I watched a program on the Discovery Channel last evening that turned my stomach. The program, Swords, is an attempt to glorify the fishermen of sword fish in the North Atlantic in a similar way to the program that glorifies the fishermen for the King Crabs in Alaska, Deadliest Catch. It fails miserably. There is no glory in putting out 12 miles of line containing bait hooks, then gaffing beautiful 100-200 pound swordfish to pull them on to the decks, gutting them, cutting off the heads, and shoving them into ice filled holds. The reason is that the large fin fish populations all over the planet are in trouble. Check out any of the credible scientific literature.

Human beings have successfully over fished most of the commercial fish populations. The large fin fish are the best example of human lack of planning and greed to feed more and more human population. The fishermen on the program clearly were interested on only one thing: money. Every time a fish was landed, someone made the comment that this fish was money in the pocket. The Hell with what is happening to the fish population.

I am an environmentalist. BUT, I am also in favor of hunting and fishing to levels of sustainability of what ever wildlife population is involved. This is called “conservation” of a natural resource. This goes for plants, animals, fish, or what ever. It only makes sense that we as responsible humans do nothing that would harm our own future generations even if we care nothing about the wild populations.

The Discovery Channel should be ashamed of itself. Normally, the folks there know better. This is a case of poor judgment as best. Take this program down.


About Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.

As one of a newspaper family who owned a 34,000 daily newspaper in the heart of the Midwest for 85 years, I have a deep belief in a strong “Fourth Estate”, the press. Without a diligent, truthful, and assertive free press, the power would be taken from the people. People have the absolute right to know. After earning a degree in Industrial Management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue, I spent over 20 years in newspaper management with several as publisher. I also hold three graduate science degrees including a Ph.D.. I have a passionate interest in science, the environment, government, and politics. I have very little tolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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