Shifting Baselines

Jennifer L. Jacquet

Catfish: Lackluster No More

Say hello to delecata, a high grade specially filleted piece of North American farmed catfish. This new name was created with hopes of boosting the profile and profits of a struggling industry. In The New York Times Magazine, Paul Greenberg tells the story of U.S. southern fish farmers competing in a global marketplace and a…

Et Tu Pollock?

Pollock, the poster child for sustainable fishing, appears to be on the brink of collapse. I have more on the state of Bering Sea pollock fishery in my guest post at the Gristmill…

Mislabeled Fish

In 1992, Consumer Reports published an article titled, “The label said Snapper, the lab said baloney”. Fifteen years later, the mislabeling of red snapper is, if anything, more widespread. A 2004 study in Nature showed 75 percent of red snapper sold in the U.S. is some other fish. Menus offer up red snapper despite that…

Updates, Updates, Updates

A lowdown of what’s happening with the oceans and the people that care about them: 1) Dr. Jeremy Jackson delivers a lecture on the Brave New Ocean tonight at Harvey Mudd College. 2) Oceana is again running their Freakiest Fish contest. Check out their site and vote for your favorite freak fish. Currently the vampire…

Today in Barcelona, Dr. Daniel Pauly, who, among other things, is the brain behind the term ‘shifting baselines’, was awarded the Ramon Margelef prize in ecology.

I recently bought a new wooden toilet seat at Target for five dollars. Five dollars! It wasn’t even on sale and I thought to myself, “What a steal!” I should have known that was probably, literally the case. My toilet seat was probably illegally logged in Russia. In this week’s issue of The New Yorker,…

The latest video from Randy Olson’s Shifting Baselines Ocean Media Project is here and highlights the differences between two sailors’ experiences: one describing his voyage in 1958 and one (the leader of the junk raft expedition) describing the exact same voyage but 50 years later. You can probably discern from the video title that the…

Smithsonian: New Ocean Exhibit

The New York TImes reviewed the new Sant Ocean Hall, which opened this weekend at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The new exhibit on the oceans is the largest renovation in the museum’s century-long history and it sounds and looks promising. I wonder what the child’s perspective is on it…

How Jellies Got Their Sting

With jellies on the rise and overlapping with more and more people, it is good to know how they got their sting. According to some new research, it seems ancestor jellies might have gotten their defense capabilities from a bacterium via horizontal gene transfer. Read more at Nature.

For those of you who watched the first Presidential debate last night, you know that the state of the U.S. economy was the first and central topic discussed by Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. You also might have heard Senator John McCain, in his first few minutes of answering the question on what…