12/23/11

Green tape

Continuing with the focus on eye catching headlines.  I love this one from Australia about barriers to expanding domestic prawn production.

“Green tape”. This is a great label for restrictive environmental regulations.  I wonder why it is not more widely used.  This example of restrictions on the growth of aquaculture:

In one example, Ms Jenkins said a prawn farmer had been waiting 13 years for an approval, held up by regulations preventing discharge of farm effluent, while a mining company was dumping 85,000 megalitres a day nearby.

If true, is an example of the double standard that exists between activities permitted by existing vs emerging users of resources.

 

*image modified from here

12/21/11

Don’t fishermen use public resources for private gain?

© Copyright David Baird and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons LicenceIt is not a surprise to find a group of local fishermen questioning the merits of leasing public  waters for aquaculture.  Nevertheless, not all aquaculture ventures are created equal.  Some, including the proposed experimental kelp farm proposed for Casco Bay in Maine can have  a beneficial impact on the environment.

Some of the quotes in the article fail the logic test.  In particular, the rational that this lease should be opposed because it is a “sale  of public land for private monetary gain.  This is a dangerous argument for fishermen to make.  Maine Lobstermen benefit from numerous rules and regulations designed to protect Lobster (a public resource) so that a small group of individuals can them for private gain.

This is not really an argument between leaving resources open for public use vs limiting public access for private gains.  It is a conflict between competing  private uses for a public resource.

I do not know enough to take sides in this case, but given support from the conservation law foundation and other details from the article, it appears that the prospective kelp farmers have chosen an appropriate site and are planning to grow a product with commercial value.  A product that will also provide environmental benefit in the form of nutrient removal and habitat creation.

Photo © Copyright David Baird and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

12/20/11

Don’t make stuff up

People say the darndest things.  Take this alarmist article about AquaBounty GMO salmon:

…approval for its highly-allergenic AquAdvantage Frankenfish without so much as a shred of independent, legitimate scientific evidence proving that the imitation fish is safe for humans and the environment…

Approving AquAdvantage Salmon is controversial, but its risk as an allergen is not a major issues.  The fish has been tested for its allergenic potential. For this anti-GMO site to call the salmon “highly-allergenic” in the same sentence where they bemoan lack of evidence for the safety of the fish is the height of hypocrisy.

If you oppose making this fish commercially available, state your case.  But please don’t make stuff up.  It ruins your credibility.

 

 

Photo credit: © Copyright Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.