Shifting Baselines

Jennifer L. Jacquet

Shifting Cinema?

A.O. Scott had a nice piece in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine on The Screening of America. In spite of all the technological advances, he believes the cinema is far from finished: What will happen, in the age of iPod, DVR, VOD, YouTube and BitTorrent, to the experience of moviegoing, to say nothing of…

A Gelatinous Gift Idea

Christmas is around the bend and the oceans have one gift that keeps on giving: jellyfish. If you’re inspired by these ever-increasing medusas (they seem to be on the rise even on land) and you already have the jellyfish moodlamp like me (thanks, sister), here is a relevant gift idea: jellyfish glass.

In his New York Times article, A Seafood Snob Ponders the Future of Fish, Mark Bittman laments the bygone days of “fishermen unloading boxes of flounder at the funky Fulton Fish Market” and seems annoyed at the fact most most fish on the menus these days are farmed. He should be. For one, the fishmeal…

I really like plaid. But I am not a hipster. I wish I were because then I would have more photographs of myself and would ride a nice bicycle. I think it is a partial combination of growing up in the Midwest and my love for higher education that has rendered me a mere observer…

You know I appreciate a lot of the work Greenpeace does in the seafood market (for instance, chiding retailers and sabotaging seafood expos). This week, they’ve done it again. Greenpeace erected ‘crime scenes’ at 8 Loblaw grocery stores in Toronto with the message “caught red-handed selling Redlist fish.” The following day, according to Intrafish news…

Shifting Seas

My local paper, The Vancouver Sun, ran a great 5-part series on the oceans this week written by Larry Pynn titled Shifting Seas. Part One gives an overview of fishing (both past and present) on the British Columbia coast. Part Two is all about the B.C. trawl fishery and their movement to buy and sell…

The New York Times ran an excellent profile of naturalist and local Vancouver legend Alexandra Morton. She has spent her life studying orcas and salmon near the Broughton Archipelago off the coast of British Columbia. But over the last decades, her attention was forced toward fish farms and sea lice, which threaten the future of…

“A new global deal on climate change will come too late to save most of the world’s coral reefs…major ecological damage to the oceans is now inevitable.” This according to The Guardian, which reports the finding of a new study in Geophysical Research Letters. The authors of the study found that the risk posed by…

Last week, a smack of moon jellies jammed the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant off the California coast. The rise of slime and the closure of power plants. Just another shifting baseline.

The mislabeling and renaming of fish is a problem. It means that consumers are often paying more than they should for their seafood. Plus, it impedes the consumer’s ability to make environmentally or health conscious choices. I also really like the twin problems of renaming and mislabeling because they are unconventional sources of signs of…