Salmon fishermen on the Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire coast again face a period of…
The Science of Sustainability
Scientists are doing a fantastic job in rubbishing the damaging exaggerations, distortions and selective use facts by some academics, NGOs and environmental journalists, writing about fishing.
A website set up last year provides a platform where the latest nonsense is coolly analysed and if necessary taken to bits, by experts in the field. The cfood website has rapidly established itself as the go-to place for a balanced, rigorous, scientific perspective when the latest outlandish claim about fishing appears in the media, or is published in an academic journal.
In recent posts on the website, confused assertions about unaccounted catch and exaggerated claims for marine protected areas have been tackled; and the case is also made for getting the balance right when assessing the environmental impact of fishing compared to other forms of food production.
It is telling that the scientific community itself has felt it necessary to set up this forum in which the flood of media distortions about fishing can be challenged by specialists who are deeply steeped in the data and methods of fisheries science. This is a rebalancing exercise after years in which superficial journalism, sometimes aided and abetted by agenda-driven but media-savvy NGOs, have presented a simplistic catastrophe narrative about fishing that is simply at odds with the facts.
Those minded to publish propaganda masquerading as science will know that in future their words will be scrutinised by specialists in the field and misleading exaggerations and distortions will be exposed in short order.
The cfood website is no apologist for overfishing or for minimising the environmental footprint of fishing. It is however, a place where rigour, evidence, and the proper application of the scientific method are valued and as such we welcome it wholeheartedly.