Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm Going to GERMANY!!!

YAY!!! my presentation just got accepted!!! I'm really happy, my second international talk is coming and possibly my first peer reviewed paper... :D

My presentation is called Could a different management approach recover the Japanese sardine stock from depletion? and I'm going to present it at the ICES/PICES/UNCOVER Symposium 2009 on Rebuilding Depleted Fish Stocks - Biology, Ecology, Social Science and Management Strategies which will take place in Rostock-Warnemünde, Germany in early November.

I promise I'll post some pictures.

Not writing blogs, writing thesis

I know I haven't been writing much, but lately I've been dedicating my time (almost) exclusively to my masters thesis. Things are going well although deadlines are now uncomfortably close so I guess I need to hurry up.

The title of my thesis is Exploring effective management strategies to recover the Japanese sardine stock from depletion, and it should be done by the end of this month (the deadline for the first draft is July 7th!!!).

I'll let you know how things go.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A nice blog about fish and fisheries

I know I'm a lousy blogger, I'm terrible at writing, I don't do it very often and never post pictures (ok, I do post some pictures, but they're not mine). Fortunately if you like fish, this is not the only blog around!

Check this one out, it has very nice pictures and stories, mostly about Norway but also from a few other places. The blog is called A fish blog.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

The ironies of sustainability

I'm sure all of you have heard that eating fish is good for your health, that the omega-3 fatty acids are quite important for brain development and prevention of coronary disease, that expecting mothers are not eating enough fish and several other concerns on nutrition and public health (check this for an example). These claims are not just the 'popular knowledge' advices you'll get from grandma', there is an extense and well documented share of evidence on the subject (look at this paper published in JAMA) so it might be a wise move for you to belive it and start consuming more fish... not much of a problem, right? just change that steak or chicken breast for some tasty salmon or some juicy mackerel once in a while and you'll improve your health just by adjusting your eating habits a little bit. Things apparently work so well that it's been recommended that people in developing countries should double or even triple their fish intakes.

So, where's the catch? well, it just happens that not everyone agrees about fish oils being as nice as I just portrayed them and potential risks have been frequently listed (mercury poisoning is one of the most famous ones). Anyway, even if there are risks around the potential benefits seem to outweight them and so eating more fish still seems pretty reasonable.

"Ok, no problem then" you may say, but let's see this problem from an entirely different perspective. How many times have you heard about 'ovefishing'? (if you're reading this I guess the answer would be something like "once every two paragraphs") I think it is pretty obvious where I want to get: If we are already running out of fish and most management recommendations involve reducing catches (one way or the other) then WHERE THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO GET ALL THE FISH WE NEED? a very good question for which I have no good answer, but that's what a very interesting analysis by Dr. David Jenkins et al. published in CMAJ last month is about. Please, check it out here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Politically incorrect joke

Ok, I'm not writing as often as I wanted to, but I can make you laugh. I found this somewhere in Facebook and thought it was pretty funny.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

So it's wrong if the Japanese fish them, but it's ok if our sonars kill them?

I just found out today about this. In another wonderful display of double standards, the USA Supreme Court reversed a decision by a federal district court in California in which certain restrictions were applied to the use of sonar during military exericises. You also read the last word, right? Exercises!!! They are using sonars in a way that could harm or even cause death of several marine mammals, and they are doing it for nothing? well, exercises may be important, but are they so important that may allow the Navy to go against environmental laws? I don't think so, as does Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

What is funny here is that the U.S. has been against commercial whaling since the moratorium of 1986, and has even certified Japan 3 times under the Pelly amendment. I wonder if deaths due to scientific whaling (I won't get into this debate yet) are wrong, but when they happen for "national security reasons" it's fine. Of course, there was the usual declaration of "there is no evidence...", but there is well documented evidence of deaths related to sonars for at least for one species (beaked whales), like this report says. Sonars were also supects for the death of ~400 dolphins in the coast of east Africa, and the stranding of 35 whales in North Carolina, although it was not possible to link the deaths to the sonar in the last case.

This might not be directly related to what I said I was going to talk about, but I thought I could mention it as an example on how important the environment really is for governments.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On resources tenure and stuff...

Last time I talked about the sad story of open access fisheries and said that I would do this one about resource tenure. However I'm feeling lazy now so I'll leave it for another time.

Update: Here's a small wiki entry on the subject. That should last while I write about this.