
    my small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf
  • oftenreadingoftenreading Victoria, BCPosts: 6,305
    More recent studies do not find higher levels of PCBs in farmed fish. PCBs are commonly found in wild  fish, too. 

    Farmed salmon  are higher in omega 3 fatty acids than wild. 

    Farmed fish get their colour from the same sources as wild fish - naturally occurring pigments found in krill and other small shellfish. 
    my small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 21,095
    More recent studies do not find higher levels of PCBs in farmed fish. PCBs are commonly found in wild  fish, too. 

    Farmed salmon  are higher in omega 3 fatty acids than wild. 

    Farmed fish get their colour from the same sources as wild fish - naturally occurring pigments found in krill and other small shellfish. 

    Do I remember that you mentioned you or someone close to you in in the fishing industry?  If yes, I will respectfully bow out here.

    We're living on the edge of something big. It's a fantastic time in history to be alive.
    AMT, 1.25.15, 00:36 hrs.
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.
  • oftenreadingoftenreading Victoria, BCPosts: 6,305
    brianlux said:
    More recent studies do not find higher levels of PCBs in farmed fish. PCBs are commonly found in wild  fish, too. 

    Farmed salmon  are higher in omega 3 fatty acids than wild. 

    Farmed fish get their colour from the same sources as wild fish - naturally occurring pigments found in krill and other small shellfish. 

    Do I remember that you mentioned you or someone close to you in in the fishing industry?  If yes, I will respectfully bow out here.

    No, I have no connection with the fishing industry, nor does anyone in my family. My information comes from other sources. 

    But if I did? Does that make information less true?
    my small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf
  • oftenreadingoftenreading Victoria, BCPosts: 6,305
    jeffbr said:
    The Alaska fisheries are some of the most sustainable in the world. Limited entries, controlled quotas, and lots of monitoring.

    Like Go Beavers, I eat seafood, but avoid farmed seafood. Those shrimp farms in Asia are disgusting mud holes (and they provide 90% of the shrimp in the US).  And for some reason Atlantic salmon is farmed up here in the Northwest, even though wild Pacific salmon is the best in the world. I dislike the taste and texture of farm raised Atlantic salmon (not to mention the coloring they have to add to make it look halfway appetizing). We just had a disaster here where an Atlantic salmon fish farm's pen collapsed, and a quarter million Atlantic salmon are now swimming free. Department of Wildlife just gave the green light to fishermen to catch as many as they can, no limits, no size restrictions, just to try to get as many as possible out of the water before they start heading for local rivers. Apparently these farm raised salmon are harder to catch, because they've been fed pellets all their lives, so normal salmon fishing techniques aren't as effective. :angry: 
    The escaped Atlantics probably won't last long. They don't compete well with the hardier Pacifics. 
    my small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 21,095
    brianlux said:
    More recent studies do not find higher levels of PCBs in farmed fish. PCBs are commonly found in wild  fish, too. 

    Farmed salmon  are higher in omega 3 fatty acids than wild. 

    Farmed fish get their colour from the same sources as wild fish - naturally occurring pigments found in krill and other small shellfish. 

    Do I remember that you mentioned you or someone close to you in in the fishing industry?  If yes, I will respectfully bow out here.

    No, I have no connection with the fishing industry, nor does anyone in my family. My information comes from other sources. 

    But if I did? Does that make information less true?
    Not true or false.  I was just thinking of another thread about tar sands and went back forth a bit with someone working in that industry and I felt that they were offended by my comments.  I'm not here to offend.
    We're living on the edge of something big. It's a fantastic time in history to be alive.
    AMT, 1.25.15, 00:36 hrs.
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.
  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 12,423
    Why is it the meat of farm raised and wild caught salmon look different?
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 12,423
    Found the answer to my own question:

    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • jeffbrjeffbr SeattlePosts: 5,552
    More recent studies do not find higher levels of PCBs in farmed fish. PCBs are commonly found in wild  fish, too. 

    Farmed salmon  are higher in omega 3 fatty acids than wild. 

