Year 4, Month 8, Day 26: Two Words.

The Waterville Morning Sentinel (ME) tells us about the problems of their state’s fishing industry:

Maine’s fishermen must be better informed, more communicative about conditions on the water and responsive to change to survive the constant shifts brought by a warming climate and water that is growing warmer and saltier.

That was the message from about 100 marine biologists, fisheries managers, commercial fishermen and others who shared both scientific findings and anecdotal observations on the changes that are occurring in the Gulf of Maine. The fisheries participants gathered Wednesday in Portland at a two-day Island Institute symposium on climate change and its impact on fisheries in the Gulf of Maine.

The consensus on the changes in conditions was predictable, given the roller-coaster ride over catches and pricing for lobstermen in 2012 and the ongoing crisis over groundfish stocks.

Peak Fish. August 1:

Maine’s fishing industry would be facing huge changes even without the looming threat of climate change, since overfishing has made the huge catches of the past increasingly harder to achieve. But adding heating and acidification (the two most tangible oceanic consequences of the accelerating greenhouse effect) to the mix means that fisheries are likely to confront catastrophic declines. In the coming decades, there will be fewer fish, and they’ll be harder and more expensive to find and catch. In other words, we’ve reached Peak Fish.

Given that between a quarter and a third of Earth’s population depends on the ocean directly or indirectly for food, this amounts to a humanitarian emergency. Combined with the likely impacts of climate change on land-based food production, this constitutes a stark warning to our species: get ready, for the storm clouds are gathering, and it’s going to be a rough ride.

Politicians who cater to the fossil-fuel industry and promote climate-change denialism are doing a grave disservice to their constituents, to their fellow citizens, and even to their myopic corporate paymasters.

Warren Senders

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