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Conservation Philosophies of the ISA


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So much to cover here...

 

First. The "appeal" to fishers is a specific stance. It isn't possible to legislate morality. A fine or a law can curb but cannot stop behaviors that harm fisheries. Effective conservation depends on moral choices by individuals.

 

Second. "Limit" impact. Fishing will always create some environmental effects. The hope here is to conciously minimize them.

 

Third. This philosophy is aimed at "natural populations". More about this later. Conservation should be directed first at native populations of fish. The genetic diversity and potential for co-adaptation is much greater among those fish.

 

Fourth. "Safe, healthy and stable..." All populations fluctuate. All populations are dynamically stable at best. This philosophy doesn't mandate no effect, but it mandates a minimal effect. Science views the term "health" with a bit of skepticism for ecosystems, but there are specific meanings that can be applied. Healthy populations have the following traits:

 

a. Genetically diverse. Populations are not so small or isolated that inbreeding is an issue.

 

b. Locally adapted. Whatever genetic history a population has at a specific site has been retained and not diluted by outbreeding.

 

c. Resilent. Reproduction and recovery from disturbance is possible and likely.

 

d. Persistent. The population can continue indefinitely.

 

5. "Science." Everyone is an expert on sex, religion and fishing. Not. Depend on data and careful analysis independently of ego.

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