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being a "Good Mariner" has a different meaning for SewWeb spokesteam
members or the Times' editorial staff???
According to SeaWeb spokesperson and Audobon Living Oceans Program Director Carl Safina, Ph.D. "Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Lines, being good mariners, have announced that they will deftly steer clear of swordfish; they've canceled 20 tons of orders." (Fish Market Mutiny, New York Times, April, 14, 1998)
"A U.S. judge Wednesday ordered Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, the world's second largest cruise line, to pay a $1 million fine for dumping oily bilge waste into the ocean and lying about it, a U.S. prosecutor said.
The penalty was part of a plea-bargain agreement reached in June that will see the company pay a total of $9 million, the largest pollution fines ever assessed against a cruise company, for dumping oil into Caribbean and Atlantic waters, Asst. U.S. Attorney Tom Watts-Fitzgerald said." (from a Reuters release posted on InfoBeat on September 16, 1998)
"Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. , the world's second-largest cruise line, was ordered Wednesday to pay $8 million for dumping oil and lying to the U.S. Coast Guard about it, the Justice Department said. The sentencing in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was in addition to a $1 million fine levied in a Miami court last month. The two court cases were part of an overall plea bargain by Royal Caribbean that involves five years of monitoring the line's environmental conduct. Royal Caribbean pleaded guilty in June to eight felony counts in a pretrial agreement with prosecutors on cases brought in Puerto Rico and Florida. The Justice Department said even after that pact there were new violations in July involving tampering with oil limiting sensors and false statements in an oil log book aboard Royal Caribbean's Nordic Empress cruise ship. The cruise line said it had reported the July incident to the government itself after an employee noticed two engineers tampering with the equipment." (from a Reuters release posted on InfoBeat on October 14, 1998)
But then again, maybe a "Good Mariner" is known by the causes he or she supports ???
From a press release by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. circulated by PR Newswire on Thursday October 1, 1998: "In the two years since its launch, The Ocean Fund now has donated $1,382,000 on behalf of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises to 22 organizations working to protect the marine environment....Previous recipients have included The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society’s Living Oceans program and EarthWatch Institute" (for the full release )
Considering the phenomenal growth in popularity of ocean cruises - and the explosion in the construction of 1000 foot long liners carrying 3,000 guests and 1,000 crew - we wonder what the environmental impacts of these floating behemouths are on the fragile tropical reef ecosystems that Royal Caribbean seems so intent on protecting.
|While Ms. Rimel might understand
Jack McDavid's point, she isn't letting it stand in the way of the multi-billion
dollar Pew Charitable Trusts' assault on the U.S. swordfish fishermen who
are fishing in accordance with international and federal regulations.
Proprietor Jack McDavid is perhaps the nation's most outspoken opponent of an effort underway by an organization called SeaWeb, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, to get chefs to drop swordfish from their menus.
"I saw it coming," he says of the "Give the Swordfish a Break!" campaign. "In fact, I smelled it coming . . . and it smelled fishy."
He contends that the campaign won't save any swordfish and could hurt his friends, "the boys who bring in the fish."
Says Rebecca Rimel, president of Pew, whose offices are a few blocks south of McDavid's restaurant: "I understand his point." from Steadying the scales of justice deep in the waters of controversy - Our appetite for correctness may filet a vulnerable livelihood (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 14 August, 1998, Op-Ed Page) by David Boldt .
the New York Times isn't immune from spinning information to reflect the
prevailing "doom and gloom" view of fisheries
|Pretending it's so probably
lets Gareth Porter, the author of the study, sleep a little more soundly....
if all three were Ph.D.s. the fish could have gotten measured properly
"We were trolling on a Sunday afternoon," Mr. Safina said. "It was rough and crowded. I had two guys on the deck - one is a Ph.D., one is going to be - and a ruler, and a fish. I said to myself, 'Do I need to leave the wheel to check the fish?' We were pulled over by the Coast Guard. They found the short fish. I turned to David and said, 'How could this happen?'" from AN INCH THAT MEANT A LOT by Russell Drumm in the East Hampton (NY) Star
|The fishermen find the practice
as repugnant as Dr. Safina does, but, in spite of the fact that none of
them (that we know of) are Ph.D.s, they are trying to do something positive
to end it.
It was the Flipper phenomenon that was responsible, in part, for having slowed the last vestiges of whaling. But beginning in about 1988, the sorrow spread to the lowly fish, a major source of protein to half the world. Thus began a strange and zealous time.
It began in the United States, where, for one thing, fish as food to be hankered after has always been a relatively foreign concept, except on the coasts. A ranking member of the National Marine Fisheries Service once tried to explain the Flipper Phenomenon by theorizing that all peoples live with, in fact need, a shared guilt that defines their culture. Former empires like Spain, Germany, and Japan have a history of conquest, genocide, and conquest-lost to look back upon. For them, fish come guilt-free.
Americans, according to his view, have never lost an empire per se, but spend their regret on the loss of their once-rich natural resources. All we've got to remember is a huge pile of buffalo skins somewhere is the way he put it. What he meant, I think, is we've killed more buffalo than Sioux so our guilt naturally flows toward animals.
In any case, Flipperholics appear to be created when ordinary persons catch a glimpse of the huge and growing human appetite and the abatoir of corresponding size, through a crack in their society's homey kitchen door. That is, when they sense there are too many of us. Ultimately they begin bleeding comisery for sacrificed fish...."
