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 The First Fisheries Crisis Was Reported by the New York Times in 1874

Nils E. Stolpe

FishNet USA - October 9, 2007

Another Neverending Story (this one minus the flying dragon)

Technological innovations and the demise of fisheries

Is it really overfishing caused by increased harvesting efficiency?

Or is it just "my fishing is nicer than your fishing"

There go the fisheries, again and again

The sky was falling in the North Atlantic swordfish fishery in the late eighties

An original idea is so hard to find

The difference between then and now


The Oil Slick

National Public Radio (NPR) has faithfully reported on every anti-fishing issue, complete with the appropriate one-sided spin, since Doom and Gloom in the Oceans was turned into a environmentalist cause over a decade back. In the most recent assault (New Report Fuels Confusion About Women, Fish, All Things Considered, 10/04/07) Allison Aubrey reported "a group called the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition is urging pregnant women and new mothers to eat more seafood. It's a message that women have heard before. But the coalition's recommendations conflict with official public health advice. It urges women to eat at least 12 ounces of seafood per week, which is stirring a lot of controversy." She continued that the controversy is due to the fact that there is an apparent conflict of interest at work. "During the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies news conference, the moderator, Elizabeth Jordan, was asked how the organization is funded. She acknowledged that the group has received funding from the National Fisheries Institute - an industry group that promotes seafood. 'We actually received a $60,000 educational grant,' Jordan said. 'That money is put forth to create a microsite for the information presented here today.' Jordan said a Web site will be used to help inform consumers."

Ms. Aubrey then quotes Caroline Smith DeWaal, from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), "it's very troubling that the National Fisheries Institute is essentially paying for a public health message." Looking at the funding sources on the CSPI website (, we find this a somewhat puzzling position for the spokesperson of an organization with a reported annual budget of $17 million a year, much of it from foundation grants, to warn the public of supposed dietary threats.

However, our puzzlement over the CSPI attitude pales in comparison to Ms. Aubrey's and, we assume, National Public Radio's, failure to note that various Public Broadcasting recipients have received in the neighborhood of $10 million, and NPR just over $4 million, from the Pew Charitable Trusts. This fact seems to have been overlooked in any NPR reporting we're familiar with that is focused on the myriad supposed evils of seafood harvesting, but we can't help thinking it might be critically important to listeners attempting to put NPR's reporting of the latest Pew-sponsored research into its proper context.