Walter Starck's Blog
Walter Starck has a PhD in marine science including post-graduate training and professional experience in fisheries biology.
His reef experience includes some 50 years of fishing and diving on coral reefs including those in the eastern, western and central Pacific areas as well as the Indian Ocean and tropical western Atlantic region.
Please direct all letters to:
or by post to:Baird Publications
Suite 3, 20 Cato Street
Hawthorn East Victoria 3123
Letters may be published online or in one or more of Baird Maritime or Ausmarine magazine.
|Green Slime: Our biggest environmental threat - Page 2 - Toxic green slime of lies|
|Tuesday, 19 May 2009 13:21|
Page 2 of 3
Toxic green slime of lies
The greatest environmental threat we face does not come from primary production but from environmentalism itself. This toxic green slime of delusions, distortions, exaggerations and outright lies being propagated in the name of “saving” the environment is a threat to the economy, the food supply, basic rights, the democratic process and indeed our entire way of life. This is not just hyperbole. Here are just a few examples:
1. A small but lucrative trap fishery of six boats fishing an area of over 200,000km2 on the Northwest Shelf is suffering ongoing restrictions on effort because of purported concerns about overfishing. However, catches have remained excellent, and at present levels of permitted effort, it would take over 1,000 years to fish the entire area just one time.
Moreover, video cameras on traps clearly show that only a small portion of fish around a trap are caught by it. These six boats are restricted to a total catch of under 1,000 tonnes annually. Thailand, which is our largest source of seafood imports, has a smaller total shelf area than this fishery. It also has 60,000 fishing boats and for many years has sustained a catch of about 2.5 million tonnes.
Still, office-bound bureaucrats based a thousand miles away have managed to concoct a fantasy of overfishing. In the 19 years they have “managed” this resource these “managers” have never once gone out on a boat to actually see what they are “managing”. This is management by remote control using an unverified “model” which bears no resemblance to the obvious reality.
The average catch per trap is over 20 times larger than the model says even exists. The utter impossibility of catching fish that don't exist or of overfishing an area when 99.9 percent of it isn’t fished at all, simply does not compute in brains clogged with eco-bullshit.
2. Drought-stricken farmers in the Murray-Darling are having to pay tens of thousands of dollars each year to retain rights for water which they have not received for three years. In financial desperation, more and more are having to sell their rights at discount prices to the only buyer in a depressed market, the government.
The plan is to use this water for so-called environmental flows to “restore” a condition that never existed naturally. This exercise in national self-abuse is permanently removing some of our most productive agricultural land from future use and “restoring” it to desert aridity.
3. Tree clearing prohibitions are turning large areas of productive grazing country supporting diverse wildlife into unproductive, low biodiversity, scrub forest dominated by a few eucalypt species producing only fuel for future intense fires. Clearing restrictions are likewise forcing rural residents to allow encroaching tree growth to create a potential fire bomb around their homes awaiting only an inevitable ignition to devastate their lives.
4. Aquaculture is the fastest growing sector in world food production. For the past three decades, global production has increased by over 1,200 percent with an average compound growth of around nine percent per annum.
Australia, with some 60,000km of mostly uninhabited coastline well suited for aquaculture, a benign climate and unpolluted waters, clearly has vast potential, yet development of the industry is now declining after a weak start.
A comparison of Australian aquaculture production with that of a sampling of other nations is instructive. Thailand and Vietnam each have only about one-eighth of Australia’s coastline; but both have around 30 times greater aquaculture production than Australia. The EU has over 40 times greater. Even New Zealand has over double Australia’s production.
Although the small size of Australia’s industry has been attributed to higher cost structure there is obviously something more to it than this. Certainly Australian costs for land, labour, equipment, energy and feedstock are at no disadvantage to Canada, France, Japan, Norway, the UK, or the US. Yet all have hugely greater aquaculture industries.
The real reason is only one thing: over regulation. Despite the world’s best natural conditions for it, aquaculture in Australia has been strangled at birth by an impossible morass of regulations. It is only these regulatory demands which impose multi-fold greater expenses, delays and uncertainties than anywhere else.
Apart from a few exceptions that became well established before regulation made new operations uneconomic, aquaculture here has actually been declining in recent years while it continues to boom elsewhere. The only sector booming here is regulation.
5. Small miners are another once numerous sector of primary production now on the way to extinction from bureaucratic demands. Numerous widespread and valuable mineral deposits that are too small for large-scale exploitation now lie idle but are eminently economic for small-scale operations using modern technology.
Latest Book Reviews
- Ferries 2011: British Isles and Northern Europe
- Admiral Nimitz: The Commander of the Pacific Ocean Theater
- A Plain Sailorman In China: The Life and Time of Cdr. I.V. Gillis, USN 1875-1948
- Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies
- What’s In It For You?
- The Naval Institute Guide To The Ships And Aircraft Of The U.S. Fleet
- Two Roads To War: The French and British Air Arms from Versailles to Dunkirk
Latest CommentsChaithra: A recent Boat/US Magazine atclrie reported that 70% of boat sales were sales of used boats. It's no ...
Dermot bremner: Every system has its day, they have their day and cease to be .
Alfred Lord Tennyson
aryastark: I have been having a whole discussion with my friend's husband (who is an engineer) aboutnatural gas...
Nazery Khalid: Hi Ross
Greetings from Malaysia. Thanks for your comment and for sharing your invention...