The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 47.0°F | Mostly Cloudy

World Briefs II

Worldwide Fish Supply Is Dwindling


An international team of marine scientists warned Thursday that serious, long-term damage is being done to the world's fisheries.

Worldwide, they said, stocks of the most valuable fish such as cod, haddock and snapper are being depleted, forcing fishermen to pursue less desirable species such as menhaden. And now even the numbers of less desirable fish are declining.

What needs to be done, soon, they said, is to establish large fish sanctuaries - protected no-fishing zones in the sea - where the normal balance of fish and prey remains undisturbed.

Such sanctuaries would resemble national parks and within them not even sport fishing would be allowed. Protected in the sanctuaries, they added, would be the large fish such as tuna, swordfish, cod and other long-lived species that are prized in commercial and sport fisheries.

The problem has arisen because at sea, "everywhere it is a free-for-all," said Daniel Pauly, a fisheries scientist at the University of British Columbia in Canada. And when the big fish become scarce, fishermen retool to go after less desirable species that the big fish need for food. "We fish them (the big fish) directly, reducing the spawning stock, and we are also catching their prey," Pauly said.

This means that fishermen are reaching further down the food chain, going from valuable fish to secondary fish, and even down to the "trash fish" that were once discarded.

As a result, "the fisheries, as we manage them now, are not sustainable," and the need for change is urgent, Pauly said.

Giuliani Tries to Stop Pooh d'Etat

Los Angeles Times

Winnie-the-Pooh sat in his climate-controlled glass case Thursday, his face frozen in a quizzical frown aimed directly at the mayor of New York. It was easy to imagine the toy bear uttering his famous "Bother! What shall I do?"

In recent weeks, Gwyneth Dunwoody, a member of the British Parliament, spotted the bear and his little stuffed friends at New York's Donnell Library and decided they "look very unhappy indeed." So, she announced a campaign to bring Pooh and his pals back to their native England, where as toys for the son of author A.A. Milne they inspired some of the world's best-loved children's books in the 1920s.

"I think we're going to keep him here for a while, keep him safe," countered Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who arrived at Pooh's case with a ready statement for the cameras and an appeasing jar of honey for Pooh.

"This is to show his friends in England that he's being fed well, and he enjoys New York cuisine," Giuliani told a crowd of kindergarten students, journalists and library officials huddled around the 78-year-old bear.