Too few fish in the sea mate change legislation to reduce green-
house gas emissions.
benefits. We’ve harvested fish and ex-
tracted oil. We’ve hidden away our waste
Carl Safina’s review of how traditional All of these activities affect the ocean and pollution, pumping or dumping it
fisheries management strategies have and its inhabitants, and all of these offshore and out of sight. But the ocean’s
failed both the fish and the fishermen activities affect one another. As we bounty isn’t infinite, nor is its capacity
is right on target, as are his recom- begin to move toward more integrated to absorb our refuse. The time has
mendations for new management strate- systems for managing fisheries, we finally come for us to recognize these
gies (“A Future for U.S. Fisheries,” Issues, must recognize the broader ocean and truths and take action: We must learn
Summer 2009). But I encourage all of global ecosystem—including humans— to use the ocean in a sustainable way.
us who think about the ocean to expand and integrate it as well. The ocean is the single largest nat-
our thinking: Fishing isn’t the only Toward that end, I have been work- ural resource on the planet and is crit-
activity that affects fish, and the National ing for nearly a decade in Congress on ical to the habitability of our planet.
Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) isn’t a piece of legislation: Oceans-21. It It’s not just our fisheries that are at
the only agency with jurisdiction over establishes a national ocean policy for risk, but our very future.
the ocean. the United States. It creates a gover- REP. SAM FARR
Traditional fisheries management nance system based on the notion that Democrat of California
has focused explicitly on fish, with the multiagency approach we currently Co-chair of the House Oceans Caucus
plans addressing single species or groups employ must be streamlined so we can
of similar species. Traditional governance continue to enjoy the many benefits
of resources has similarly focused on the ocean provides us. Food for all
individual resources, ceding manage- For too long we have reaped those In “Abolishing Hunger” (Issues, Summer
ment of different resources to different 2009), Ismail Serageldin presents a
agencies: fish to NMFS, oil to the Min- cohesive argument for action to abol-
erals Management Service, navigation ish hunger while ensuring sustainable
to the Coast Guard. But increasingly, management of natural resources. I
science is showing us that these seem- agree with the action he proposes, but
ingly disparate resources are delicately I am concerned that such act