January 24, 2005
Just no Pleasing Some Folks

Problem: Overfishing of ocean stocks.

Solution: Ocean-based fish farms, aka "Aquaculture", allow you to grow your own stocks.

Problem: that's not the solution we wanted you to come up with:

Gerry Leape, vice president for marine conservation at the Washington-based National Environmental Trust, said U.S. officials see that "the oceans are in crisis, and what's their response? To allow the enormous expansion of this industry that's proven to have a negative environmental impact."

The farmers do seem to have some technical problems, primarily with diseases and the methods used to combat them. But these are almost certainly engineering issues, technical problems with technical solutions that will be found in time by the farmers themselves*.

But this, of course, will not please the enviro-weenies. They don't want us to satisfy our wishes in our own ways, they want us to cleave to their agenda and force people into their solutions (reducing demand by raising taxes, "convincing" people to eat less fish, etc.) I also wouldn't be surprised at all to find a bit of "wild" commercial fishing industry money flowing into their coffers somehow. Competitors are, after all, only looking out for their own interests, and as far as the activists are concerned the money's the same color, right?

Then again, I'm a cynical old bastard. I'm far more interested in finding cheap, sustainable ways to feed people and simultaneously protect wild stocks than I am in preserving someone else's definition of "pristine" oceans. I mean, if "saving" the oceans for the fish means a few more thousand brown babies starve to death, that's just mother nature taking care of overproduction, right? I can still afford to go to Red Lobster, why can't they?

* A position that I'm sure will evoke mighty guffaws from those convinced the only way toward true enlightenment is heavy-handed carefully-crafted government coercion regulation. Government beuracrats in offices thousands of miles from the sea after all have such a stellar record managing natural resources. Just ask the Soviets!

Oh... wait...

Posted by scott at January 24, 2005 10:02 AM

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After reading the article, it seems that these folks are providing their own solutions. They're monitoring feeding more closely (just makes sense as over-feeding costs more money) and are working at pushing the pens further off shore. The waste and disease problems will likely be the biggest ones to tackle. Now, disease will likely be handled in the same was as the over feeding problem. Disease is expensive and any way that it can be reduced is a good thing. The waste problem might be handled by moving them further off shore, but there might be some other way to get the waste out. Maybe better filtering, and then use the nitrogen in other applications (fertilizer, etc.).

Definitely better than over-fishing...

Posted by: ron on January 24, 2005 10:23 AM
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