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Norway's Cod overfishing problem


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#21 Rocha

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 03:22 AM

I am pretty sure we are mostly on the same page here. Our list of what comes first differs slightly , thats all.


Totally agree here, and I've been to those beaches not only in Africa, but also in South America and the Caribbean, and seen the fine mesh nets doing their damage. It is sad but it is true... By the way, thanks for the links, I will read more about the subject of cows versus plants :rolleyes: ;) but I am sure I am not going to change my mind... Well, maybe, you never know.

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#22 EspenRekdal

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 02:46 PM

I have nothing against Norwegians. In fact I even had a norwegian girlfriend who, like you, was nationalistic about the whole whaling issue. But this isn't about Norway's resources. The whales travel all along the sea, so it's not an exclusive Norwegian possession, unlike your oil and gas production. What Paul Watson does is brash and crude, yet for all his antagonizing and confrontational tactics, Galapagos would not be Galapagos if Sea Shepherds didn't fight to keep the fishing boats away. Also the success of the antipoaching cooperations with Trinidad, Indonesia, Costa Rica and of course Ecuador. Do the ends justify the means? No. But strong arm tactics work. The Japanese and Norwegians flex their economic power to buy enough votes in the IWC to start whaling again. It's good to have checks and balances. I can tell you as a former sea shepherd member, the fishermen are not the sit and talk kind of people either, almost understandable since someone is messing with their ricebowl.


Hi Drew,

I didn't say I was nationalistic about the issue. I thought I made it clear that I was against whaling.
I wasn't saying that what Watson does doesn't work in the Galapagos etc, just that it isn't having the right effect in Norway. I base this on the fact that I'm debating this with my fellow Norwegians regularly and what I found is as I said. I therefore think that if we are to stop whaling we would do best by starting in Norway convincing more and more what is right. As I said, what is tried by Watson had the opposite effect.

I happen to think that all of the planets resources belong to the world, not just one country. One countrys ability to polute can also be an example of someone overreaching their rightful share.... I therefore think that its is difficult for us in the industrialized world especially the US and Europe to criticizes thridworld contries inability to do what would be best for the environment when we are so lousy at it.

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#23 loftus

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 04:41 PM

This is a great topic, and one could discuss these issues forever. The answers are not always so cut and dried, and sometimes contradictory though. A few examples:
Much is made of the problem of CO2 buildup and global warming, yet some estimates show there has been a 10-15% increase in crop yields over the last 50 years due to increased CO2 in the atmosphere.
Decreasing or even just sustaining world populations puts unsustainable pressure on social programs as the population ages and there are fewer young people working to sustain these programs. We need to keep making children with slightly increasing populations at least, or we will fade away
Developing countries such as China and India are growing their energy usage at a rate that far outranks the US or Europe, yet how can one expect them to cut back when huge sections of there populations do not even have basic services such as electricity, clean water etc., yet.
I for one believe that only science and technology can save us; increasing food yields, finding alternative energy sources, sustainable sources of all foods including fish (probably through farming, done properly) etc.
A pet peeve of mine is much of the junk science out there such as the attitude to genetically altered foods such as wheat - despite the fact that there is no evidence that these foods have any ill effects on those who eat them or on the environment, junk scientists however have been able to get these foods banned even from countries where significant parts of the population are at below subsistance level. We have been genetically altering foods since the science of genetics started with Mendel - just splicing one plant to another is genetic manipulation.
Yes I know, I have wandered off topic, but in the long run using in my very, very humble and insignificant opinion, snart use of science and technology is going to be far more effective than trying to convince people to stop eating certain things, stop having children, don't fly to the Pacific on a dive trip, etc.
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#24 Snappy

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 12:45 AM

I wouldn't neccesary call GM technology "smart" technology. Alterations of crops, as well as introduction of new crops where they are not indigenous, have shown to be disastrous time and again. There are plenty of arguments against fiddling with nature in general. For example fish farms, prawn farms etc, also seemed to be a great idea/solution, but has come with its' share of problems. We would not have BSE (mad cow disease) if we hadn't switched from organic, vegetarian food, to industrialized food for the cows. Etc Etc the examples are many Loftus.

Changing attitude and laws are the primary reasons the ozone layer is not on the top of everyones worry-list anymore, as it was some years ago. We could solve a great deal of our current concerns by changing our habits just slightly, rather than sit back and hope someone in a laboratory will find a magic formula for us.
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#25 loftus

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 04:29 AM

Your point is well taken; I agree most if not all technologies have their problems or limitations which have to be rectified, but if we take the attitude that everything that causes a problem has to be discarded, then we would have no cars. no planes, no antibiotics, crop yields (organic) inadequate to feed growing populations, some say you should discard your cellphone as it causes brain cancer, and on and on.

