In an almost perfect illustration of Donham’s Law, the New York Times reports this morning that New English fishermen are pooh-poohing calls from fisheries scientists for greater restrictions, or even an outright ban, on cod fishing in the gulf of Maine.
The scientists point to new data showing cod stocks in much worse shape than previously thought; the fishermen say there’s an abundance of fish.
“Fishermen will almost always tell you that, and it’s not that they’re lying,” said Mark Kurlansky, whose 1997 book, “Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World,” documented how Canada’s once-abundant Atlantic cod were fished almost to extinction. “Landing a lot of fish can mean the fish are very plentiful, or it can mean the fishermen are extremely efficient in scooping up every last one of them.”
Donham’s Law of Fisheries Conservation states that All fishermen resolutely support conservation measures, except those targeting the species they fish for, and the gear types they fish with.