Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html en-gb 30 Tue 16 Sep 2014 20:52:19 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html molamola http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=98#comment81 Bowmanthebard, the point is that it's not to be enforced internationally but nationally. Look at Iceland (banking apart), they've had 4 cod wars going back several hundred years, to protect their marine areas. Obviously the purpose is economical but that's the only way anything happens. As I also said use the fishermen and their larger vessels to enforce the exclusion zone (and get the R.N. to do something useful).This is very much based on a British point of view but it's got to start somewhere. As you say everyone looks after himself and grabs as much as he can and that's human nature. So I see a compromise. Wed 24 Mar 2010 15:09:44 GMT+1 adrian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=97#comment80 'with the tuna-fishing countries of Italy, Spain, and France routinely deploying the argument that its fishermen would suffer under a moratorium.'how short sighted, where is the common sense. Wed 24 Mar 2010 13:20:40 GMT+1 HumanityRules http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=96#comment79 45. At 08:33am on 20 Mar 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:I like your idea of green/environmental politics wishing to move the wall backwards. I've always thought behind the apparent care for nature is really a disgust at humanity. That can't be said enough. Tue 23 Mar 2010 22:55:49 GMT+1 William B Leavenworth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=95#comment78 When the fish are all gone, the next best source of omega-rich healthy protein will be the yuppies who ate them. Who'll reprint the Donner Pass Cookbook? Tue 23 Mar 2010 21:49:45 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=93#comment77 #76 molamola wrote:"The old 200 mile zone fishing should be re-introduced globally. It's an excellent way of compartmentalizing the ocean so that an individual country can legislate and enforce regulations."I half agree. Read on:"At the same time it would make it easier to create and enforce protected (no fishing) areas which would have to be very large, at least initially."But this requires policing, the use of force, etc, -- something the international community has failed to do so far, and we have no reason to believe will ever occur in the future.What if the old 200-mile zones were extended so that every part of the oceans were "owned" by national territories with long-term interests, and navies to enforce them? Tue 23 Mar 2010 21:31:11 GMT+1 MangoChutney http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=92#comment76 @infinity #73"Many of us have been saying this stuff for years now. The public really doesn't have the time or interest to go into details on every little environmental issue."But why is it climate change that's being singled out then?Maybe it's because we are constantly being told that AGW is the most important issue of our time?/Mango Tue 23 Mar 2010 17:37:25 GMT+1 molamola http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=91#comment75 The old 200 mile zone fishing should be re-introduced globally. It's an excellent way of compartmentalizing the ocean so that an individual country can legislate and enforce regulations. Most, (apart from new, highly destructive deep sea dredging) commercial fishing is carried out within this zone.At the same time it would make it easier to create and enforce protected (no fishing) areas which would have to be very large, at least initially.Bluefin tuna are highly migratory and would certainly move from one national zone to another depending on currents, seasons etc. Probably a fairly short moratorium (5-10 years) for them would work for them if initiated fairly soon as they are relatively fast growing and short-lived compared with other large predatory fish such as grouper.Someone mentioned Mahi mahi (dolphin fish) as possibly threatened, but this is one of those fish it would be difficult to fish to extinction as it grows very fast, doesn't group together in large shoals and has a short natural lifespan.We had bluefin migrating down the North sea as another guy said. Bring back the 200 mile limit, buy out most of those commercial boats, employ some of those redundant fishermen to enforce the law and maybe they'll be seen in the North sea again. It's a beautiful sight. Tue 23 Mar 2010 16:49:40 GMT+1 blunderbunny http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=90#comment74 @infinityActually, no I re-read you're post:"One tactic of AGW skeptics"Sorry, mate, but "Tactics". I'm familiar with Sun Tzu, but I'm not in the process of conducting some sort of military capaign. You lot may be organized(if you are you might want to consider some sort of coup, because the current leadership is none too clever), but I'm just here because I care both about the science and the planet.Maybe I'm a tad prickly this afternoon, but I'm definitely not part of some sort of organised cabal of climate skeptics, who sit at home planning our next offensive.... Though that does actually give me an idea for a dinner party ;-) Tue 23 Mar 2010 15:15:43 GMT+1 blunderbunny http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=89#comment73 @infinity #73Other stories and the general public aren't the point and it seems to me that you're being deliberately difficult (had said something else here, but I don't want to get moderated, so "difficult" will have to do). The point is that the whole green movement is obsessed with a single issue and I believe that this is to detriment of other issues. Issues, that I personally consider to be more important.This is just an opinion, of course, but I believe that it's an accurate one. This isn't even a case where there's any dodgy science involved! If you’re not concerned about this, then I’d argue that you’re not concerned about the planet at all - You’re just here to argue about science........... Tue 23 Mar 2010 15:02:21 GMT+1 infiniti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=87#comment72 "Many of us have been saying this stuff for years now. The public really doesn't have the time or interest to go into details on every little environmental issue."But why is it climate change that's being singled out then? I mean you could have picked the MP expenses scandal instead (if only we had let the MPs get on with it and hadn't focused on their expenses we could have focused on bluefin tuna instead!)Or the iraq war (if only we hadn't gone to war in iraq we could have focused on bluefin tuna instead!)Or the world cup? The olympics?etc etc the number of issues is endless and if you want to pretend people can only focus on one thing at once there's no end to arguments* that can be made that some other issue has got in the way of saving bluefin.So why single out climate change? That's the real tell for me and why I made my "transparent as glass" comment. One tactic of AGW skeptics is to try and get everyone else to abandon the climate change issue. For an example of this, one poster above even tries to pretend "co2" is over and we should move on to something else, all said in the guise of someone trying to be helpful. That's just another method of the same trick. *In fact if you accept the idea that only one issue can have public focus at a time then you could argue that if AGW skeptics had supported co2 emission reductions, we would be on plan to successfully reduce them and could be focusing on issues like bluefin tuna instead... Tue 23 Mar 2010 13:37:40 GMT+1 LarryKealey http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=86#comment71 @sensibleoldgrannieYou needn't worry about buying tuna in a can. There are a number of species of tuna - blackfin, yellowfin, albacore, bigeye and bluefin to name a few. Most of the tuna which you buy in a can is albacore or blackfin - the most plentiful. Most brands of tuna you buy in a can also come from boats with devices in the nets which allow dolphin and sea turtles to escape.Bluefin and Bigeye are the largest and rarest. They can easily reach over a thousand pounds and fetch huge dollars for each pound. Enough that bluefin tuna are caught, quick-frozen and then FLOWN to the auction in Tokyo - the biggest market. It is served mostly as sushi - and very expensive sushi at that. It is also serve as steaks and fillets (usually grilled lightly) in the US and Europe.So, have a little tuna salad and don't worry about it. Cheers.Kealey Tue 23 Mar 2010 04:06:00 GMT+1 LarryKealey http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=85#comment70 I wrote a long post to this when it first arrived, but the connection dropped apparently and it was lost...:(Basically, it would seem that the current 'system' is not working. Aside from the bluefin tuna, there are a number of other pelagic species at risk - most species of billfish and mahi come to mind.We have to create the political means to close fisheries which literally span the globe in order to be effective. How to do this is the million dollar question. The current apparatus and mechanisms clearly are not working.The real shame is that if we managed this resource effectively and selectively closed fisheries for periods of five to ten years, we could obtain sustainable quotas two to five times the current catch.The problem is one of short-sightedness and mismanagement. We need to be able to selectively close fisheries and have the teeth to make the closures effective.A new approach is required - we gain a 'majority vote' and then force compliance with everyone else using trade sanctions, etc. Then we have to have