Scientific American Article Explores Catch Data Controversy

A recent study by Trevor Branch and colleagues asserted that the decline in the mean trophic index is no longer present in the global catch data. But does it really cast doubt on the depletion of big ocean species?

In an article published today at Scientific American, journalist Mike Orcutt explores how best to measure commercial fishing’s impact on ocean biodiversity. He discusses the findings of Brach et al. in light of the new study quantifying fisheries expansion. Orcutt reports:

Pauly says the new PLoS One paper “completely invalidates” Branch’s Nature paper because the authors failed to account for the spatial expansion described in the former. As fisheries move offshore, he says, they first target large fish high on the food web—just as they did closer to shore. “Hence, moving offshore will mask inshore declines in mean trophic levels.”

Read the full article here.

Photo: Tiny fish caught by a trawler off of Hong Kong by Stanley Shea/BLOOM.

2009 Magazine Coverage

2008 Magazine Coverage

2007 Magazine Coverage

2006 Magazine Coverage

2005 Magazine Coverage

  • December 31: New Scientist: “ Europe again ignores scientists’ advice on fish” by Debora MacKenzie
  • December: Greek Fishing News:Daniel Pauly and Aristotle University” by D. Bobori and K. Stergiou
  • November 07: New Scientist: “Marauders continue to plunder the oceans” by Emma Young and James Randerson
  • October: Hellenic Fishing News: “ The 3rd mini FishBase symposium” by K. Stergiou and D. Bobori
  • October: Hellenic Fishing News: “ The 6th annual FishBase consortium meeting” by K. Stergiou, D. Bobori, and A. Tsikliras
  • July 25:  Regional co-operation makes economic sense
  • June 23: Nature: “Bill on deep-sea fish farms brings wave of disapproval” by Rex Dalton
  • May 5: Seafood Intelligence: “Economic report looks at BC sablefish farming
  • May 5: Intrafish: “Study says farmed sablefish not economically, ecologically viable in British Columbia
  • April 15: Science: “Toward Ecosystems Oceanography” by Philippe Cury
  • February 03: Nature:”Rebuilding Fisheries will add to Asia’s problems” by Daniel Pauly
  • 2004 Magazine Coverage

    2003 Magazine Coverage

  • November 21: Conservation in Practice: “The emerging shape of the global fisheries crisis” by Reg Watson, Adrian Kitchingman and Daniel Pauly.
  • November 21: Science: “The Future for Fisheries” by Daniel Pauly, Jackie Alder, Elena Bennett, Villy Christensen, Peter Tyedmers, and Reg Watson
  • November 10: UBC Reports: “Scientific American Names Director of UBC’s Fisheries Centre a World Leader in Research
  • November 3: Maclean’s: “The Empty Seas: It’s time to stop devouring the most overfished and worst-managed seafoods” by John Demont
  • October 29: Environmental Entrepreneurs Update: “San Francisco EcoSalon on Oceans: Depleting the Bountiful Sea” and “Boston EcoSalon: “Oceans: A National Treasure at Risk
  • October: Fisheries: “Quebec wrap-up: Parlez-vous poissons?
  • September 11: Nature: “Net losses: Overfishing in the north Atlantic Ocean has left fish stocks in peril” by John Shepherd
  • August 11: National Geographic: ““Dirty Fishing” Emptying Oceans, Experts Say” by Sharon Guynup
  • August 19-15: The Economist: “A new way to feed the world
  • July 26: Science News: “Catch News: What can be done as marine ecosystems face a deepening crisis?” by Ben Harder
  • July 14: L’Unita: “Plancton e meduse, il cibo del futuro” by Daniel Pauly
  • July 12: Scientific American: “Genetic Analysis Revises Tally of Past Whale Populations”
  • July 12: Weekend Australia: “Scaling Down” by Creg Callaghan p. 8
  • July: Scientific American: “Counting the Last Fish” by Daniel Pauly and Reg Watson
  • June 5: Nature: “Panel calls for sea change to fisheries policy” by Virginia Gewin
  • May 14: New Scientist: “Ocean’s great fish all but gone” by Bob Holmes
  • March 6: UBC Reports: “Scientist Predicts Ocean Fisheries Disaster” by Hilary Thomson
  • February 20: The Economist: “Turtle Power
  • January 25: Scientific American: “Deep Crisis: Fishy Figures
  • January: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment: “EU fisheries policy under fire” by Tina Adler
  • January: Science & Vie: “Le sort de la pêche dans les filets des statistiques” by Marie-Laure Moinet
  • Unknown: Ekonom: “Jak zachránit rybárství
  • Unknown: Expreso: “Salvar los Peces del Mundo” by Daniel Pauly
  • Unknown: Morgenbladet: “Redd verdens fiskebestander” by Daniel Pauly
  • 2002 Magazine Coverage

    2001 Magazine Coverage

    December 10: US News & World Report: “All the fish in China” by Thomas Hayden

    December 6: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development: “New Study Reveals Underreporting Of Fish Catch Decline

    December 1: New Scientist: “Fish out of water” by Mark Schrope

    December 1: Science News: “Fishy data hid decline in global catchDecember 1: University of New Hampshire Alumnus News: “UNH dean suspects China’s inflated catches mask overfishing

    November 29: Economist: “Fishy figures” by Natasha Loder

    November 29: Nature: “Global fisheries: Stock taking

    November 29: Nature: “Catch figures fishy” by Helen Pearson