Fishing industry takes PBS to task for misleading promotion

In a letter to Paula A. Kerger, President and CEO of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) which is attached and pasted below, the Seafood Coalition pointed out the inappropriateness of a publicly funded network using glaring distortions to hype an upcoming PBS miniseries. From the letter, “researcher Jeremy Jackson indicted by implication every U.S. fisherman – recreational, commercial, or party/charter – and the federal fisheries management system that we are and have been heavily invested in making the best in the world since the passage of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976.” Read the letter here  An Interview with Jeremy Jackson, Renowned Oceanographer  PBS Trailer Click Here 19:49 photo credit 19:55

4 Responses to Fishing industry takes PBS to task for misleading promotion

  1. DickyG says:

    Thanks to Nils for writing this rebuttal of these ridiculous statements by Jeremy Jackson; and PBS’s complete lack of journalistic responsibility for screening them. Although I happened to catch the PBS presentation, at the time I chose to not respond for mental health reasons; but Nils warmed me up so here’s my contribution to the discussion:

    It seems Jeremy Jackson’s initial claim to academic fame is his theory of “Punctuated Equilibrium Evolution” which states that “…when significant evolutionary change occurs, the theory proposes that it is generally restricted to rare and rapid (on a geologic time scale) events of branching speciation, rather than one species gradually transforming into another.”

    (Thanks to Wikipedia)

    And, if you prefer, in Jackson’s own jargonesque words: See “Tempo and mode of speciation in the sea” by Jeremy B.C. Jackson and Alan H. Cheetham

    This “punctuated equilibrium” idea puts Jackson squarely in the
    Daniel Pauly camp of “feeding down the food chain”. Pauly’s claim that all the large predator fish are gone due to some catastrophic human intervention (fishing) nicely fits Jackson’s theory of “Punctuated Equilibrium”, that punctuations (namely overfishing
    is the “punctuation” in the otherwise smooth and healthy evolutionary process) often decide species branching rather than the equilibrium of a gradual natural selection evolutionary process.

    This is the incredible case that Jackson makes on the PBS program with a series of sportfishing photos (of different species from different decades) indicating the tragic disappearance of the “Goliath Grouper”—a punctuation in the evolutionary equilibrium of this fish .

    Pauly in a 2001 paper titled “Fish Stocks”, in the Encyclopedia
    of Biodiversity, claims that bone harpoons found at a 90,000 year old archeological site in Zaire, Africa were he claimed a clear indication that: “Tellingly the main species that was targeted [by the overfishing residents of the Middle Stone Age 90K years ago] appears to have been a now extinct, very large freshwater catfish.” “This pattern of fisheries exterminating the stocks upon which they originally relied, then moving on to other species is now understood to be common.” (pp. 808 and 809 in “Fish Stocks”

    So this idea of Jackson’s’ and Pauly’s, and Myers and Worm, and
    if Hardin was around he’d claim it a clear example of a “Tragedy of the Neanderthal Commons”, that “…all the big fish have been eaten”, as it was presented in the PBS episode of “Wild Earth”, is simply maneuvering around common intellectual decency in order to push the anti-fishing political agenda.

    It is Jackson feeding down the “Ersatz Scientific Theory Food
    Chain” in order to advertise his current ocean devolution monogram thesis…“The Rise of Slime”.

  2. Joel Hovanesian says:

    Thank you Nils.
    And the beat down goes on. Just one more example of yet another PHD who knows everything. And where does this wonderful objective genius get his funding? I just wonder…..

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