    Farmed fish get their colour from the same sources as wild fish - naturally occurring pigments found in krill and other small shellfish. 
    Farmed fish get their color because synthetic colorants canthaxanthin and/or astaxanthin are added to their pellets. Those colorants are created from things you mentioned, but they are added to pellets, they aren't getting them  Add disinfectants, fungicides, and a host of other chemicals, and you've got quite a cocktail. Are there requirements yet in Canada to disclose that coloring agents were used, or color added? It is required now in the US, so all farm raised Atlantic salmon say "color added" or something to that effect.

    As far as having more omega 3 fatty acids, that makes sense, since the farmers can add as much fatty fish (like anchovies) to the food fed to the farmed fish. That amount appears to be going down, however because too many anchovies were being harvested for fish food. It takes fish oil from 5 pounds of wild fish (sardines and anchovies typically), and the fishmeal from 1.3 pounds of wild fish for 1 pound of farm raised salmon.
    "I'll use the magic word - let's just shut the fuck up, please." EV, 04/13/08
  • jeffbrjeffbr SeattlePosts: 5,552
    mcgruff10 said:
    jeffbr said:
    The Alaska fisheries are some of the most sustainable in the world. Limited entries, controlled quotas, and lots of monitoring.

    Like Go Beavers, I eat seafood, but avoid farmed seafood. Those shrimp farms in Asia are disgusting mud holes (and they provide 90% of the shrimp in the US).  And for some reason Atlantic salmon is farmed up here in the Northwest, even though wild Pacific salmon is the best in the world. I dislike the taste and texture of farm raised Atlantic salmon (not to mention the coloring they have to add to make it look halfway appetizing). We just had a disaster here where an Atlantic salmon fish farm's pen collapsed, and a quarter million Atlantic salmon are now swimming free. Department of Wildlife just gave the green light to fishermen to catch as many as they can, no limits, no size restrictions, just to try to get as many as possible out of the water before they start heading for local rivers. Apparently these farm raised salmon are harder to catch, because they've been fed pellets all their lives, so normal salmon fishing techniques aren't as effective. :angry: 
    The most disgusting fish in the world is tilapia.  I refuse to eat that shit (no pun intended).  But I do agree, I won't eat seafood unless it's wild caught.  Those asian shrimp are definitely nasty Jeff!
    I'm with you on talapia, too, Mike! Those farms are nasty. Those are some real shit eating fish. None for me, thanks.
    "I'll use the magic word - let's just shut the fuck up, please." EV, 04/13/08
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 21,095
    edited August 26
    I would love to hear from any scientists here who study ocean life or anyone for that matter who is well read on the subject but I'm not going to engage in any arguments here.  I only stated what I believe to be true based on what I've read. 

    But don't take my word for it In fact, I'm would strongly encourage everyone NOT to take my word for it.  I am not a scientist.  Anyone here will learn a lot more from reading and studying works by Jacques Cousteau, Jane Lubchenco, Captain Paul Watson, Edward O. Wilson, Farley Mowat, , Carl Safina and National Geographic Ocean Views.

    We're living on the edge of something big. It's a fantastic time in history to be alive.
    AMT, 1.25.15, 00:36 hrs.
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.
  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 12,423

    I read a book called "four fish" and it opened up my eyes to the fishing industry.  
    https://www.amazon.com/Four-Fish-Future-Last-Wild/dp/014311946X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503707109&sr=8-1&keywords=four+fish
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • oftenreadingoftenreading Victoria, BCPosts: 6,305
    mcgruff10 said:
    Found the answer to my own question:

    Well, that's certainly unbiased...
    my small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf
  • oftenreadingoftenreading Victoria, BCPosts: 6,305
    mcgruff10 said:
    Found the answer to my own question:

    Actually, an accurate answer would be that the one on the left is Atlantic salmon and the one on the right is Pacific. But don't let that get in the way of a good story. 
    my small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf
  • oftenreadingoftenreading Victoria, BCPosts: 6,305
    I want to answer jeff's post but my phone keeps getting caught in nested quotes Hell. 

    Yes, the astaxanthin is added to the feed; of course, since that's what the fish eat. But it's generally naturally derived so I wouldn't call it artificial. 
    my small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf
  • oftenreadingoftenreading Victoria, BCPosts: 6,305
    Astaxanthin is also added to the feed of hatchery salmonids raised for enhancement, so if you eat any fish coming from those sources, you're eating "artificial" carotenoids 
    my small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf
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