Friday, July 27, 2007

Monday Fisheries Headlines 8/6

The fight over fish oil.
"The omega-3s helped rebuild the damaged gray and white matter of his brain," says Dr. Bailes, who now takes his own medicine, swallowing a fish-oil supplement each morning. On his orders, McCloy, still recuperating at home, continues to take fish oil daily. "I would say he should be on it for a lifetime," says Dr. Bailes. "But then, I think everybody should."

You can't keep a good Alaskan off the beaches. My son Morgan.

Eye doctors prescribe it for everyone with macular degeneration too. At this rate we should at least get the oil out of the 3 billion pounds of fish that fishermen dump over the side off U.S. shores every year. Check here whether you should take cod liver oil or fish oil. What is our national policy on all this anyway?

When fish stocks dwindle.
"Like many coastal communities, Kitkatla lost its main source of employment and revenue when fish stocks dwindled in the eighties." Reporters say this in the same breath as "it was a cold winter" or "the northern lights were sure bright last night." Like the fish stocks just do that by themselves. I've bitten my tongue for too long as East Coast reporters bemoan the "lack of fish." Just say it, fishermen caught them all. Of course the various governments allowed it. Canada is no different than the U.S., just a little ahead on the fishing-'em-out curve.

Politics trump Science in this Administration
"Repeated troubling reports that political considerations are trumping scientific facts in the implementation of the Endangered Species Act ... constitute just one area in a long line of problems plaguing the Interior Department that deserve scrutiny by the Congress." And Dick Cheney declined to attend the Klamath fish kill hearings for which he is largely blamed. Watch video testimony of an Oregon Congressman who sugar-coats the king salmon die-off.

Another interesting Google Earth exercise is to look at the Oregon-California border area in question, where there used to be so much waterfowl habitat. It's all farm land now. I lived on the Pacific Flyway in Southeast Alaska for many years, and just like people grieve the absence of blue whales, I grieve the loss of the massive clouds of ducks and geese.

Here's a simple idea: Let's stop paying people to overfish
The University of British Columbia calculates that countries kick in $20 to $30 billion a year to support overfishing. Now one third of all the commercial fish have gone the way of the buffalo. Bottom trawling is implicated largely. These statistics mirror Oregon's study showing that bottom trawling causes the total loss of 30% of the species complex in the area.

Photos from the "Esperanzna" voyage to see if the trawlers left anything around the Pribilofs.
Hi, here's a couple shots of subs in the water and a ROV
about to go in. We were in the Prib canyon Tues, Wed and Thurs,
and I just got back to the isle early this morning. At
500-800 meters I expected a lot of stuff down below, but it
seemed sparse, some rat fish, perch, halibut, eels, starfish,
sponges, black cod, but nothing in mass numbers. There is a
lot of other video that I haven't seen yet though. There was
coral and also some other things that could not be
identified yet, but I'm sure after some studying they will come up
with a name or even new names. There were 3 mega trawlers
that steamed past us going NW to the Zemchug. There was
also a longliner that claimed he was doing Halibut
surveys....but in 700 meters and for 2 days with no gear down? Seems
awful strange to me.
The Esperanza should be steaming towards the Zemchug as I
type and I remain hopeful they find a plethora of coral and
new species.


Andrew Malavansky
St. George Island Alaska