Monster Seminar JAM - Thirty Years of Trying to Understand the Strait of Georgia
Dr. Dick Beamish, Pacific Biological Station, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Field studies are a slow, costly and sometimes frustrating way of discovering how fish attempt to optimize their abundance in a changing environment. Add in the need to assess the impact of fishing, pollution and perhaps global warming and it is apparent that a substantial commitment must be made by individuals, organizations, and governments if we are to consider ourselves to be stewards of our environment.
The Strait of Georgia has been in the center of the development of British Columbia. Canadian West coast fisheries started in the Strait of Georgia. We overfished Pacific herring but they are now at historic high levels. We fished spiny dogfish as hard as possible because they were worth some money and we did not like them. Despite 11 subsidized programs to eradicate dogfish they survived. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars enhancing coho and Chinook fisheries because we believed there was unused carrying capacity in the ocean only to find that they are now at historic low abundances while pink and chum salmon are at historic high levels of abundance. There are a lot of stories like these.
Over 30 years, our studies put a few of the puzzle pieces together sometimes using a little force. I will talk about what we think regulates salmon abundance and Pacific hake and herring abundance, the role of spiny dogfish, what happened to lingcod and why I like lamprey. However, I will spend more time talking about the key relationships that we are not able to understand.
Seattle Yacht Club
1807 East Hamlin Street
Date and Time:
November 30, 2006,
11:00 am - 12:30 pm