real enforcement on the high seas, as well as where the boats make port.My two cents anyway...Cheers.Kealey Tue 23 Mar 2010 03:58:36 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=84#comment69 @infinity #64 who wrote..."Oh purrrlease.AGW skeptics trying to play the emotion card by claiming "if only you had all denied manmade global warming like us the tuna would be everywhere"Many of us have been saying this stuff for years now. The public really doesn't have the time or interest to go into details on every little environmental issue. If there's something that's ACTUALLY pressing that's the issue you people need to promote. Substantial anthropogenic global warming is a long shot and you seem to know it. This issue is a boat anchor and its going to drag down other environmental issues with it. Tue 23 Mar 2010 03:56:45 GMT+1 blunderbunny http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=82#comment68 @Infinity #64"Oh purrrlease.AGW skeptics trying to play the emotion card by claiming "if only you had all denied manmade global warming like us the tuna would be everywhere"Transparent as glass.Pull the other one."Think what you like, mate, but my sentiments are 100% as billed. If you can be bothered to go back through all my posts, you'll find that they are all consistent - The same message, over and over - Green movement has lost its way and needs to return to its roots etc etc Tue 23 Mar 2010 02:02:49 GMT+1 knownought http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=81#comment67 #67 Wolfiewoods wrote'Whenever there is mention of population control I always think that there is an element of racism at work, people are really talking about African and South Asian population control, aren't they?'NO!!! THEY ARE NOT!! Only a racist bigot could think that way!! Mon 22 Mar 2010 21:45:22 GMT+1 Wolfiewoods http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=80#comment66 Whenever there is mention of population control I always think that there is an element of racism at work, people are really talking about African and South Asian population control, aren’t they? Mon 22 Mar 2010 20:23:59 GMT+1 Smiffie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=79#comment65 Time to move on, CO2 has been useful in that it has promoted renewable energy (energy security), food security, population control etc, but CO2 is now finished and we need a new driver, I suggest that we concentrate the message on the carcinogenic nature of fossil fuel emissions. Mon 22 Mar 2010 20:21:07 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=78#comment64 #64 infinity wrote:"Transparent as glass.Pull the other one."Four legs good, two legs bad: if anyone on "the other side" says anything you agree with, he must be a phoney.You need to think about that, if you have anything to think with. Mon 22 Mar 2010 19:02:10 GMT+1 infiniti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=76#comment63 Oh purrrlease.AGW skeptics trying to play the emotion card by claiming "if only you had all denied manmade global warming like us the tuna would be everywhere"Transparent as glass.Pull the other one. Mon 22 Mar 2010 17:35:17 GMT+1 Smiffie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=75#comment62 Delighted to see that the full terrible enormity of betting everything on climate change is now dawning in the green movement. Mon 22 Mar 2010 15:55:44 GMT+1 Green Tigeress http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=74#comment61 One interesting fact: the Mitsubishi Corporation in Japan are buying up fresh bluefin tuna then storing them in deep freeze warehouses in preparation for when the species becomes extinct. They are 'cornering the market' in advance of the inevitable.This shows that until the demand for the luxury 'delicacy' that is bluefin tuna in Japan drops, or indeed the species actually dies out, then commerce and profit will be the main consideration for protecting ANY species... think orang-utans and the palm-oil plantations, tigers for Chinese medecine, whales and tuna for human and pet consumption in Japan, North Sea cod in Europe... The list is growing every day, yet nothing is done to protect these creatures when profit is involved. Makes me ashamed to be human sometimes Mon 22 Mar 2010 14:22:16 GMT+1 blunderbunny http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=73#comment60 @Humanityrules #39"I don't think you can ascribe cause and effect that easily. Environmentalism has always been a niche political position."Sorry, but I don't think that you can argue that environmentalism is a niche or minority position - Certainly, not since Climate Change became an issue, and I would argue that the green movement has lost it's way since it wedded itself so completely to this single cause. There has been a groundswell of "greenness" that the green movement has failed to capitalize on and that it could so easily have used to actually address and fix the real issues. Instead, it would rather indulge in navel gazing, name calling and let’s face it, pretty shoddy science. Much as the scientific (specifically the earth sciences) world now has to tack on the words climate change to attract research funding the green movement has gone the same way. If you can't tack on the words climate change to your green project no-one's interested. @Yorkurbantree #50"Poits @9 and blunder @12: The idea that they failed to get a proper ban on the fishing because of campaigns elsewhere on climate change is preposterous and intellectually offensive."Offensive or not, I would hold that the statement is true. I’ve used the analogy of "Nero fiddling, whilst Rome burns" before, but it seems apt to do so again.Do you not think that more would have been invested in this particular issue, if the focus of the movement was not elsewhere?I’m quite frankly ashamed and I think the rest of you should be too. Regardless, of what you may think of my stance on the science of AGW and what I might think of yours, these sorts of things will continue to happen, until we can all get over this issue and refocus on things that not only matter more to us and planet, but are also most eminently solvable. Mon 22 Mar 2010 10:57:54 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=71#comment59 I wrote: "people tend to measure their own success of failure with reference to their peers"I meant "success OR failure"!But it's an interesting slip of the keyboard. The prisoners' dilemma is usually presented as an illustration of what can happen when there's "too little brotherhood": if the prisoners tough it out and hang together, they can both win.But in the case of fishing or using the commons, one of the problems is there's "too much brotherhood"! The fishermen/sherherds don't mind their businesses slowly going under as long "we all go together when we go"!It illustrates, I think, that by and large a group of people with similar interests cannot be relied upon to "police" themselves. We see this happening again and again. Bankers award themselves ridiculous bonuses, MPs award themsleves ridiculous expenses, and climate scientists award themselves ridiculous standards of criticism.Jeremy Bentham said that "publicity is the very soul of justice" -- and we might add that publicity is the very soul of decent banking, decent political dealings, decent science, decent use of the commons -- even decent policing! Mon 22 Mar 2010 08:19:49 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=70#comment58 #57 saltchuck wrote:'the "tragedy of the commons" model and self-interest. People should know that Garrett Hardin based this concept on a specific application of the Prisoner's Dilemna whereby the two prisoners cannot communicate with one another and hence are locked into separately attempting to calculate and achieve their own selfish interest.'In the commonest scenario of the prisoners' dilemma, the prisoners cannot communicate but it it is in both of their selfish interests to "cooperate" with each other.In most real-life cases of a "tragedy of the commons", the agents involved can communicate, as you rightly point out but -- a huge difference -- it is not in their selfish interests to cooperate with each other.Why not? -- Fishermen (or shepherds) are fully aware that their own working lives are limited, and many do not want their own children to follow in their footsteps by maintaining the business. It matters to them that their business can be maintained up to the point of their own deaths or retirement, during which time they can invest in making sure their children can follow a different sort of career (usually through eduction).Furthermore, people tend to measure their own success of failure with reference to their peers. If other fishermen have the same difficulties as themselves, there is even a sort of "brotherhood" in the struggle.So human nature being what it is -- and it being practically impossible to change that -- these fishermen probably don't care much whether the bluefin tuna becomes extinct or not, as long as they are doing no worse than their peers (preferably better) and they can carry on up to when they would have retired or died anyway. Mon 22 Mar 2010 07:27:11 GMT+1 SmartThinker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=69#comment57 There is a way out of this ridiculous over-fishing situation without recourse to unworkable quota systems and that is to establish marine reserves on a large scale. Mon 22 Mar 2010 05:46:41 GMT+1 saltchuck http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=68#comment56 An observation about Bowmanthebard's referral to the "tragedy of the commons" model and self-interest. People should know that Garrett Hardin based this concept on a