In reference to your issue with mad cow disease check this out
http://www.foxnews.c...,240542,00.html
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#26 Snappy

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 08:05 AM

Interesting link. However I am still sceptical that we shall find the answer to our problems by screwing even more with the genes, or adding more chemicals, or whatever. Especially when the solution is so simple, cheap and healthy. Just go back to basics: eat what nature provides, the way nature provides it.

In Norway we have increased our meat consumption by 40 percent since only 1990 (I haven't found the stats for fish..) . I doubt our quality of life would sink dramatically if we were to go back to 1990 meat consumption. We were enjoying ourselves and our food back then too. But the world would be a slightly better place if we cut back. And it would be easier to ask the Chinese etc to do their bit.

Incidentally, the conclusion of a recent 400+ page report from the UN , called «Livestock’s long shadow» is along those same lines: we need to lessen our consumption of meat.

Now, if only we could have 'em bloody yanks :rolleyes: cut back too, the world would stand a much better chance.
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#27 Paul Kay

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 08:22 AM

Fascinating! We are now in the 21st century and yet, despite science and education, we are still clearly tribalistic, beieve that unsustainable growth is a goal which can be everlastingly pursued and that the problems due to overpopulation can be dealt with by science. I'm sorry to be cynical but unless we do overcome tribalism (or nationalism or whatever word you wish to use to label it), do realise that at some point ever continuing growth will become IMPOSSIBLE (due to living on a finite planet if nothing else), and finally actually do deal with overpopulation, we will discover that the results of our hedonistic, unthinking journey into the future will finally impinge on our lifestyles in a VERY BIG WAY. Right, rant over!

Little though it may seem, as I've said before, documenting the undersea world and its wonders and problems is one way in which we, as underwater photographers, can help to change opinions and finally, maybe, to instigate actions which may help avert future problems. I think that there is a need for campaigners, scientists, and many other people to be involved in changing attitudes - whilst some may see certain tactics as counter-productive, we need a whole gamut of techniques to be employed so that debate is at least created - this forum shows that pretty clearly.
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#28 loftus

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 09:18 AM

I agree that indefinite growth is unsustainable unless some of us eventually blast off to another planet. But without some major social changes, predominantly in developing countries which are growing at much faster rates than Europe in particular, and also the US, some growth is necessary to sustain the population. These social changes would include birth control of course, but they would also include older people voluntarily checking out so they do not place unsustainable burdens on the younger population etc.
As I mentioned in my response to Snappy, science and technology solve as well as create problems. Antibiotics is a perfect example; we have many more resistant strains of bacteria than we ever did, yet would any of you forego antibiotics if you had a severe infection? I think not.
Think about it; if we just let starving people die, we would put less strain on the world's resources. Yet socially and morally this is unacceptable, therefore we should try to feed them. The US supplies more grain etc to starving people around the world only because science and technology has increased yields way beyond where they used to be with strict organic farming methods.
I think the most important thing is that emotion is not used as a substitute for scientific and logical thinking on either side of the right or left spectrum. Much of the European denial of genetically altered food is emotional not scientific; on the other side of the spectrum here in the US we have to deal with the emotional denial of the theory of evolution. Science may not be perfect but it's the best option we have to deal with our problems, and to ensure that more and more of the world's disenfranchised and poor people can enjoy standards of living more like ours.
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#29 Snappy

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 10:15 AM

As much as science has given us, these days i think it is mainly a tool for making rich people richer and big companies bigger.

It is technical/scientific "progress" that has enabled some of us (the WMDs) to consume far more than our fair share of the planets resources. And, to get us back into cod waters, enabled man to empty the seas far quicker than fish can reproduce.

I don't think it is fair to expect people in other parts of the world to accept lower living standard than we expect for ourselves. Who are we to deny them the same aspirations as we have for our life? What have you or I done to deserve being born in the "developed" world? Nothing of course, so why do we deserve to have SUVs, aircon, flat screen TVs etc etc, any more than they?

The conclusion of this rethorical rant is of course that we can't expect people around the world to abstain from the pleasures of "progress" unless we are willing to make the same sacrifises ourselves.
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#30 shawnh

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 10:40 PM

Snappy,
Great point. One major concern is that the first world powers that have the standard of living, should be setting the example of how to behave. Unfortunately, these developed nations are emptying the oceans at a disaterous pace. So, sadly there aren't even many good examples of how to behave when a nation wants to "grow up".
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