Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Water Wednesdays | #2 The Fish Economy
However, water forms the basis of many industries, and the fishing families of Northern California have been experiencing a steady decline for decades. The link between damn building and decline of fish stocks has been well established. The fishing industry continues to suffer, but makes less noise than central valley agriculture.
A water development policy that balances the needs of agriculture and the needs of professional fisherman, anglers and the environment is a long way off. The primary question, 'is there enough water?', is frequently obscured by political interests taking advantage of a crisis partially of there own making. If we can examine and properly answer that question, we can move on to issues of conservation and efficiency which are the only possible solutions. We cannot shortchange the environment to save agriculture, or give up on a domestic fishing industry to prop up a domestic veggie industry. Such solutions are not only morally bankrupt, but also create a fundamental imbalance in a natural system that could have unpredictable consequences years or decades into the future.