Fisheries. What a clusterf@%*.
I don’t know about you, but we think it’s time for something fresh.
Why you started to pay attention to fisheries, I don’t know. Maybe you’re an angler, an ocean lover, someone who loves seafood. Maybe you make your living on a boat. Maybe you’re a glutton for punishment. Whoever you are, it probably hasn’t escaped you that fisheries management brings out the crazy in people.
On one hand, there’s the “everybody stop—don’t touch that fish” crowd—like PETA and their sea kittens. Um, what? Nothing against legitimate animal rights, but millions of Americans rely on wild ocean fisheries for food, recreation and a way of life. And for a billion people around the world, fish is their primary source of protein. You can’t just slap a cartoon headband on a fish and tell those people good luck.
And then there’s the “it’s my fundamental human right to hunt down the last fish in the ocean” crowd. Never mind the science, the history of chronic overfishing, the ecosystem damage and the fact that their children and future generations will have nothing left to fish but jellies. This fringe element has a here-and-now, screw the future mentality. “Look! A fish! There must be countless more where that came from!” Too bad it isn’t that simple either.
But here’s the thing: it isn’t that simple on either side. Despite the black-and-white mentality of the extremes—which often grab the headlines—there are plenty of shades of gray. Fifty perhaps? When it comes to fisheries, more like a million.
But we know that the diversity of perspectives in the fisheries world can be harnessed for powerful impact. We know it, because we’ve done it. The Marine Fish Conservation Network was formed as an “unholy alliance” of recreational anglers, commercial fishers, and environmentalists united in their passion to save wild ocean fisheries. And that passion has produced victory after victory. We don’t see obstacles, we see challenges. And we overcome those challenges by tapping into the amazing number of people around the nation who are working to conserve our fisheries. That’s a big tent, and we work with almost everybody. Just not the wackos.
We’ve set up FishHQ: The Blog because we think there’s a lot more to fisheries than meets the eye. Fisheries matter—but they don’t always get the attention they deserve. And when they do, it’s almost invariably either dumbed down or wonkified.
We’re hoping we can offer a different perspective. Because at heart, fisheries is all about the people who care about fish. And that’s actually really interesting.
So check in often for news, opinions, and a fresh perspective on the world of fisheries. We don’t claim to have all the answers, but we’ll sure do our best to keep things interesting.