How Well, and How Poorly, We Harvest Ocean Life
To hear some people tell it, the increasingly energetic and sophisticated fishing industry has left the worldâ€™s oceans a shambles, with species of cod, sharks, tuna and other fish hunted almost to extinction and vast stretches of the ocean floor wrecked by bottom-scraping trawlers. To hear some other people tell it, many depleted stocks are recovering nicely.
Ray Hilborn, a fisheries scientist at the University of Washington, wades into this disagreement in his new book, “Overfishing: What Everyone Needs to Know,” and comes out with a lucid explication of a highly tangled issue. Each argument, he concludes, has some truth on its side. â€œIt depends on where you look,â€ he writes. â€œYou can paint horror story after horror story if you want. You can paint success after success.â€