Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Connecticut's Lobster Take Rises For First Time Since 1999 Die-Off

Connecticut lobstermen working Long Island Sound landed 714,000 pounds of lobster last year, up from 647,000 pounds in 2004, the Greenwich Time reports. That’s the first increase since the big 1999 die-off. In 1998, the catch was 3.7 million pounds but I bet you’d have a hard time finding a lobster biologist or fisheries manager who doesn’t think that was overfishing.

The article makes a couple of dubious points that it’s only fair to point out. The reporter quotes a local lobsterman thus:

"Greenwich is a hot spot. Used to be anyway, but there's no more fish. Everything is polluted. There's raw sewage in the water, garbage. It's terrible. Nobody cares in the town of Greenwich about water.”

It’s true that there are no more fish during the depths of summer, when hypoxia is at its worst, but there are plenty of fish the rest of the year. And nobody is dumping raw sewage into the waters around Greenwich. I’m of the opinion that just because somebody said it, a reporter is not obligated to use it in the paper if it’s demonstrably wrong.

He also writes:

Seven years ago, a massive die-off, whose causes experts still debate, devastated the Long Island Sound's lobster population.

But how much debate is actually going on? Lobstermen claim that pesticides had something to do with it. Almost everyone else disagrees, and thinks it was a combination of factors. Claiming that there’s a debate over the cause is almost like claiming that there’s a debate over global warming. There’s the scientific consensus and those who agree with it, and there are those who don’t. That’s not a debate. It’s a (largely irrational) disagreement.



Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker