Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: The future of commercial fishing . . in Alaska & elsewhere . .

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Lightbulb The future of commercial fishing . . in Alaska & elsewhere . .

    Amidst the xenophobic and perennial squabbling between user groups, between sport-fishermen and Alaska's seafood industry, anyone wanting to understand the role of Alaska's commercial fisheries in the future need look no further than where commercial agriculture and commercial meat production have come over the last century or two.

    Mankind has, for millennia, farmed and harvested the world's land mass for our primary source of sustenance. Mankind has likewise, and for as long, harvested the world's oceans for the same purpose though far less intensively due to the inhospitable nature of ocean environment. Today, the world's land mass is being essentially exploited to capacity in terms of available technology. Today, the world's oceans are largely underexploited in terms of available technology.

    We stand today on the shores of the world's oceans where we stood as a species hundreds of years ago on the world's land mass . . we took what was easily available from the wild, and as those resources receded and as populations increased, we replaced unmanaged, wild harvest with controlled harvest generated from the same land mass. Free and open range grazing, feed lots, and broiler barns far, far outproduced anything of which raw nature was capable only a century or two before.

    We're just now beginning to grasp the ocean's potential in the same way. Fish farming and aquaculture are our baby steps as we learn to exploit the ocean's potential as we have exploited the world's land mass in the past. The bottom line is and has been that commercial exploitation of the earth's potential replaces primitive exploitation of the wild.

    Those who can see no further into the future than the next year's run of chinook or coho will continue whine and moan in their futile efforts to recapture Mayberry . . can't happen. The future is upon us. The world's ever-expanding population must be fed, and the oceans are our last frontier. The "wild" will increasingly disappear in the face of man's ever-increasing dominion over the earth. Yes, they still hunt deer in Scotland, and they still kill brown bear in Romania, but all such killing is done on managed preserves. Anyone placing their hopes for Mayberry in wild populations of fish and game are doomed to disappointment.

    An acquaintance tried to tell me there was hope for continued harvest of the wild in current populations of game such as Alaskan salmon, whitetail deer, and wild turkey. It's a pipe dream.

    The current deer population of Wisconsin is about 800k animals, average weight, say, 150# yielding about 80# of meat. If all the deer in Wisconsin were slaughtered, we'd have a pile of meat weighing 64 million pounds. Now the population of Milwaukee is about 600k people, each of whom consumes about 10# meat every month. All the deer in Wisconsin would supply Milwaukee's meat for, what, about 10 months (check my math)? We fail to understand the immensity of need confronting us today.

    The future of Alaska's and global commercial fisheries is . . . well, the sky is the limit. Current forms will change, technology will increase efficiency, but we're standing on the very edge of what lies ahead as humankind learns to commercially exploit the oceans.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alexander Creek
    Posts
    1,192

    Default

    Well, I wish they would hurry the heck up with this technology, I want my salmon back!

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    Well, I wish they would hurry the heck up with this technology, I want my salmon back!
    Me too, Alexander . . "hurry up" that is. In the meantime it's refreshing that we can engage such topics with a degree of light-heartedness.

    Life goes on . .

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alexander Creek
    Posts
    1,192

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Me too, Alexander . . "hurry up" that is. In the meantime it's refreshing that we can engage such topics with a degree of light-heartedness.

    Life goes on . .
    Yes, your right, life is too short to argue all the time! Besides, there is somthing to learn from everyone if a person takes the time to listen!

  5. #5
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,788

    Default

    No worries, it's all gonna end this year anyway. Enjoy hunting and fishing while you can.

  6. #6
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    No worries, it's all gonna end this year anyway. Enjoy hunting and fishing while you can.
    What is "it's" . . . What's gonna end this year . . . And why . . .

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    Marcus - I'm not sure I understand. The world's oceans are being exploited beyond anything that's sustainable for the reasons you've outlined (protein for a growing population). Commercial fishing vessels ply the deepest, remotest parts of the ocean looking for consumable protein. Nothing is being overlooked. Fish farming and aquaculture are expanding, but it's debateable whether it's really helping. The species being raised in aquaculture need protein. For the most part, they don't eat grass. So where does this protein come from? Harvesting smaller fish from the ocean. This includes herring, anchovy, smelt, etc. But that just takes food from the wild fish, and gives it to the farmed fish. Not a huge benefit there.

    So I don't see what you're seeing. However, I will follow the conversation to better understand your position.

  8. #8
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Marcus - I'm not sure I understand. The world's oceans are being exploited beyond anything that's sustainable for the reasons you've outlined (protein for a growing population). Commercial fishing vessels ply the deepest, remotest parts of the ocean looking for consumable protein. Nothing is being overlooked. Fish farming and aquaculture are expanding, but it's debateable whether it's really helping. The species being raised in aquaculture need protein. For the most part, they don't eat grass. So where does this protein come from? Harvesting smaller fish from the ocean. This includes herring, anchovy, smelt, etc. But that just takes food from the wild fish, and gives it to the farmed fish. Not a huge benefit there.

    So I don't see what you're seeing. However, I will follow the conversation to better understand your position.
    I'm simply drawing an analogy between mankind's use of the world's land mass and mankind's use of the world's oceans. We're now, arguably, exploiting the land to capacity in terms of available technology. It's my contention that we're on the verge of learning to do the same with the world's oceans.

