Once, fishes as big as turkeys and sheep swam the seas. Now, most of their few remaining descendants would fit into a frying pan. Dr. Elliot A. Norse, president of the Marine Biology Conservation Institute in Redmond, Washington, believes that this radical reduction in the size and number of the world’s fishes comes not only from over fishing, the catching of fish at a faster rate than they can breed, but also from bottom trawling. Dr. Norse writes that bottom trawling crushes, buries, and exposes marine creatures like lobsters, crustaceans, clams, corals and sponges that live on or in the seabed, damaging or killing them. In August of 1999, Dr. Norse visited with Radio Curious to discuss the effects of bottom trawling, how and where it’s done, and some of the concerns and causes of global warming and the effects it has on the oceans.
Elliott Norse recommends “The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction” by David Quammen.
Originally Broadcast: November 27, 1998