Year 4, Month 10, Day 10: Shadow-Boxing In The Dark

The Grand Falls/Windsor Falls Advertiser (Newfoundland) discusses fisheries specialist George Rose’s recent presentation:

Rose told the approximately 250 conference delegates the collapse of cod stocks, and the moratorium, was mainly due to overfishing.

However, looking ahead — whether the subject is cod, caplin, lobster, crab, shrimp or any other species — determining what amounts to a sustainable fishery is about gathering the information that will provide the best, most detailed understanding of the ever-changing situation within offshore ecosystems.

Temperatures, acidity levels, and even the amount of plastic floating in our waters all need to be considered, he said.

On climate change, “I’ve read recent reports from as diverse places as Norway, the Northeastern United States and China … all basically reporting similar phenomenon: massive changes in production of their local waters,” he said.

Rose said climate has long been recognized as “a major, major — probably the most important influence” on fisheries.

Revised an earlier letter and sent it off. October 2:

Even if we ignore the looming threat of climate change, Newfoundland’s fisheries are already feeling the devastating impact of overfishing, where the abundant catches of decades past are no longer attainable even with the most advanced technologies. Once we include heating and acidification (the two most significant oceanic impacts of the rapidly accelerating greenhouse effect) in our assessments, there’s no getting around the inevitability of catastrophic declines. There’ll be fewer fish in the coming decades, and they’ll be increasingly difficult (and expensive) to catch. You’ve heard of Peak Oil? We’ve already reached Peak Fish.

With as much as a third of Earth’s population directly or indirectly relying on the ocean for food, this constitutes a humanitarian emergency. Add climate change’s likely impacts on agriculture, and it’s a grim warning to humanity: storm clouds are gathering, and we’re in for a hell of a ride.

The fossil-fuel industry’s myopic readiness to subsidize climate-change denial in politics and the media is a grave mistake. With billions of lives hanging in the balance, these corporations are elevating the easy lure of quarterly profits over the long-term happiness and prosperity of our species.

Warren Senders

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