Billion-Dollar Fish: The Untold Story of Alaska Pollock by Kevin M. Bailey
By Kevin M. Bailey
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Extra info for Billion-Dollar Fish: The Untold Story of Alaska Pollock
Fishing is like a treasure hunt. You put your gear in the water to see what you will catch. Sometimes the gamble pays oﬀ big. ²¹ Our concept of limits to the ocean’s resources is undergoing a revolution. Management of natural ﬁsheries is under increasing scrutiny. A few short years ago, harvests from the ocean were considered boundless. Now even the industry points out that they are not. As recently as the 1970s, the harvests from the sea were still considered as having nearly unlimited potential.
By the 1970s, great cycles of changing ocean conditions, as well as shorter term ﬂuctuations, and their impacts on ﬁsheries were beginning to be recognized. ³³ In the early 1970s, dramatic changes in ocean conditions occurred oﬀ the coast of South America, there was a strong El Niño, and the devastating collapse of the world’s largest ﬁshery, the harvest of Peruvian anchoveta, became famous. Development of Fisheries Management in the United States In 1871 the US Congress established the US Fish Commission to address industry conﬂicts.
Is was the status of our knowledge of the production of the ocean and the role of ﬁsheries science as the pollock ﬁshery launched and developed from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. e US government and, indeed, many other governments were enthusiastically pushing ocean ﬁsheries as a way to feed an increasing population on the planet. Although there were naysayers to the policy of unbounded ﬁsheries, and at least the potential to overﬁsh popular coastal species was well known, the prevailing view was that the ocean’s resources were prac- 44 / chapter 2 tically unlimited.