specific application of the Prisoner's Dilemna whereby the two prisoners cannot communicate with one another and hence are locked into separately attempting to calculate and achieve their own selfish interest. Reality has been much different because in a commons people can and do talk with each other, and it can result in a much different type of resource management scheme.When left to their own devices fishermen, the actual catchers of fish can see the threats to their livelihoods and usually form social networks that develop rules and punish freeloaders and others who do not have entry permission. There are good current examples: the Alaska salmon fishery, the Maine lobster fishery, certain Sri Lankan artisanal fisheries etc. The main characteristic is that these successful fisheries empower fishermen with the ability to control the type of effort and ensure that outside forces, in particular processors, are not driving the harvest into unsustainability by overcapitalization, directly or through political influence.In other words, the worst problems happen when fishermen are isolated from one another when misguided bureacracies take control of the harvest allocation away from them. What we have here in the tuna fishery is doubly compounded: fishermen isolated from each other by national bureaucracies [who tend to have a convenient belief in the "tragedy of the commons" model], further separated by international nature of the problem. So there are two layers of bureaucracy and politics working to make fishermen into mindless catchers of fish, the type envisioned by the likes of bowmanthebard. Hardin's thesis does have some use, but it's probably better directed at bureaucracies and politicians whose deafness is caused by national self-interest.I suggest what is needed are international panels with a degree of coercive power, where harvest allocation is determined by fishermen themselves and conservation based harvest targets are set by independent scientific panels. Above all, governments and processors, with their short term financial interests, must be kept completely out of any investment position in the harvest effort. Mon 22 Mar 2010 03:00:30 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=67#comment55 @Yorkurbantree #50 who wrote..."Firstly, this isn’t some zero sum game where people can only care about one environmental problem."I think you give the general public too much credit. Most people aren't really very sharp and tend to specialize quite a lot. Those that care more about "green" topics obsess about that and therefore tend to notice more about it...but your average person specializes in other things like sports, money, sex, etc. They really only leave room for one or two big issues outside of their core interests or things that have immediate impacts on their daily lives.==================="No amount of lobbying by the likes of Greenpeace could have got over the ingrained cultural reasons behind the latter inertia. "Not terribly important to the topic but...I don't think the public at large has the best of impressions of Greenpeace. While their cause is viewed as noble, their methods are a nuisance. Those on the political left like Greenpeace. People with moderate to right leanings see them as a mixed bag or a nuisance.==================="Secondly, the idea that campaigning on climate change is some abstract singular absolute is plain ignorant. For better or worse, the idea of tackling climate change has become a catch all term for more general improvements in our relationship with the environment."Choose your battles wisely. If you promote it as "saving the planet", you are promoting it as an all-or-nothing sort of thing. However, the case for significant and dangerous anthropogenic global warming is terrible. All of these idiotic gloom and doom rants from green groups about thermogeddon are just compounding precautionary principles gone wrong.Absorption is not and never has been the same thing as warming. Convection and latent heat drastically reduce the impact of additional absorption. Even in the absence of convection and latent heat it is the balance between absorption and emissive efficiency that would create the temperature gradient. We haven't even established CO2's warming yet.Many go on and on about feedbacks being positive...yet the environment shows no signs of this. The warming we've had so far (assuming 100% of it is from CO2 and not the pre-existing warming trend since the little ice age) is only enough to cover the warming suggested by CO2 absorption.And finally there is not one bit of actual evidence that temperatures as warm as those seen during the holocene optimum or the previous interglacial's optimum...are dangerous. Its all just "projections". In fact, from history and archaeology it appears that life on earth fares far better during these periods. That's why they call it an "optimum". Mon 22 Mar 2010 01:52:37 GMT+1 David Hazel http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=65#comment54 All of these conservation/environmental problems have a single cause: the massive and rising human population. More people means more food needed and more energy demanded, so the stocks of edible animals decline, while our demand for them, and the amount of energy we burn to make our lives more convenient, rise inexorably. Yet almost no one is talking about this aspect of the problem. If things go on the way they are, then sooner or later, we'll either choke or starve ourselves. It would be better if we could find a way of bringing our numbers down in a non-destructive manner. Sun 21 Mar 2010 22:45:08 GMT+1 paul http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=64#comment53 Interesting read and good blog. I am able to comment as I ahve grow up around fishing first starting when I was 8 years old. It always staggers me when someone like Andy comments that the sea is an endless reasoure and that tuna stocks are not declining.I hear similar idiotic comments about cod stocks in 1980's. Now fisherman who regulary fish from Whitby and Scarborough will tell you that there are now cod present in the inshore waters. However this is only the case because less people are fishing there and stocks are slowly recovering. Fact for you Andy, it take 7 years fro a cod to become mature and to breed. Therefore the small cod that were getting hoovered up by trawlers were generally immature fish which have not yet bred. The resulting lack of fish which are only just recovering is because the breeding population has gone.Another fact for you Andy, we used to ahve species like herring in the north sea, sadly they are a rarity now. A further fact for you Andy we used to ave bluefin tuna (tunny) ni the north sea, sadly once the herring got overfished, the tuna vanished. Check you history Andy 1930's 758lb bluefin tuna caught on rod and line from Scarborough. Now if you want to find them you have to travel several hundred miles from Scarborough, infact Andy you need to be 100 mile ish from the west coast of Ireland and even there bluefin are a rarity now thanks to the attention of the trawlers.Its a sad fact that people like Andy struggle to understand if you keep taking and not allowing something to recover it reaches a poit where it dies out. May your right Andy maybe they will not die out in you lifetime. My kids still believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. Sadly I am more pragmatic, I ahve in my lifetime watch the North Sea fishery change beyod recognition, you can now catch bass from the beaches at Whitby and Scarborough, actually even further north than that now. species like plaice, cod, haddock are moving further and further north. These are facts Andy, if you don't fish over rought ground or wrecks you will catch very little in the north sean now. Bluefin will be extinct sooner rather than later. Stick you head in the sand Andy and call me wrong, sadly and unfortunately for you Andy I know I am right Sun 21 Mar 2010 21:45:49 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=63#comment52 #51 Yorkurbantree wrote:"Richard Black takes the established scientific position on the basics of climate change as a given (as all but a tiny minority of scientists accept it etc)."He takes the establishMENT position -- that is all too obvious in everything he says -- as a GIVEN, no less. Agreed.As for your "all but a tiny minority" of scientists... Where did you get this bit of self-destruction? Do you just swallow whatever you hear your buddies saying? Sun 21 Mar 2010 19:42:51 GMT+1 thinkforyourself http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=62#comment51 HumanityRules at # 39 says:-‘….Any thoughts Richard why your enviromental posts seem to be of lower importance to your readers than the climate stuff?....’I think it’s a question of scale.The climate is essentially the atmosphere. The atmosphere provides the biosphere.The biosphere is the environment.The moon has no atmosphere. Take a look at the environment there.There’s certainly no rhinos or tuna as far as I know. Sun 21 Mar 2010 19:20:34 GMT+1 Yorkurbantree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=60#comment50 Humanity @39: Post 42 nails much of the reasoning. I doubt anyone else on this blog attended the meetings in question, so it is difficult to add much to what Mr Black has said – especially as it is an even handed article. In comparison, any article that mentions climate change results in a deluge of comments because of a very simple pattern. Richard Black takes the established scientific position on the basics of climate change as a given (as all but a tiny minority of scientists accept it etc). Given that certain contributors believe passionately that the conventional understanding of climate science is wrong, they then detail the latest musings from WUWT etc below said article. Conventionalists then debunk said musings from the blogosphere and the cycle continues again and again and again... Sun 21 Mar 2010 19:20:28 GMT+1 Yorkurbantree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=59#comment49 Mango @6: It is not remotely hypocritical – it’s called being open minded. Just because the EU or the UN are right about one thing, it doesn’t mean they are always right. Moreover, if you read the article you will see that the myopic politicians ignored the evidence, so they didn’t ‘investigate it thoroughly’.Bowman @8: You completely fail to address the irrelevance of your earlier semantic point. As for your pointlessly patronising lesson in the concept of rationality: I don’t know who your aiming it at because anyone with a passing understanding of the TOTC concept knows it already. Poits @9 and blunder @12: The idea that they failed to get a proper ban on the fishing because of campaigns elsewhere on climate change is preposterous and intellectually offensive.Firstly, this isn’t some zero sum game where people can only care about one environmental problem. Groups like Greenpeace have been campaigning vociferously on the issue covered by this article as well as other things like climate change. The reason the ban failed was because powerful commercial lobbyists lobbied certain governments for maintaining the status quo and the general populous of said countries were not sufficiently bothered to lobby their governments. No amount of lobbying by the likes of Greenpeace could have got over the ingrained cultural reasons behind the latter inertia. Secondly, the idea that campaigning on climate change is some abstract singular absolute is plain ignorant. For better or worse, the idea of tackling climate change has become a catch all term for more general improvements in our relationship with the environment. Take the UK Government’s push for zero carbon homes. The process for monitoring progress is known as the ‘Code for Sustainable Homes’. Credits within that can be gained through dealing with water conservation, waste management and biodiversity etc. Therefore, anyone who thinks that paying attention to climate change is coming at the expense of other environmental issues is living in cloud cuckoo land. Sun 21 Mar 2010 19:08:55 GMT+1 Rustigjongens http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=58#comment48 "And it was in frustration with Iccat's annual habit of setting quotas higher than its scientists recommended (they have advised zero quotas for the last few years) that conservationists turned to a CITES ban as an alternative way of reducing the catch".How realistic is it to enforce a "Zero Quota"?, does this mean that people catching tuna with a rod & line would also be targeted as well as commercial operations?.I very much enjoy the taste of tuna, however, after reading Richard's article it is clear that something needs to be done, but attempting to impose Zero Quotas due to one group advocating that this should be the case seems to me to be wrong.Rossglory posted the following comment to a previous poster "well, it's the fire brigade telling you the place is on fire on you thick headed sceptics are blocking the exits".I find Rossglory comment unhelpful and lacking in manners, it is due to comments like that, that so many people will ignore the real message and switch off as they are fed up with such holier than thou comments. Sun 21 Mar 2010 14:10:52 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=57#comment47 @rossglory #47And when that fire brigade has been caught repeatedly trying to fake fires for attention when there aren't any fires? Sun 21 Mar 2010 03:11:37 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=56#comment46 #27 poitsplace"Now sit down, be quiet and eat your slightly burned popcorn...I'm trying to watch the film."well, it's the fire brigade telling you the place is on fire on you thick headed sceptics are blocking the exits. Sat 20 Mar 2010 21:46:28 GMT+1 thinkforyourself http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=54#comment45 Andy765gtr at #19 and infinity at # 35.Genius.Pure distilled Glen ‘Fox’ Beck!For more satire watch Jon Stewart on the ‘Daily Show’ from Friday 19th March 2010.http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart/4od#3048217 Sat 20 Mar 2010 17:08:11 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=53#comment44 #41 HumanityRules wrote:"That calculation was first done by Malthus in 1800. He believed Britain was already straining to support a population of 8 million."It WAS straining to support a population of 8 million in those days, because there was a proportionally more limited food supply then. When the population was 5 million, it was straining to support a population of 5 million, and when the population was 3 million, it was straining to support a population of 3 million. And so on.Population levels are not set by how much people have sex -- that hardly changes from one generation to the next. It is set (mostly) by the food supply. The population of the world is currently greater than it has ever been, because food is cheaper than it has ever been. That is (mostly) the result of advancing agricultural technology and cheap energy.The world isn't isn't in dabger of "hitting a wall" of overpopulation sometime, as it is "at the wall" already and always has been. The real danger is if the wall starts to move backwards. This is what would surely happen if energy became much more expensive. That might be nothing worse than an inconvenience here in the West, but in the developing world where famine already threatens from time to time, it would be a disaster."Many have set linitations on population since then, all have been surpassed."Instead of "doing the maths" to calculate "when the Earth hits the wall of overpopulation", they should "do the biology"!Some AGW believers think sceptics "don't care about the planet". They should know that some of us sceptics think AGW believers "don't care about the people who will die in famines". Sat 20 Mar 2010 08:33:22 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=52#comment43 @Robert Lucien #34 who wrote..."The whole problem with the environmental debate is that if we sit back and wait until things actually begin hitting the critical point it will be far to late to do anything."The earth has been significantly warmer in the past though...and without hitting this supposed critical and/or tipping point. Assuming they are even right in the first place, the scenario the IPCC expects is most likely...would be at or below the temperatures of the holocene optimum. This is clearly not a threat to humanity. The highest of the IPCC's projections are lower than the temperature of the previous interglacial (and BTW, at those temperatures africa and australia have substantial increases in available water)...this would be a highly unlikely level of sensitivity and still...it shows no actual signs of danger. The ACTUAL rate of warming is sufficient for about .6C more warming by 2100...trivial warmingThen we get to these fish. These fish are getting difficult to catch NOW. If action is not taken their numbers will drop below commercially viable levels in a couple decades...and they may possibly go extinct. What should we be concentrating on? Should we concentrate on some vague projections of "doom" that show little sign of materializing and will take hundreds of years anyway...or should we concentrate on the food supply we're destroying in the now? Think fast...the tuna don't have long. Sat 20 Mar 2010 06:30:56 GMT+1 TeaPot562 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=51#comment42 We are living on a ball with about an 8 thousand mile diameter -- the surface and the area can be computed, as can the volume. A finite amount of resources of various kinds exist; much variety in living creatures can exist, but it makes sense for us to seek a balance. It does not seem right for those living in "first world nations" to propose solutions that freeze the inhabitants of developing nations (China, India, and various other tropical & subtropical countries) into their current standards of living. They will argue that they have the same right to development that we have exercised. We should also note that until a population group (culture?) achieves a certain level of comfort (consider Maslow's pyramid of needs, starting with food, clothing and shelter) they don't have the energy or interest in broadening their attention to the longer term or the next generation.Having a variety of living species -- perhaps excluding the Smallpox virus and similar disease vectors -- in our environment is of positive value.One can start by eating "farm-raised catfish" rather than Orange Roughy when going to a fish restaurant. Start with ourselves.Seems inappropriate, somehow for us to pick on the Japanese fishing fleets as long as long as we are willing to consume the products of their fisheries in our eating habits.I have an instinctive dislike of Greenpeace's approach to conservation, but in the case of whales, certain species of tuna and other disappearing species, I have difficulty thinking of an alternative likely to be effective. TeaPot562 Sat 20 Mar 2010 03:48:40 GMT+1 b5happy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=50#comment41 #39 - "Any thoughts Richard why your enviromental posts seem to be of lower importance to your readers than the climate stuff?"I believe lack of response is more a measure of a reader being blown away by the content of the article. I found the low response (Rhino's), actually, to be very powerful and moving... What can one say in the face of hopelessness? Sat 20 Mar 2010 03:28:40 GMT+1 HumanityRules http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=48#comment40 #34 Robert Lucien wrote:"Calculations show that at some point in the near future population verses food will probably hit a tipping point and from there will very rapidly accelerate in a downward spiral until the human population crashes."That calculation was first done by Malthus in 1800. He believed Britain was already straining to support a population of 8 million. Many have set linitations on population since then, all have been surpassed. I think it's difficult to factor in human ingenuity into their equations. Plus they are all probably on a downer about Mankind and are using mathes to confirm their own prejudices. Sat 20 Mar 2010 02:43:43 GMT+1 b5happy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=47#comment39 This so pessimistic on my part, but...We are likely observing...Too little, too late.Like Rhino's, etc., what do we use for an aphrodisiac after they're gone? Oh, darn...Hey, you know what works...?Next! Anybody else smell the burning toast? Sat 20 Mar 2010 02:40:50 GMT+1 HumanityRules http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=46#comment38 @blunderbunny #12I don't think you can ascribe cause and effect that easily. Enviromentalism has always been a niche political position. I had started to notice though that Richards Biodiversity/environmental posts get far fewer responses than the climate posts.Any thoughts Richard why your enviromental posts seem to be of lower importance to your readers than the climate stuff? Sat 20 Mar 2010 02:34:44 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=45#comment37 #34 Robert Lucien wrote:"Calculations show that at some point in the near future population verses food will probably hit a tipping point and from there will very rapidly accelerate in a downward spiral until the human population crashes."You need to think about what made the human population increase over the last few centuries.And please, please stop being in so much awe of "calculations", regardless of who did them. Some calculations are the work of clowns who escaped from cirque du soliel. Fri 19 Mar 2010 23:36:22 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=43#comment36 The United Nations has been criticized.This is patently unfair.The UN wants the fishing regulated properly, as do all people with common sense.The UN has no teeth, and no money, or rather, only that money which nation-states are willing to give it.\\\ That's the problem! ///Remember Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the pilot, the writer, the man.To be a man requires courage and compassion, two traits lacking in many of the males of today.It requires neither courage nor compassion to be a male.And it seems these are not required of politicians or nation states or publicly held corporations either.When we all learn the difference between being a male and a man, things will improve.It isn't just the modern corporation which worhips at the bottom line. How many of you out there worry about your 'net worth,' and how it compares with "The Jones"?You see the problem - if not - look in the mirror.===================Meanwhile, all our little people are so scared to give up what they see as power to the UN that they are undoubedly going to watch the tuna fishery collapse rather than act responsibly.And then they are going to stand by helplessly as our planet crosses its climate change threshold, and devolves into a new state, one inimical to the existence of techno-monkeys without testicles!In case you haven't noticed, we are already in the early stages of the Sixth Great Mass Extinction Event of the last 600 million years.And the algae are taking over our lakes and extuaries.The very atmosphere has been globally dimmed by the manmade aerosol load we have and are pumping into the sky - just in case you hadn't noticed.So get off the posterior sections of your anatomy and give and vote the United Nations some real power - and the right to tax - and to enforce.I remember John Kennedy at times like this, and his support of the UN and of our institutions, the ones created to help us, the people.How long is the public going to swill the output of business as usual and their public relations industry?How long?- Manysummits - Fri 19 Mar 2010 23:21:27 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=42#comment35 #33 KK27 wrote:"50 years of peace is trashing this planet more effectively than three millenia of war and conflict."It might be an idea to think about what war actually involves here. It's a little bit worse than "we'll never be able to stuff bluefin tuna down our cakeholes any more"! Fri 19 Mar 2010 23:13:54 GMT+1 infiniti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=41#comment34 Re 19. andy765gtr:Also it's important to realize that the tuna population rises and falls in natural cycles. The fact it's fallen in the past proves that man cannot be causing it now. Logic 101.There's no evidence of anthropogenic tuna decline. Noone can prove the recent decline is due to man. Correlation isn't causation. Extrapolating a declining trend to the future is unscientific. All skeptics accept tuna fish have been declining. We just don't accept the cause. I mention this to make myself sound reasonable. Although later I will suggest that maybe tuna fish are not declining. The science is not settled. My arguments are great aren't they? I really don't know anything about this subject, but applying common sense makes it so easy to come to a rash conclusion. For example to my mind it's sheer arrogance to assume that fishing boats, that make up a mere 0.03% of the ocean surface are able to make any significant difference to tuna stocks. So much for tuna fish decline!How do the so-called "scientists" even count the fish? I can't possibly imagine how and haven't looked it up, but my personal incredulity surely means the science cannot be settled. Is the data online? Are the methods clearly laid out? Have they performed a stationary audit? I have plenty of more questions, we'll just keep going until I find a minor flaw and then blow it out of proportion.Do I understand the science? Nope. Therefore it must be flawed.Please call me a skeptic. By doing so you will give legitimacy to my argument strategy and position. Don't dare call me a denier - I am a nobel skeptic just like say, Galileo. Can't you tell from my arguments?Also even if tuna overfishing was an actual problem the market would solve it on it's own. We should just actually increase tuna fishing because it will spur the market to come up with a solution like artificial fish grown in factories.Anyway the bottom line is we need iron cast 100% proof that tuna fish are actually declining (perhaps they are not) and that the decline is due to man, until we even think of doing anything about it. Until then the safest course of action is to increase tuna fishing. Fri 19 Mar 2010 23:11:31 GMT+1 Robert Lucien http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=40#comment33 #27 poitsplace I admit that I'm one of those alarmists but the whole point of raising the alarm is to get people to act. When we're talking about global scale problems the real danger is that most real solutions take at least twenty or thirty years to scale up to working potential. The whole problem with the environmental debate is that if we sit back and wait until things actually begin hitting the critical point it will be far to late to do anything. Calculations show that at some point in the near future population verses food will probably hit a tipping point and from there will very rapidly accelerate in a downward spiral until the human population crashes. The question after that is will the global ecosystem recover and will humanity survive, I would put it about 50-50 for either. As a futurist I am interested in 'teraforming' so what looks like disaster or the end of the world to most also looks like an interesting exciting opportunity from my seat - but someone has to pay for the ticket. (and its a 20 trillion pound entry fee) Fri 19 Mar 2010 22:41:56 GMT+1 He With An Awesome Name http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=39#comment32 Incredibly ironic isn't it?50 years of peace is trashing this planet more effectively than three millenia of war and conflict. Fri 19 Mar 2010 21:10:21 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=37#comment31 xtragrumpymike2 #31 wrote:"In any "Finite" environment (which Planet Earth is) as the "demand" increases (ie population growth) so the "supply" (in this case Tuna)... (or whatever) decreases."...At which point the demand decreases and the supply increases. So what's your problem?You seem to be worried about messing up some sort of pre-ordained plan, rather than considering the flexible -- and accomodating -- ups and downs of life. Fri 19 Mar 2010 21:06:16 GMT+1 xtragrumpymike2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=36#comment30 Re:-26. At 2:09pm on 19 Mar 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:"Reminds me of the Hitcher's Guide to the Galaxy line: Ford and Arthur are about to be shot out into space to die when Arthur says: "It is at times like this I wish I would have listened to my mother." Ford ask: What did she say?" Arthur replys: "I don't know, I didn't listen."So right..Ghost.....Nobody is Listening.In any "Finite" environment (which Planet Earth is) as the "demand" increases (ie population growth) so the "supply" (in this case Tuna)... (or whatever) decreases.There are those who believe that after we have trashed this planet thoroughly then there will be another "planet" in range for the "chosen ones" to run off to.Then we can begin trashing that one!This is NOT the Evolution that Darwin had in mind!Look at the Government decision making process.First we elect a representative. We don't chose an "expert" in any particular field. He/She is just a "representative".To make a Policy Decision, these representatives rely on the "expert" advisers.(In this case they say that the Tuna numbers are declining too fast). Governments then make decisions on that basis.But then comes along BIG (Commercial) Interest (these are not the little fishermen with little boats but BIG factory type ventures).These have powerful (I mean POWERFUL)influence. The end result is that the original decision made as a result of "expert" advice, becomes overturned. When there are insufficient Tuna to be commercially viable, they will then turn their attention to some other species, with similar results.Then there will be a time when there are no other species.Once again Arthur will say....."I don't know, I wasn't listening!" Fri 19 Mar 2010 20:21:24 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=35#comment29 Thanks to everyone who answered my question about fishing sea animals to extinction. I don't doubt that there must be a few.All the same, I think it's quite interesting to reflect that as a very loose "rule of thumb", if hunters "harvest" a particular kind of prey to the point where the prey starts to run out, the situation usually starts to correct itself.It might be because many hunters die of starvation, which means there are fewer of them and less demand for the prey, which enables the latter to recover their numbers. Or it might be because the prey are so hard to find that they are hardly worth looking for. Fri 19 Mar 2010 18:53:47 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=34#comment28 #23 Douglas wrote:"we're certainly responsible for causing the extinction of hundreds (probably thousands)of bird species."Good point -- the passenger pigeon in particular would surely have been able to find others of its own species unless they were very thinned out. Fri 19 Mar 2010 16:11:50 GMT+1 Douglas http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=32#comment27 #22 sensibleoldgrannie:Don't worry about your tinned tuna - Bluefin Tuna is far too valuable to be put in tins. What you should be looking for is Skipjack Tuna caught by pole-and-line (as opposed to purse-seine), if it doesn't say pole-and-line don't get it. Fri 19 Mar 2010 16:08:46 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=31#comment26 @andy765gtr #19 who sarcastically wrote..."NOT AGAIN! another SO CALLED 'science' scare story to 'prove' 'tuna' is 'declining'. this is just another big international conspiracy, conducted by every scientist in the world to 'impose' regulation and tax hard working fishermen. its 'all' just a stupid con."If you'd EVER bothered to check you'd find that most of the skeptics of climate change that post here are all for protecting the environment. Also, I don't believe I have heard any of the skeptics here question evolution or the holocaust. Most of us skeptics are even for cutting back on oil and coal as soon as it becomes feasible to do so. We're generally just for exercising caution all around.The approaches break down like this...alarmists seem to be the type that wants to stampede out of a theater yelling fire because they smelled burning popcorn. Skeptics want to walk out calmly to see what (if anything) is going on...and will likely get to enjoy the movie. The problems with overfishing and actual pollution (as opposed to CO2 emissions) are already upon us and things that obviously need to be dealt with pretty quickly.Now sit down, be quiet and eat your slightly burned popcorn...I'm trying to watch the film. Fri 19 Mar 2010 15:28:28 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=30#comment25 I think the process to this point is the same as the overall process regarding climate change. Warning after warning has been given. The tuna fisherman and their countries rejected the data and made the same types of claims. Rather than seek alternatives they have allowed the trade to continue and now cry that people will be put out of work and economies will be hurt. The obvious is that this will happen anyway if the fishing continues. As the effects of climate change become more apparent, and by that I mean to coutries that have some power, people will review the warnings and ask why people didn't listen. Reminds me of the Hitcher's Guide to the Galaxy line: Ford and Arthur are about to be shot out into space to die when Arthur says: "It is at times like this I wish I would have listened to my mother." Ford ask: What did she say?" Arthur replys: "I don't know, I didn't listen." Fri 19 Mar 2010 14:09:18 GMT+1 ExiledAlaskan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=29#comment24 As the only person commenting that knows what he's talking about (from a family of commercial salmon fishermen) humans are 100% capable of running a fishery into the ground, not necessarily to extinction, but to stocks so low that recovery becomes impossible within 100+ year timescales. In Alaska, one of the very, very few places in the world (along with Iceland, Norway, and that's about it) with stable, managed fisheries, we decided early on that effective quotas and science based regulation was not only doable but necessary. We catch over 200 million salmon per year and are proud of the fact that we will be doing that for centuries to come. Fri 19 Mar 2010 14:07:04 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=28#comment23 The only way to fix this is a worldwide moratorium. That gets round the share of the cake problem. But there is a second problem. CITES and organisations like ICCAT don't have the physical resources or the legal muscle to impose such a moratorium.Those fishing and trading bluefin tuna blame the gamekeepers for the problem at the same time that they undermine them. So we have to turn the problem round. We have to tell those fishing and trading bluefin that only they can save the bluefin.If they decide they want to fish them to oblivion well they'd have done that anyway. But if they are forced to make that choice in public with their customers watching then they may choose differently. Fri 19 Mar 2010 13:55:40 GMT+1 Douglas http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=26#comment22 #18 I'm also not aware of individual species that have been made extinxt due to over-fishing but I don't particularly fancy belonging to the generation that can claim to be the first for that particular distinction.I vaguely remember seeing programmes on the History channel about sea creatures being made extinct by hunting in the 1800s but I can't recall specific species (though I believe a type of seal was one of them). Water creatures tend to be made extinct through the effects of our industry such as pollution (eg. Yangtze river dolphin and Tecopa Pupfish).Although I agree it's easier to hunt on land your argument about fish having greater mobility could also be applied to birds in the air, and we're certainly responsible for causing the extinction of hundreds (probably thousands)of bird species. Google the fascinating story of the passenger pigeon, they flew in flocks of up to 2 billion birds that could stretch to 300 miles long, and when flying overhead they could block out the sun for hours at a time. Even knowing that the species was on the brink of extinction hunters still decided to wipe out a flock of 250,000 in 1896 leaving only tiny pockets of population which all eventually died as they were too small to sustain reproduction. They were much more abundant than the tuna ever was and yet they went from record numbers to complete extinction within about 150 years.The only way for a ban to be truly effective is to be backed up by military force. Fri 19 Mar 2010 13:47:52 GMT+1 sensiblegrannie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=25#comment21 post 16, 'Breeding like rabbits'If one looks at the global situation, one can see that humans are on the menu for a variety of voracious bugs that are circulating the planet at the moment. We are lunch for predators that cannot be seen by the naked eye, who also enjoy dining on creatures that we breed for eating, and will eventually have the ability to dodge the best medicines known to man.I am doing wrong when I buy a can of cheap tuna to feed my family? This is a question a caring family may well be asking at the moment. I suspect that the canned tuna in the shops has been kicking around for a very long time and re-packaged. However, the fresh tuna that is being caught at the moment is a cause for concern. I will never intentionally eat fresh tuna, nor any veal products, nor any force fed duck products, nor any creature products that I know to be cruelly bred or harvested to extinction. Could someone-in the-know, put up a list on this blog, of all of the, (what I call red list) foods that we should not be eating please. Fri 19 Mar 2010 13:26:28 GMT+1 thecynicalconservationist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=24#comment20 No. 18 bowman wrote:"but I wonder if human fishing has rendered any sea animals extinct"Steller's Sea Cow, Chinese River Dolphin and two spp of sawfish come immediately to mind. Fri 19 Mar 2010 13:20:04 GMT+1 Ed http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=23#comment19 > To actually make a species of sea creature extinct, humans would have to thin the individuals out to such an extent that they are unable to find others of the opposite sex. But at that degree of thinness, who's bothering to hunt?There are a number of problems with this theory. Most commercial fish are schooling species that congregate in large numbers in the best feeding grounds. With modern technology it is possible to locate and catch those fish very efficiently. They're not scattered randomly throughout the sea. So, one can reach the point where the last fish are still congregated in shoals big enough to catch. The survivors will again gather together etc so that it becomes possible to catch the vast majority of the fish out there. This is what happened to the Grand Banks cod fishery which was for centuries the most productive in the world. It was assumed that declining catches would warn of/prevent over fishing long before crisis point. What actually happened was that fishermen were able to catch large numbers of cod right up to the end; one year there still appeared to be plenty of cod and the next they had to crashed to the point that the fishery collapsed.You're right of course that it would be difficult to fish a fish type to absolute extinction. Fishing alone probably would be enough to kill every single last individual. However it is certainly possible to fish to commercial extinction (the point where there are so few as to be not worth trying to catch). The other thing we have learnt from the 1992 collapse of the Canadian Grand Banks cod fishery is that one cannot assume that fish stocks will recover in human-relevant time periods even if left alone. There are still a few cod on the Grand Banks but there has been no significant recovery over the past 18 years. Instead it appears that a new equilibrium has been reached, in which other creatures such as lobsters have replaced the cod. It is a mistake to think that things will always go back to their original state, as pushed too far they may settle in an entirely different position.Lastly, with such a sought-after species as bluefin tuna, which can sell for thousands and thousands of dollars per fish, market forces make things worse. The scarcer the tuna become the more expensive they get, which in turn increases the incentive to find and catch the remaining tuna.This is certainly a classic tragedy of the commons and you're right it is useless to blame the fishermen who behaving entirely rationally. It is the job of national governments to ensure that there are fish not just for today but for tomorrow too. After all, that is one of the reasons we have governments - to make decisions that cannot be made by individuals or smaller groups of people and planning for years ahead. Fri 19 Mar 2010 13:08:38 GMT+1 andy765gtr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=21#comment18 NOT AGAIN! another SO CALLED 'science' scare story to 'prove' 'tuna' is 'declining'. this is just another big international conspiracy, conducted by every scientist in the world to 'impose' regulation and tax hard working fishermen. its 'all' just a stupid con. obviously, scientists will only get grants if they tell politiacians what they want to here - that fish are declining. pah! those lefty enviro politicians and greens; the fact they dont do anything with the conspiracy - er, means something bad -im not sure what. anyway, its a popularly acceped fact that fish are limitless. they numbers are HUGE. how could their numbers 'possibly' be altered by just me and my boat. sharks obviously eat many more tuna than a few men in his tiny boats can catch - its a proven fact! my uncle, who is another fisherman, but also studied engineering or something, so he is 'totally' qualified to talk about population dynamics and the effects of 'predation' on large pelagic fishes, told me this. anyway, they can't prove anything till its happened. i think we should just carry on and wait and see what happens cos my livelyhood is at stake. ACTUALLY now ive thought about this for 2 hole minutes, i think we should INCREASE catches as fish are ABIOTIC anyway, and formed by god in the middle of the flat earth or something. anyway, i'll be dead before numbers of fish 'run out' so why do i care. Fri 19 Mar 2010 12:35:45 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=20#comment17 #14 stan wilson wrote:"the point is that when the bluefin tuna are gone"I don't mean to diminish the problem, but I wonder if human fishing has rendered any sea animals extinct -- as the word 'when' here supposes?That's a genune question, by the way: I don't know the answer. Maybe it's obvious and I've just forgotten!It seems to me that fishing is nowhere near as efficient a method of killing as land-hunting, and the mobility of fish is much greater than that of land animals. To actually make a species of sea creature extinct, humans would have to thin the individuals out to such an extent that they are unable to find others of the opposite sex. But at that degree of thinness, who's bothering to hunt? Fri 19 Mar 2010 11:43:08 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=19#comment16 #15 Robert Lucien wrote:"Hate to tell you #11 bowmanthebard but 'Greedy' is exactly the word that should be used. These are not small subsistence boats but huge commercial ships out to catch every fish they can"No one trying to make money is trying to lose money. It makes no difference whether we are talking about rich fishermen, middle-class fishermen, or lovable nut-brown ethnic peasant fishermen -- none of them will choose to throw money away.So the word 'greed' here is a petulant and impotent little stamp of the foot, which may say "I don't like it!" with greater emphasis, but does nothing to really address the problem. Fri 19 Mar 2010 11:36:52 GMT+1 jazbo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=18#comment15 If people focused their energy on the real issue for this planet - the fact we are breeding like rabbits, we could halt the rise of pollution, over fishing etc that goes with it. Focussing on a single issue (is it C02...isn't it) for example, is self-defeating.Whatever your side of the fence on a single debate, everyone can see the resources will run out as people keep insisting that it is their right to have more than 2 children.A global limit to 2 and then sterilisation is the answer of course, but that would be seen as unacceptable, where as taxing us into oblivion over an unproven theory is totally acceptable and worth fighting for.People will get what they deserve within 50 years, but it will not be from reaching a climate tipping point. Fri 19 Mar 2010 11:33:50 GMT+1 Robert Lucien http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=17#comment14 Hate to tell you #11 bowmanthebard but 'Greedy' is exactly the word that should be used. These are not small subsistence boats but huge commercial ships out to catch every fish they can, and those tuna are selling for thousands of dollars per fish, its the lucre thats driving the whole thing so hard.Sorry CITES isn't part of the UN but the these big international organizations are all pretty similar. They all depend on the votes of blocks of countries. As everyone probably knows this kind of democracy so often falls to the lowest common denominator - things like greed and short-termism always tend to win. Fri 19 Mar 2010 11:00:44 GMT+1 stan wilson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=15#comment13 the point is that when the bluefin tuna are gone there will be no more toargue about, so let japan and who ever eats them go without ,the world isfull of people, what do you do?we will live in another world in the future. without a lot of species gone. I see where the Japanese are trying to breed bluefin on a fish farm. Fri 19 Mar 2010 10:09:45 GMT+1 thecynicalconservationist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=14#comment12 this is a veritable tragedy.note for accuracy, CITES is not, to my knowledge, anything to do with the UN but is an international agreement to which parties - nation states - sign up. what goes on behind the scenes is atrocious, with nation states coercing, bribing or otherwise ensuring that other nation states vote for their interests. there will be many a land locked country that doesn't consume bluefin tuna that will have voted ... Fri 19 Mar 2010 10:05:59 GMT+1 blunderbunny http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=13#comment11 I'm with everyone else on the whole depressing thing, but poits, bowman and mango have a very valid set of points. As a movement, this was the sort of thing that we used to care about (and apparently still do, if we’re getting depressed about it) it was our "bread and butter" our "raison d'être". By concentrating on the just the single dodgy issue of AGW, ad nauseum, we’ve basically killed off the blue fin tuna. Thanks for that Chaps and Chapesses, I hope that you’re very happy with yourselves - Pats on the back all round.......... Fri 19 Mar 2010 09:56:02 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=12#comment10 #10 Robert Lucien wrote:"the band keeps on playing as the Titanic sinks and most of us seem to be just to stupid and greedy and self-serving to care."It isn't "hypocrisy", and it isn't "stupidity" if it's irrational to do otherwise, and it isn't "greedy" if the people involved are simply trying to do the best they can for their families, as almost everyone does. It isn't even "not caring", because everyone cares less about the distant future than about the near future -- again, it is irrational not to give different weightings to the near and distant future.You are closer to the truth with "self-serving", but it is "self-serving" in a trivial and unavoidable sense because no one ever acts otherwise. For example, the fishermen are "self-serving" in that they do what they themselves want, which is to provide for their families.Most of that is just calling people names, without trying to understand the motivational "mechanics" of the situation.If people want sustainable fishing, they had better convince the poiticians who represent them that they would support the use of force. Fri 19 Mar 2010 09:50:05 GMT+1 Robert Lucien http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=10#comment9 To describe this as depressing is more than an understatement. It will now be at least several years before any ban can be in place, this means its probably already to late for the tuna. To me the UN has failed just one to many times in this area and seems like a completely pointless organization. In this the world is/has been forced again and again to these completely useless neutral positions. And its not just the tuna, the same is happening on things like climate change that are going the same way, then what about really difficult questions like population control? The only answer that most environmental groups seem to have is trying to teach the ignorant and stupid to be more intelligent and less self-serving, but unfortunately they don't seem to be listening and the window for such teaching is rapidly closing. So what options does it leave anyone?, at the moment international law protects every pirate and thief on the ocean and that only leaves radical options. If we suspended international law we could use navel power to stop the tuna fleets, almost overnight. Maybe we would have a hope of solving some of the other problems to. Ugly but find me a better solution.To me doing nothing really is the worst option. Many years ago I did a rough comparison between the environmental impact of a total nuclear war and continuing peace and generally the war option becomes the greener option within about 5 to 20 years. At the moment we're fiddling on the edges, the band keeps on playing as the Titanic sinks and most of us seem to be just to stupid and greedy and self-serving to care. Fri 19 Mar 2010 09:18:48 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=9#comment8 Now this is one of those obvious environmental things. It doesn't matter who or what catches these fish...the bottom line is they can't take as much harvesting (natural or otherwise) as they're subjected to so SOMETHING has to stop...and that something has to be mankind since that's all we have any real control over.Unfortunately, the environmental groups have allowed no gray areas in their messages. All environmental concerns have been promoted as threats that must be dealt with immediately. They COULD have been complaining MOSTLY about the decline in fish populations, actual pollution and other more tangible concerns...but instead they latched on to CO2...something that is likely helping most ecosystems to cope with man's huge demands and which is produced to power things that make all our lives more enjoyable...not to mention longer and safer. Thanks guys. Fri 19 Mar 2010 09:13:15 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=8#comment7 bowmanthebard #1: "I wonder what makes a "conservation organisation" important?"Yorkurbantree #2: "Grow up bowman. There is more to life than semantics."I'm trying to draw your attention to the fact that actual political forces have powers sufficient to overrule the BBC's vision of a perfect world. There is much more to this than semantics. If Yorkurbantree et al think that we should act to curtain global warming, they have a seemingly insurmountable further problem to confront: the so-called "tragedy of the commons". This is what happens when a common grazing area is exploited to destruction because it is irrational for any individual shepherd to stop grazing his sheep there.I cannot stress that enough: it is IRRATIONAL for any individual to stop grazing his sheep there, despite the fact that it leads to total loss for everyone concerned.That is really what is happening with over-fishing, and will inevitably happen with fossil fuel use. If any individual fisherman stops fishing, it will be to his own loss and others' profit. There's the rub.There is hope: very occasionally, overfishing is successfully tackled, when individuals are forced to do things that are not in their own interest by higher powers (such as the military might of governments of individual nations rather than the UN). I think the hope of something similar happening with fossil fuel use is zero. (That doesn't worry me in the least, of course, as I think global warming would be a good thing, but alas I don't think it's happening!) Fri 19 Mar 2010 08:55:43 GMT+1 Richard Black (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=7#comment6 Karlita, the voting record should be published during the course of Friday and I'll check back in for it later.In the meantime you can find voting records from earlier in the meeting in the summary documents here. Fri 19 Mar 2010 08:46:10 GMT+1 MangoChutney http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=6#comment5 is it also hypocritical that environmentalists applaud one UN body, when that body supports the environmental cause and decry another UN body, when that body doesn't support the environmental cause? Surely both UN bodies will have investigated thoroughly and come to the correct decision or does it only work, when the decision is in your favour?this doesn't mean that i think over fishing is a good thing/Mango Fri 19 Mar 2010 08:11:13 GMT+1 Karlita http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=4#comment4 I don't know how other countries voted, but I do know that New Zealand voted against the CITES listing of bluefin tuna. Shocking but not surprising. The Ministry of Fisheries in NZ has recently proposed to up the NZ catch of southern bluefin tuna by 27%. This species, cousin to the mighty Atlantic bluefin, has been overfished to less than 5% of its original population and is listed by the IUCN as "critically endangered". The fact that our own stock is in an even worse state than the one being considered for CITES listing, and our government is trying to make a quick buck out of what's left, gives a pretty clear indication of their line of thinking in blocking a trade ban for bluefin. New Zealand is also joining Japan in seeking a compromise deal under the International Whaling Commission that could see commercial whaling legitimised for the first time in decades, and the government is attempting to open up our precious conservation land to mining. The New Zealand Prime Minister was quoted recently as saying commercial whaling "might be acceptable if it was acceptable to others" (http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/kaikoura/3458757/Whaling-could-damage-tourism). Not exactly the sort of behaviour you expect from the plucky little country at the end of the earth that declared itself nuclear free and proceeded to turn away warships from its harbours. This sell-out of our principles and identity makes me ashamed to be kiwi. Fri 19 Mar 2010 06:40:08 GMT+1 Esperance74 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=3#comment3 It seems, after Copenhagen and this, one of the key problems we face in making any substantial progress on global environmental issues, is the fragmented tribal nation state system. Despite having a global economy and globalised culture and technology (ie the Internet), we just cannot yet develop a global political perspective on key issues. Fundamentally we are fairly pathetic squabbling little tribes still. Maybe only a worsening global environment with increasing resource depletion can either force us to make the necessary changes in our behaviour or lead to the collapse of this civilisation (ghastly though that would be) and the chance over time to start from scratch - with any luck, they (whoever "they" are), would have our example in legend or myth to show them how NOT to do things. Fri 19 Mar 2010 01:28:18 GMT+1 TFitzG88 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=2#comment2 Depressing, but sadly expected. Out of interest, does anyone have a link to the full list of how nations voted?And what happens now? Another example with Atlantic bluefin tuna to follow the collapse of Newfoundland’s cod stocks? We just have to watch another species go extinct, and the world fish stocks continued decline? And by our collective lack of any effective action we allow it to happen, even if we don’t want it too.It seems that strong efforts to deal with the major world environmental problems of the last decades have almost consistently failed. Governments, industry and the public have often expressed the desire for greater environmental action, but when it comes to the choice for real action they have often instead put short term national, business and personal interests first. And so our environmental problems continue to get worse, and humanity's long term prosperity and positive future are threatened by an overstretched environment in many cases close to breaking point.I hate to have such a pessimistic view, but how on earth do we change this? If anyone has a good idea for a path to success, I’d be very glad to hear it. Fri 19 Mar 2010 00:35:55 GMT+1 Yorkurbantree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=1#comment1 Simply the most depressing thing i've read all weak. Respect for covering this, but I almost wish you had not.Grow up bowman. There is more to life than semantics. Thu 18 Mar 2010 22:36:11 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_frustration_of_conservatio.html?page=0#comment0 "backed by all of the important conservation organisations"I wonder what makes a "conservation organisation" important? Thu 18 Mar 2010 20:26:49 GMT+1