Thursday, 22 January 2009

High Arctic Fisheries

Ever wonder how much fish we pull out of the arctic? So did NOAA.
Arctic Economics, a blog that I rarely tire of reading, has an interesting write up on a paper that puts figures on tonnages for commercial and subsistence harvest. I'll have to give it a once over when I've got a better connection at work, but I found this next figure very interesting:
What's really interesting is the transition from 1960 to 1970, from dog to human consumptive use in subsistence fisheries. Apparently this is caused by a further transition from dog sleds to snow machines for transport. After that, the human consumptive component really took off - it nearly doubled in tonnage. I can't help but wonder at the cultural implications of either transition. Was there a corresponding shift in diet from other subsistence sources? Or did the additional tonnage get depleted from non-subsistence food items? How much of the growth of subsistence fisheries in the arctic is a result of population growth?

I really hope the paper answers some of this.

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