Sunday, April 21, 2013

Can't bounce back

We all know that fish stocks in many cases are declining, in some cases drastically.  On the other, somewhat better hand, things like marine reserves and well-managed (strongly enforced) fisheries have in many times resulted in the recovery of some fisheries.

The problem is - sometimes nature doesn't cooperate.  Sometimes the balance of reproduction and replacement and predation has been so disrupted by the low population numbers that the cycles of nature cannot be reestablished.   And that may be the case with the North Atlantic cod.

Some fish species, including cod, may never bounce back: study

"But when you don't take action rapidly ... not only does it result in a much longer potential recovery time, but the uncertainty as to whether recovery will happen at all increases exponentially," said Jeff Hutchings, a professor of biology at Dalhousie University and one of the authors of the study.

Hutchings said that may explain why cod hasn't bounced back more than 20 years after Ottawa declared a moratorium on the commercial cod fishery, a once thriving Atlantic Canadian industry.
"Here we are two decades after enormous depletion of cod stocks ... and people are still wondering about the prospects of recovery," said Hutchings.

"Our study really suggests that recovery is quite unlikely now for cod because of our failure to act when we could have."
Words to remember as we face overfishing around the world.

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