Attenborough issues plea to 'save our seas'

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Aurora
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Attenborough issues plea to 'save our seas'

Post by Aurora »

The Independent - 10/06/12

Sir David Attenborough, whose natural history films are considered among the best ever to be produced by British television, has joined a campaign urging the Government to protect the country's marine habitat and wildlife, arguing that "time is running out to save our fragile seas".

The 86-year-old presenter and former controller of BBC2 is asking the Government to immediately designate 127 marine conservation zones covering around 37,000 square kilometres of English and Welsh offshore waters, and almost 12 per cent of the sea bed, drawn up by consultation with more than a million stakeholders last year.

The list of zones was trumpeted as one of the country's most significant natural protection initiatives in decades, but conservationists are now accusing the Government of "dragging its feet" over their implementation, with month-long delays announced and indications that only a small proportion will initially be designated.

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emordnilap
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Post by emordnilap »

Too little, too late.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
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UndercoverElephant
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

emordnilap wrote:Too little, too late.
I'm tempted to agree with you, but it might not be in this case. Many marine organisms will recover quite quickly if they are given this sort of protection, because of their reproductive strategies. It should have been done years ago, not just to protect marine wildlife but also to help preserve fish stocks. The science is clear: if you designate areas as marine reserves, fish catches increase in neighbouring areas by more than enough to offset the territory the fishermen can't enter.
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Post by Little John »

emordnilap wrote:Too little, too late.
I listened to a natural history programme on Radio 4 the other week and it was a piece about how the world's oceans are reaching a tipping point where they could be pushed back to the pre-cambrian era and may end up being exclusively populated by species of jellyfish. The reason being twofold.

* Vertebrates are being hunted to dangerously small numbers.

* The consequent gap in the food chain has allowed jellyfish populations to explode over the last several decades

* Jellyfish have always predated on baby vertebrates. But, the previously relatively small numbers of jellyfish and previously relatively large numbers of vertebrates has meant that this predation did not have any marked effect on vertebrate numbers. However, because there are now so few vertebrates and so many jellyfish, their predation on baby vertebrates may be sufficiently high as to push the remaining populations of vertebrates to extinction.

You really couldn't make this shit up. I could barely believe what I was hearing.
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emordnilap
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Post by emordnilap »

UndercoverElephant wrote:
emordnilap wrote:Too little, too late.
I'm tempted to agree with you, but it might not be in this case. Many marine organisms will recover quite quickly if they are given this sort of protection, because of their reproductive strategies. It should have been done years ago, not just to protect marine wildlife but also to help preserve fish stocks. The science is clear: if you designate areas as marine reserves, fish catches increase in neighbouring areas by more than enough to offset the territory the fishermen can't enter.
I sincerely hope you're right. I sincerely hope that DA's aspirations win out. I agree, it will work.

We don't have a good track record though. As you know, jobs, growth, investment and protecting the 'rights' of of exploiters are considered more important than, umm, life.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
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UndercoverElephant
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

emordnilap wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
emordnilap wrote:Too little, too late.
I'm tempted to agree with you, but it might not be in this case. Many marine organisms will recover quite quickly if they are given this sort of protection, because of their reproductive strategies. It should have been done years ago, not just to protect marine wildlife but also to help preserve fish stocks. The science is clear: if you designate areas as marine reserves, fish catches increase in neighbouring areas by more than enough to offset the territory the fishermen can't enter.
I sincerely hope you're right. I sincerely hope that DA's aspirations win out. I agree, it will work.

We don't have a good track record though. As you know, jobs, growth, investment and protecting the 'rights' of of exploiters are considered more important than, umm, life.
Yes. But it actually makes economic sense to do this. Reducing the amount of territory people can fish in results in an increase in the total amount of fish they will catch. The problem is getting people to understand this and think longer-term than about 5 minutes. :(
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UndercoverElephant
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

stevecook172001 wrote:
emordnilap wrote:Too little, too late.
I listened to a natural history programme on Radio 4 the other week and it was a piece about how the world's oceans are reaching a tipping point where they could be pushed back to the pre-cambrian era and may end up being exclusively populated by species of jellyfish. The reason being twofold.

* Vertebrates are being hunted to dangerously small numbers.

* The consequent gap in the food chain has allowed jellyfish populations to explode over the last several decades

* Jellyfish have always predated on baby vertebrates. But, the previously relatively small numbers of jellyfish and previously relatively large numbers of vertebrates has meant that this predation did not have any marked effect on vertebrate numbers. However, because there are now so few vertebrates and so many jellyfish, their predation on baby vertebrates may be sufficiently high as to push the remaining populations of vertebrates to extinction.

You really couldn't make this shit up. I could barely believe what I was hearing.
We are also losing the species that really like to eat adult jellyfish, partly because people still insist on hunting for endangered turtles but mainly because those turtles end up eating plastic bags, which look very much like jellyfish. Then they starve to death because their insides are jammed up with plastic.
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Post by SleeperService »

Makes you wonder why the fisherman aren't paid to fish for rubbish in exchange for patrolling the exclusion zones?

Too simple perhaps :?
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Post by RenewableCandy »

Hey yes, paid for by a tax on "witches' knickers".

It will even mean "jobs".
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Post by the_lyniezian »

stevecook172001 wrote:
emordnilap wrote:Too little, too late.
I listened to a natural history programme on Radio 4 the other week and it was a piece about how the world's oceans are reaching a tipping point where they could be pushed back to the pre-cambrian era and may end up being exclusively populated by species of jellyfish. The reason being twofold.

* Vertebrates are being hunted to dangerously small numbers.

* The consequent gap in the food chain has allowed jellyfish populations to explode over the last several decades

* Jellyfish have always predated on baby vertebrates. But, the previously relatively small numbers of jellyfish and previously relatively large numbers of vertebrates has meant that this predation did not have any marked effect on vertebrate numbers. However, because there are now so few vertebrates and so many jellyfish, their predation on baby vertebrates may be sufficiently high as to push the remaining populations of vertebrates to extinction.

You really couldn't make this shit up. I could barely believe what I was hearing.
In which case, are there any edible species of jellyfish?

And would anyone want to eat them if they are?
Little John
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Post by Little John »

the_lyniezian wrote:
stevecook172001 wrote:
emordnilap wrote:Too little, too late.
I listened to a natural history programme on Radio 4 the other week and it was a piece about how the world's oceans are reaching a tipping point where they could be pushed back to the pre-cambrian era and may end up being exclusively populated by species of jellyfish. The reason being twofold.

* Vertebrates are being hunted to dangerously small numbers.

* The consequent gap in the food chain has allowed jellyfish populations to explode over the last several decades

* Jellyfish have always predated on baby vertebrates. But, the previously relatively small numbers of jellyfish and previously relatively large numbers of vertebrates has meant that this predation did not have any marked effect on vertebrate numbers. However, because there are now so few vertebrates and so many jellyfish, their predation on baby vertebrates may be sufficiently high as to push the remaining populations of vertebrates to extinction.

You really couldn't make this shit up. I could barely believe what I was hearing.
In which case, are there any edible species of jellyfish?

And would anyone want to eat them if they are?
Unfortunately, few are edible and those that are taste of bugger all, apparently
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emordnilap
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Post by emordnilap »

And would attempt to solve a problem by creating another.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

The Chinese have been processing jellyfish for human consumption since the 11th century. This processing is apparently quite complicated, and poorly researched scientifically. There is a commercial industry in semi-dried jellyfish in Asia. They are also used in chinese medicine, which should come as surprise to nobody...
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