    Humans began harvesting the land by exploiting the easily available, wild foodstuffs—wild game, etc. As human populations increased and as technology advanced, such primitive exploitation of the wild became increasingly replaced by managed agriculture and animal husbandry, far, far outproducing anything previously available from the wild.

    The same process is, I think, observable in mankind's use of the world's oceans. You are right . . we are now exploiting all the easily available wild stocks in the oceans, depleting wild stocks in the process just as we did on land. Fish farming and aquaculture are but our baby steps as we learn to replace previously available wild stocks with managed production.

    Fish farming is analogous to broiler barns and such and is easily applicable to fish like catfish that can prosper on a vegetarian diet. Aquaculture is analogous to free range animal husbandry (think sheep, the original free-range animal, and open-range cattle production) and is applicable to fish such as salmon that feed themselves on free range. Protein in all cases comes from where it has always come from . . the lower orders of life on earth. Nothing changes . . mankind simply learns to manage, harvest, and benefit from the world's ability to produce.

    Where once the buffalo roamed, we now have cattle. Same source of food, but managed herds of cattle far outproduce the wild buffalo. We are seeing the beginnings of such production applied to the oceans in efforts like China Poot Bay, Resurrection Bay, and more.

  9. #9
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Marcus - I'm not sure I understand. The world's oceans are being exploited beyond anything that's sustainable for the reasons you've outlined (protein for a growing population). Commercial fishing vessels ply the deepest, remotest parts of the ocean looking for consumable protein. Nothing is being overlooked. Fish farming and aquaculture are expanding, but it's debateable whether it's really helping. The species being raised in aquaculture need protein. For the most part, they don't eat grass. So where does this protein come from? Harvesting smaller fish from the ocean. This includes herring, anchovy, smelt, etc. But that just takes food from the wild fish, and gives it to the farmed fish. Not a huge benefit there.
    The legacy of commercial fishing... just history repeating itself.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWB8KJ1aIJ4

    Full version for FREE here....

    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  10. #10
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Lightbulb Follow-up . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    . . Fish farming and aquaculture are expanding, but it's debateable whether it's really helping. The species being raised in aquaculture need protein. For the most part, they don't eat grass. So where does this protein come from? . .
    In case I wasn't clear, Cohoangler, I am differentiating between fish farming and aquaculture.

    Fish farming is raising fish in ponds/tanks/etc. Some fish do "eat grass" to use your words. Both farm-raised tilapia and catfish are fed essentially vegetarian diets.

    Aquaculture is free-range in that controlled numbers of hatchery-raised smolt are released into the wild to fend for themselves and return as harvestable adults. Salmon are especially suited for aquaculture.

    You ask, "Where does this protein [necessary for fish farming/aquaculture] come from?" In the case of farm-raised species like tilapia and catfish, the protein comes from vegetable matter. In the case of aqua-cultured salmon, the protein comes from the wild.

    It's my guess that selective use of both methods in terms of efficiency of meat production is where the future lies for commercial management and harvest of the world's oceans' productive capabilities.

    Anyone expecting to see the demise or decline of commercial fishing over the long haul is delusional and doomed to disappointment. Commercial fishing will increase over the decades and centuries ahead. The technology will change and adapt, and some wild species may have to become extinct or extremely marginal. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the world's ever-increasing population will be fed.

  11. #11
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Thumbs up Thank you, thank you very much . . .

    The legacy of commercial fishing... just history repeating itself.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWB8KJ1aIJ4
    Full version for FREE here....
    Gory, doom-and-gloom videos notwithstanding, you make my case for me . . we are indeed depleting the ocean's wild stocks that have been heretofore feeding us. Duh . .

    We did the very same thing to Europe's wild game; we did the same thing to the American bison; we did the same thing to the passenger pigeon; we did the same thing to the immense flocks of waterfowl that used to darken the skies during their migratory flights.

    So what?

    If we don't choose to conserve the oceans as they are now—and I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell of that happening—then we will increasing turn to fish farming and aquaculture for our seafood. We will farm the oceans in the future as we now farm the land.

    Dreams of preserving Eden are delusional, and those who vent their frustration on the world's and Alaska's commercial fisheries are peeing in the wind.

  12. #12
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Lightbulb

    Our very selves, then, are part of the garden [of Eden], simultaneously artificial and natural, within our control and beyond it. We need choose neither destruction nor quarantine: Nature and artifice are not antitheses but complements. "The wilderness is not just something you look at; it's something you are part of. You live inside a body made of wilderness material. I think that the intimacy of this arrangement is the origin of beauty. The wilderness is beautiful because you are part of it," writes architect Paul Shepheard. "Cultivation—the work of humans—has a different sort of beauty. There is nothing else under the sun than what there has always been. Cultivation is the human reordering of the material of the wilderness. If it is successful, the beauty of it lies in the warmth of your empathy for another human's effort."

    To reorder the material of the wilderness is the work of humans. But it is also our play, an activity pursued for its own sake. Through it, we not only create and explore nature but enjoy it. The sources of dynamism—of creativity and cultivation—lie not just in discipline but in delight.
    —much more here: http://www.dynamist.com/tfaie/Ch6.html

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •