Musings: Fish story

Continued ...

That is Dr. Boris Worm, a biologist at Dalhousie University. I first encountered him from a headline that read something like "Fish Stocks In Danger, Says Worm."

The current context is a nice 2-page story in Science. It involves a controversy, and some scientific progress. The controversy is between two views of fish. One, represented by Worm, emphasizes the overall ecosystem and conservation. The other, represented here by Dr Ray Hilborn, of the University of Washington, emphasizes fish as a resource -- as a food supply for us. Apparently the two of them took to sniping at each other, in the media (and sometimes in the scientific literature). Now they collaborate. For example, as a key first step they are working on developing better databases, with data that they agree on as reliable. They may have different approaches to interpreting the data, but at least it would be nice if they agreed on the data. And in this field -- and many issues of resources -- frankly the data is not very good.

I think many of you will enjoy browsing this short, well-written item. Fish is an important resource in many places. Further, the fish story is an example of other issues of limited resources. And the article is a nice story about science at its best: constructive collaboration -- and vigorous debate -- between people with different backgrounds and views.

The article: Global Fisheries: Detente in the Fisheries War. (Science 324:170, April 10, 2009.)

More about fish conservation: Tracking illegal fish (June 15, 2012).

Return to this topic on main page (June 4, 2009).

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