21 August 2013

Cod, cod everywhere #nlpoli

John Furlong left some big shoes to fill over at CBC’s Fisheries Broadcast.

As it turn out, the Mother Corp’s head shed found a replacement who is guaranteed to make them hire a cobbler pretty damn quick to make the shoes a few sizes bigger.

Jamie Baker will be familiar to any of you who followed his early career at the old Independent, then the Telegram, or his more recent work at The Navigator

He’s also been doing as blog over at the TelegramJamie’s last effort at the Tely was a post about how there’s basically no market for cod any more.  Some of you will likely find that bizarre but it is true.

Contrast that with the situation Jamie describes in his new gig at the Ceeb:  halibut pulls in $3.75 a pound compared to 50 cents a pound for cod.  The problem is that the quota for halibut is at one level and the stocks have exploded to the point where  the rules force fishermen to dump thousands of dollars of halibut back in the ocean.

Jamie explains why that is happening:
Decisions are currently made using what you often hear referred to as "the precautionary approach,” which basically means following something closer to the worst-case scenario instead of the best. For the most part, the precautionary approach is one that works pretty well. 
But that approach is mostly geared to ensure fish stocks don't decline, and to deal with issues that arise when they do decline. 
It's not really set up to deal with sudden fish stock explosions, like we are reportedly seeing in halibut.
Fisheries management has never been easy and certainly it has never been as simple as the bullshit artists like Rick Bouzan and Gus Etchegary have made it out to be.

So check Jamie out both in his cod post and in his new gig at the CBC Fisheries Broadcast, weekdays at 5:30 PM  (Radio One, 640 AM).

While you’re at it, check out a curious piece by Susan Flanagan that turned up at the Telly a couple of weekends ago.  There’s a lovely picture of Susan’s husband with a massive female cod that caught during the recent recreational cod fishery.  For all those people who wonder why the cod stocks haven’t come back can only look at pictures like this one.  Big, old, female cod are the ones that produce millions of offspring.  Kill one and you basically make it that much harder for the stock to recover. 

How many big females come out of the water each year during this damn-fool fishery promoted by the bullshit artists?


* edited to make the shoes metaphor clearer.