Daniel Pauly just pointed me toward a story that will compete with Deer Meat Sushi as the Shifting Baselines story of the year. The Sunday Times ran A Trimmer Gun to Spear Smaller Fry about how there is finally a speargun sold in the U.S. to hunt smaller fish. Americans are known for hunting big fish (because we had some) with bulky spearguns. But lately there seems to be a growing vogue among American speardivers for smaller fish like croakers and snappers (decide for yourself whether it’s because the fish are getting smaller).
The new line of spearguns–called the Euro Series– is fashioned after those used in the Mediterranean (that sea of abundance). The spearguns are being sold in Miami and Hawaii. Daniel said he thought smaller flippers might have been a better idea than a sleeker speargun, that way some of the deeper fish would have a better chance of recovering. And then he pointed out that there is no recognition of the shifting baseline in the article, which only solidifies the sleeker speargun in what he describes as our “collective amnesia”.