Shifting Baselines . . . . .

The story linked below, from the [Chesapeake] Bay Journal, is an excellent discussion of how exports of oysters from the Chesapeake to Louisiana is an example of the rapid changes that can take place (and incidentally overtake resource managers and policy makers) in marine and coastal natural resources.

It is also a telling example of shifting baselines, in which the increase in the Bay’s oyster harvest from 10’s of thousands of bushels in the 1990’s to 440,000 bushels this year is reported (by an otherwise careful journalist) as the “recovery” of the Bay’s oyster industry, when the Bay was once capable of supporting sustainable catches of many millions of bushels of oysters. Just because the patient is out of the respirator doesn’t mean s/he is healthy, or capable of surviving to a ripe old age.

http://www.bayjournal.com/article/chesapeake_oysters_being_shipped_to_louisiana_shucking_houses

About Bruce

Work for sustainable development of small islands; ex-Peace Corps (Volunteer and staff) in LA & Caribbean; cruised Caribbean on S/Y Meander for three years; like small tropical islands, French canals, Umbria, Tasmania, and NZ. Married 50 years. Former President (1995 to 2016) of Island Resources Foundation.
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