I just learned that Daniel Pauly serves as a Director on the Oceana Board:
“Dr. Daniel Pauly (The University of British Columbia)
Pauly is a renowned fisheries scientist. Since 1994, Pauly has been a professor at the Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia. He currently serves as the principal investigator of the Sea Around Us Project at the Fisheries Centre, where his global, multi-year analyses of marine ecosystems has allowed him to reach startling and important conclusions, most critical among them that fish populations are declining rapidly all over the world.”
- Pauly, D. 2013. Does catch reflect abundance? Yes, it is a crucial signal. Nature 494: 303-306.
- Campbell, B. and D. Pauly. 2013. Mariculture: a global analysis of production trends since 1950. Marine Policy 39: 94-100.
- Pauly D (2010) 5 easy pieces: how fishing impacts marine ecosystems Island Press.
- Pauly D (2009) “Aquacalypse Now” The New Republic, September 28.
- Pauly D, Christensen V, Guénette S, Pitcher TJ, Sumaila UR, Walters CJ, Watson R, Zeller D (2002) “Towards sustainability in world fisheries” Nature, 418: 689-695.
- Pauly D, Christensen V, Dalsgaard J, Froese R and Torres F (1998) “Fishing down marine food webs” Science, 279: 860-863.
- Pauly D (1998) “Beyond our original horizons: the tropicalization of Beverton and Holt”. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 8(3): 307-334.
- Pauly D (1995) “Anecdotes and the shifting baseline syndrome of fisheries”. TREE 10(10): 430
- Pauly D and Christensen V (1995) “Primary production required to sustain global fisheries” Nature, 374(6519): 255-257.
- Pauly D (1981) “The relationships between gill surface area and growth performance in fish: a generalization of von Bertalanffy’s theory of growth”. Berichte der Deutschen Wissenchaftlichen Kommission für Meeresforschung, 28(4): 251-282.
- Pauly D (1981) “On the interrelationships between natural mortality, growth parameters and mean environmental temperature in 175 fish stocks”. Journal du Conseil international pour l’Exploration de la Mert, 39(3): 175-192.
- Pauly D and David N (1981) “ELEFAN I, a BASIC, program for the objective extraction of growth parameters from length-frequency data”. Reports on Marine Research, pp. 205–211.
What’s my point?
Should I be surprised? Where once science and advocacy were apart, increasingly over the last 20 years or so we’ve seen them conflate and even arguably fuse, Right? Is it just that times have changed?
It seems clear that environmental scientists like Daniel Pauly are no longer troubled by any real or perceived conflict of interest that active environmental advocacy brings, nor do they seem to be troubled by the erosion of the objectivity of the science that may either lend its support or not to a cause, when they are already advocating for a cause for which their science or technical information may be used… So why should I be troubled, these scientist/advocates don’t seem to be?
Well I think it is the question as to whether… one is able to provide the best scientific and technical information, when one is advocating a position based on that information? What about future scientific and technical information? What about changes in information parameters? Changes as a result of peer review? Methodological changes? What if results have to be re-worked? Re-computed? Re-interpreted?
I shouldn’t be shocked… floored… disappointed… But I am… I just can’t see how scientific and technical objectivity and environmental advocacy can reside effectively in the same professional?
Am I just being naive?