18 April 2013

Daniel Pauly on shifting baselines

In this 9-min presentation, fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly tries to explain the concept of shifting baselines he first described in 1995.

With his trademark humor, Pauly describes how each time a baseline drops we call it the new "normal". By doing so, we lose sight of how rich the marine environment really used to be.

Additionally, Pauly points out that some present-day scientists are likely to dismiss anecdotal information from the past, because they don't see it as "scientific" according to their present-day standards. Memory of the past is thus progressively lost, to the point that in the end what we aim to preserve and sustain is – in Pauly's words – "miserable leftovers": the remnant icons of a profoundly depleted marine biodiversity.

Watch his presentation HERE. Please note that his name is Pauly, not Pauley (!).

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