Whales, seals or men? Who stole all the fish?

IT IS a classic conservation dispute, fuelled by stark images and emotive arguments. Fishers accuse whales and seals of eating their precious, diminishing fish stocks, leading to renewed calls that these mammals be culled to safeguard the future of a beleaguered industry.

Conservationists and animal welfare advocates retort that it is the other way round. They see the notion that whales and seals eat too much fish as unwarranted propaganda intended solely to justify archaic and inhumane whale and seal hunts. What's more, they say, overfishing is taking food from the mouths of some of the world's most endangered animals, stifling their recovery.

Surprisingly, it now appears that for most marine animals and most fisheries there is nothing to argue about. The first global study of its kind, released last week, shows that marine mammals and fishing fleets rarely prey heavily on the same fish stocks.

The findings are provisional, but they suggest that scientists and policy makers should only rarely need to make a wrenching choice between the economic needs of fishers and their desire to protect threatened marine mammals.

This week, Norwegian ships set sail to resume their country's hunt of minke whales, and Canadian hunters are continuing their cull of harp seals, the largest for 50 years.

Debates over whether such animals degrade fish stocks have raged for years. Japan and Iceland, for example, continue to press the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to allow a resumption of commercial whaling, partly on the grounds that this will allow fish populations to grow, says IWC secretary Nicky Grandy. And fishers in North America routinely claim that seals and sea lions eat so many cod and salmon that they reduce the fishers' take.

Conversely, environmental groups such as Greenpeace contend that overfishing has destroyed the food sources of whales and seals off the Atlantic coast of Canada. In Alaska, Greenpeace and other c

Contact: Claire Bowles
New Scientist

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Collapse of seals, sea lions & sea otters in North Pacific triggered by overfishing of great whales
2. Prehistoric NW Indians hunted fur seals of sustainable basis
3. Antarctic ice seals lifes fate
4. Alaskan waters growing hospitable to sharks while seals and sea lions decline
5. Scientists use seals as underwater eyes
6. Meet Henry and Nick, seals featured in Science study
7. For whales and seals the ocean is not blue
8. Elephant seals - looking good
9. Video cameras reveal seals, whales, and other marine mammals take a laid-back approach to deep diving
10. Do fish farms really add to the worlds supply of fish?

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/4/2019)... TORONTO (PRWEB) , ... June 04, 2019 , ... ... automate the search for salient features of seizure risk signals, usually based on ... neurologist-driven EEG interpretation remains the only acceptable diagnostic methodology due to the complexity ...
(Date:6/1/2019)... ... May 31, 2019 , ... ... & Rosati recently invested in BioFactura’s $6M Series B Financing Round. , ... value-added institutional investors who bring significant financial and business resources to bear as ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... 30, 2019 , ... Join Julie Peacock, Vice President of ... Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 1pm EDT where she will demonstrate how role-based ... and contract research organizations (CROs) can improve collaboration, auditing, document tracking and reporting. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2019)... ... May 22, 2019 , ... Artemis (formerly ... $8 million Series A funding round co-led by Astanor Ventures and ... Development Fund and iSelect Fund . The company has raised $11.75m to ...
(Date:5/15/2019)... ... May 16, 2019 , ... Emulsifiers are the ... and beverage products rely on these ingredients to create stable quality food that ... This paradigm shift triggers food formulators to seek out alternatives for starches, gums ...
(Date:5/8/2019)... , ... May 07, 2019 , ... Standing at 16.2 hands, Atlas is on the ... in a drill team and barrel racing, among other activities. When loping around a ... He went from being a busy horse to only being able to walk. Fortunately ...
(Date:5/4/2019)... , ... May 03, 2019 , ... ... release of the Diopsys® ffERG/Photopic Negative Response vision test, a new ... By 2050, it is estimated that 6.3 million Americans will have glaucoma, with ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: