It seems to me that man just isn’t quite as smart as we think we are. Sure, we can invent all sorts of time and energy saving devices but what is the ultimate impact?
A recent article in National Fisherman showcased some enterprising tuna boats fishing in the Hawaiian Islands using handlines. They are doing quite well. Historically, the old tuna boats with the multiple bamboo rods did extremely well. In both cases, the tuna resource can be kept at sustainable levels. Introduce purse seines and the like and suddenly we’re taking fish before they ever get a chance to spawn. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to easily understand what less-than-zero population growth portends.
Back when the northeast cod fishery was all hook and line, statistics show that the resource remained extremely healthy despite the fact that more fish were taken back then than we can manage to harvest today with all our modern methods.
Don’t get me wrong. I certainly believe in progress. But sometimes, the old ways can be proven better and should be readopted.