Marine biologist Daniel Pauly, of the University of British Columbia, has compared the contemporary effects of overfishing to a reversal of the normal evolutionary sequence. Fisheries are seeing unprecedented losses in productivity the world over, and the remaining large fish, in general, are on the decline. Meanwhile, jellyfish blooms appear to be on the rise. Jellyfish have been exploited as food in China for a millennium, and today are a multi-million dollar market there. About a dozen species of scyphozoan jellyfish are harvested, primarily in southeast Asia. Sea Sting (Rhopilema esculentum) are consumed in China while Cannonball Jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris), found off the coast in the eastern US, are harvested for the Asian market, and show potential for processing as a value-added product. The symposium’s focus on “the use of economic instruments and on how networking between institutions with regional mandates can be used to develop and implement global policies for conservation, thereby helping avert a hunt for the last fish” provides a hopeful counterpoint to a diet of value-added foods.
The ink print within the painting is directly from a Fraser River Sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerk), and the green background at the bottom represents the upwelling of cooler water that the salmon prefer. The ochre area is surface water that has been de-oxygenated by a plankton bloom and the circular object is a centric diatom.