He says unless the trend is reversed, coho salmon will become extinct.
Fraser adds it's not just Canadian fish, it seems the whole life system of the world's oceans is coming apart environmentally.
And Fraser says the problems aren't being made up by Greenpeace.
He says political rhetoric is putting the best spin on the world's environmental troubles.
Broadcast News (CKWX) February 16, 1998 VANCOUVER
From A SeaWeb website background article World’s Imperiled Fish by Carl Safina originally published in Scientific American “...and bag-shaped trawl nets large enough to engulf twelve Boeing 747 jetliners.” 
From a U.N. “Backgrounder” for Earth Summit +5 - Special Session of the General Assembly to review and appraise the implementation of Agenda 21; The Agreement on High Seas Fishing - An Update: “The most notorious nonselective equipment includes nets large enough to envelop twelve 747 airliners” 
From Vacuuming The Seas by Dick Russell in the July/August 1996 E/The Environmental Magazine: “At sea 200 miles southwest of Iceland last summer, the crew of a super-trawler big enough to contain a dozen Boeing 747 jumbo jets.... Each ship was trawling nets with opening circumferences of almost two miles; that's the equivalent of 10 New York City blocks wide by two Empire State Buildings high.” 
From Dr. Sylvia Earle’s preface to the National Resource Defense Council’s February, 1997 report Hook, Line and Sinking, the crisis in marine fisheries: “...trawlers large enough to contain several 747 aircraft....”
From The Vegetarian Winter 1994/95 on the Animal Rights Resource Web site: “Fishermen use some dastardly tricks to catch their pound of flesh. Legal drift nets are an incredible 2.5 kilometres in length, large enough to trap 12 Boeing 747 jets, but fishing boats are often suspected of using even bigger nets.” 
From the Chicago Tribune on January 27, 1998 in an article by Joshua Reichert of the Pew Charitable Trusts "...huge factory trawlers that use environmentally destructive fishing technologies. Among these technologies are giant nets with mouths large enough to swallow several 747 jumbo jets...." (Thanks to Tana McHale by way of Teresa Platt for this addition to our 747 sightings list)
For example, most boney fishes lay from tens or hundreds of thousands to millions of eggs every year. In no species does the survival of these eggs to adulthood reach anything approaching 00.0001%. The immature fish killed as bycatch aren't at all likely to become your dinner, some sportsman's trophy or the mothers or fathers of the next generation. Further, fish that are killed incidentally aren't wasted any more than a small fish that dies of "natural" causes is wasted, but immediately become food for other sea creatures - fish, shellfish, turtles and marine mammals.
Or from another perspective, the area of the Gulf of Mexico is 619,000 square miles, almost 400 million acres. Mr. Leech's 16 billion sound like an awful lot of fish, even without his vivid lunar imagery. But, considering the entire Gulf of Mexico, that's an average of 40 fish per acre, a figure that doesn't seem quite as dramatic as 16 billion does. And the economic impact of the shrimp fishery they are "casualities" of is far from trivial. Quoting from the United Nation's FAO websight  "In 1994 the total shrimp catch from the region (FAO Statistical Area 31) was over 160,000 t. Of this, and including aquaculture, the USA accounted for over 100,000 t. Other major producers included Mexico (23,000 t)...." Figure out what those 240 million pounds of shrimp are worth to the economy of the Gulf states and of Mexico and take into consideration the fact that if those 100,000 tons of shrimp weren't produced domestically they would be imported, adding a couple of billion dollars to our trade deficit [for a discussion of the impact of seafood production on our balance of trade].
|According to the National
Marine Fisheries Service (in a 1996 report), in 1993 86% of stocks of known
status were considered fully or overutilized. According to the same agency
(in a 1997 report), in 1997 35% of stocks of known status were considered
to be at or approaching the overfished condition.
“Based on the criteria specified in the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Report on the Status of Fisheries finds that 86 species are listed as overfished, 183 species are listed as not overfished, and 10 species are considered to be approaching an overfished condition; for 448 species, the status relative to overfishing is unknown. From the Report on Status of Fisheries and Identification of Overfished Stocks  that the National Marine Fisheries Service submitted to Congress in 1997.
These quotes illustrate one of the most confusing aspects of fisheries management today. The same agency that reported the year before last that 86% of the fish stocks they had adequate information on were being fished at or beyond their level of full utilization. However, only a year later the same agency indicated in a report to Congress that only 35% of the species it had adequate information about were at or approaching the overfished level. Looking at these two statements, how can we determine 1) the overall "health" of our fisheries, or 2) the performance of the National Marine Fisheries Service. It appears as if both are improving significantly, yet we hear nothing from either the agency or any other organizations involved in "saving our fisheries" in support of this seemingly obvious conclusion.
The dead zone, researchers say, is emblematic of the growing ills suffered by the planet's seas. Earlier this month, hundreds of scientists, marking 1998 as the international Year of the Ocean, warned that unless action is taken, overfishing, coastal development, and pollution will multiply the kinds of problems that already plague the gulf." From A 'Dead Zone' Grows in the Gulf of Mexico by Carol Kaesuk Yoon in the January 20, 1998 New York Times.
[ to the full article]