Worm goes fish­ing

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Who wasn’t alarmed upon hear­ing two weeks ago that our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren won’t be able to or­der sword­fish and lob­ster off the menu be­cause the world’s fish­eries are go­ing to col­lapse by 2048?

It seems man’s glut­tony for seafood has led to an over­har­vest­ing of the world’s wa­ters. Or has it?

The Wash­ing­ton-based Cen­ter for Con­sumer Free­dom (CCF), in a re­sponse head­lined “Worm goes fish­ing,” charges that the study’s lead au­thor, Cana­dian sci­en­tist Boris Worm, was“trolling”for­me­di­ahy­pe­whenhe is­sued the fol­low­ing scary state­ment:

“Whether­welooke­dat­tide­pool­sor stud­ies over the en­tire world’s ocean, we saw the same pic­ture emerg­ing. I was shocked and dis­turbed by how con­sis­tent­the­se­trend­sare—be­yond any­thing we sus­pected.”

Hold your sea horses. And don’t be stock­ing up on sar­dines, ei­ther.

“The fish-ex­tinc­tion bomb­shell ap­pears to be more about at­tract­ing at­ten­tion and pres­tige than ob­jec­tive truth-seek­ing,” coun­ters the CCF. “Case in point: Worm ac­ci­den­tally sent a note meant for his col­leagues to the Seat­tle Times, in which he wrote that the scary pre­dic­tion could act as a ‘news hook to get peo­ple’s at­ten­tion.’ ”

That said, the CCF has been busy com­pil­ing re­ac­tion from “no­table fish­eries ex­perts” crit­i­cal of the study,in­clud­ingUniver­si­ty­ofBri­tish Columbia pro­fes­sor Kyle Wa­ters, who re­port­edly told Na­tional Pub­lic Ra­dio that the find­ings are “ex­tremely mis­lead­ing” and “wrong.”

Then there’s Ray Hil­born, a pro­fes­so­ro­faquat­i­can­d­fish­ery­sciences attheUniver­si­ty­ofWash­ing­ton,who la­beledMr.Worm’spre­dic­tions“just mind-bog­gling stupid.”

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