Will climate change bring SOYLENT GREEN?

On a day when a "London summit tackles the world food shortage" follows a weekend of food riots; the following news reminds me of a classic sci-fi flick: Soylent Green.

Science newsletter received today:

Monday April 21, 2008

Norway may halt salmon fishing season

OSLO, Norway (UPI) — Norwegian wildlife management officials said stocks of wild salmon have dropped so low they may have to halt the salmon fishing season.

The newspaper Aftenposten said strict quotas and restrictions from Norway’s Directorate for Nature Management may not be enough to solve the problem. The decline in wild salmon stocks is blamed on climate changes that alter the composition of the food chain, acid rain and farmed fish escaping into natural waters.

The newspaper said the record low number of small salmon last year could mean a bad year in 2008 for medium-sized salmon, which affects spawning.  

Aftenposten said wild salmon fishing attracts wealthy visitors who pay large sums to lease fishing rights.

Then I recalled a news item from last week and found the following on Yahoo! News

By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP, Associated Press Writer

Fri Apr 11, 5:36 PM ET
SEATAC, Wash. – West Coast fisheries managers voted Thursday to cancel all commercial salmon fishing off the California and Oregon coasts this year.
     The Pacific Fishery Management Council decided to allow limited recreational fishing of coho salmon on holiday weekends off the Oregon coast, but no recreational fishing off California after several members of the panel argued that every salmon counts.

Scientists and government officials are expecting this year’s West Coast salmon season to be one of the worst in history, because of the collapse of Sacramento River chinook, one of the West Coast’s biggest wild salmon runs.

Although commercial salmon fishing off the Washington coast is scheduled to begin May 1, fisheries managers do not predict a good season off either the north or south Pacific coasts.

"For the entire West Coast, this is the worst in history," Don McIsaac, executive director of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, said before several close votes led to the fisheries plan for 2008.

The immediate economic loss will be felt by many worldwide as will the loss of a source of food, but the long term effect brings to mind Charlton Heston in one of his finest roles crying out at the end of the movie: "Soylent Green is p-e-o-p-le!!!!"  (see video here)

About ItheMissingLink

Retired longshoreman at the Port of Seattle. US Navy veteran 9 patrol FBM nuclear submarines; married 29 years
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