Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

12 Straight Days of Tuna for Thousands of Miles

I know everyone is supposed to believe that the ocean's fisheries are on the brink of total collapse, but I follow a blog written by a guy who's on day 765 of a 1,000-day worldwide sail, and today he wrote this from the South Atlantic:
"For 12 days straight the sea has been full of small tuna, constantly from dawn 'till dusk, feeding on tiny flying fish. Often fish will follow the schooner, but these are in every direction as far as the eye can see and through the underwater window. Since the tuna are everywhere and not just with me, it leads me to believe that the sea for almost 1,000 miles is full of tuna and flying fish! I have seen schools of fish pass, but never thick across the sea for weeks on end. This is a good sign and gives us hope for the life in the sea."
Yes, yes, I still believe most of the doom and gloom about the ocean's fish stocks, but stories like the one above make me wonder. Maybe there are just way more fish far out at sea, while the fish that used to be close to land are nearly depleted. Wait, that can't be right: Chesapeake Bay Foundation reported that for 2008 striped bass were present in the Bay at levels close to that during Captain John Smith's time in 1609.

I suppose it's always good to be a bit skeptical of environmental doomsayers, especially about something as vast as the world's oceans. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for the power of anecdotes over established science.
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