Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

LSU researchers challenge analyses on sustainability of Gulf fisheries

20.02.2008
Article demonstrates problems inherent in taking data out of context

Louisiana’s coastal fisheries produce approximately 25 percent of the total catch by weight in the lower 48 states (www.americaswetland.com). With such a substantial portion of the nation’s economy dependant on the state of these waters – particularly the Gulf of Mexico region – it comes as no surprise that these fisheries are heavily monitored and scrutinized by researchers across the globe. While some recent studies claim that the ecosystem is near collapse, researchers from LSU and the University of Washington say that fish populations in this area have actually fluctuated very little in the past 50 years.

James Cowan, professor in LSU’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, along with first author Kim DeMutsert, an LSU graduate student in Cowan’s research group, recently published a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, or PNAS, taking issue with these articles. Their research was funded by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries with Sport Fish Restoration dollars provided through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Federal Assistance Program.

“There is concern among the fisheries science community that some high profile papers in top-tier journals are promoting advocacy at the expense of defensible science,” said Cowan. “More importantly, there is risk that continually ‘crying wolf’ will eventually numb people to real threats against sustainable use of important natural resources such as wild fisheries. ”

Because of the potential impact such a collapse would have on the country, it inevitably made big news when not one but two high-publicity articles were published in recent years claiming that the fisheries ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico were on the brink of disaster.

The first article, by Maria Palomares and Daniel Pauly, implies that food webs and fisheries ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic south of Chesapeake Bay are badly degraded due to over exploitation and face almost certain collapse. The other, a piece by Boris Worm and 13 other authors, concludes that all of the worlds capture fisheries will be depleted by the year 2048.

DeMutsert, Cowan and their coauthors contend that these findings are misleading because they were calculated without considering the context within which these data were collected. The Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem is heavily influenced by the Mississippi River and its huge outflow there, which makes it a unique and highly productive environment supporting the fifth largest fishery by value and second largest by weight in the entire country.

“These researchers simply didn’t look at the nature of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and the populations of fish found there,” said Cowan. He and DeMutsert looked at more than 40 years worth of landings and monitoring data, taking into context the particulars of the Gulf environment, and saw little to no change in the health or organization of its food web.

James Cowan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lsu.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Surface clean-up technology won't solve ocean plastic problem
04.08.2020 | University of Exeter

nachricht Improving the monitoring of ship emissions
03.08.2020 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare Earth Elements in Norwegian Fjords?

06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life

06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

06.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>