Most of my giggles have been the irrational kind but it’s nice to see that the “we’ll tune Science for pay” phenomenon isn’t localized to the US or an election year …
While us Californian’s dicker over whether Striped Bass are the root of all evil, and while federal scientists determine whether the Delta should be sucked or flushed southward, our esteemed pals across the pond are enduring their fair share of neo-science for hire.
To wit, a scientist aligned with the farmed fishing industry claims us anglers have simply killed too many wild salmon, in the process removing too much genetic diversity from the population, and therefore a kind of “genetic drift” has lead to an indolent population of fish that prefer Twinkies and energy drinks. *
“We, at Callander McDowell, think that…the loss of genetic material rather than being the result of one big accident has been the repeated loss of genetic material from the rivers over the last 150 years and possibly even longer. This loss is due to the rise in recreational angling for salmon, whereby anglers take home their catch. Each fish kept and consumed is one more part of the genetic jigsaw that has gone missing. Even in recent years, the loss to the gene pool continues despite attempts to stop it through the introduction of Catch and Release.”
The core of the issue being how escaped farmed salmon can interbreed with native stocks and weaken the population with their test tube genetics. As in the US and Canada, numerous ills have been blamed on escaped fish and their ability to interbreed, despite the industries efforts to contain their slippery crop.
Recent information on hatchery fish and their effect on wild populations would suggest that the progeny of fish that thrive in a concrete canal where pellets of food are shoveled in their direction, might not survive very well in the wild.
Hatchery fish themselves could be having an impact, too: recent studies have found genetic and behavioral differences in hatchery-born and wild salmonids. Hybrid offspring of hatchery and wild fish may have a lower chance of surviving and reproducing than purely wild offspring do.
– via the NY Times
Most anglers would acknowledge our collective sporting carnage. We’ve enjoyed driving great distances to scenic venues so we can kill many millions of fish. The fishing industry has taken it a bit further with large nets and electronics, and what they didn’t get has been doomed by the rest of us and toxic runoff from industry, cities, and attachment to fossil fuels.
I’d think moderates and liberals would have as much trepidation about believing Science as conservatives, given how much of it that makes the papers has been bought and paid for …
* I get to add some knee jerk half assed flavor of science too …