What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Wasting Fish To Save It? Tom Gogola Wins Sidney Award for Exposing Waste in Commercial Fishing

August 17, 2011, 11:26 AM
Tomgogolafishing-

The Sidney Hillman Foundation announced Tuesday that Tom Gogola has won the August Sidney Award for excellence in socially conscious journalism for his story, "Bycatch 22: As a twisted consequence of overfishing regulations, commercial fishermen have no choice but to catch sea bass, flounder, monkfish, and tuna—and throw them dead back into the sea," which was published in New York Magazine and reported with support from the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute. 

Conservation regulations prohibit fishermen from eating or selling fish caught out-of-season, undersize, or without a permit. The rules are not without internal logic: If fishermen could profit from illegally caught fish, they'd have an incentive to break the law. However, as Gogola witnessed first-hand as a mate on a fish boat, fishermen inevitably catch some forbidden species, which must be discarded, even though they're perfectly good to eat.

Gogola writes:

While concerned consumers fret over which fish are correct to order at their favorite seafood restaurant, heading to websites maintained by groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund for guidance on the “eco-best” and “eco-worst” fish to purchase, the truth about commercial fishing in the United States is that a regulatory framework designed to limit overfishing results in vast numbers of fish per year being scooped up on boats and dumped right back off, dead, never consumed by any ­human. Concerned about “endangered” bluefin tuna? Tell it to the tuna long-liners who’ve had to cut loose untold numbers of dead bluefins in recent years, owing to the restrictions that come with winding up on the endangered-species list.

Around the world, hundreds of millions of tons of edible fish are simply thrown overboard like garbage.

Gogola talks to one commercial fisherman who is campaigning to change the rules to allow fishers to donate their bycatch to local VA hospitals and charities in exchange for a tax write-off. He also describes some innovative government-funded research to reduce bycatch by improving fishing technology. 

Read my interview with Gogola here. We talk about his work on a fishing boat, the ins and outs of sustainable seafood, and how the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute helped make this story possible.

[Photo credit: Tom Gogola on the reporting/fishing trip that formed the basis for his story, by Don Ball. Courtesy of Tom Gogola.]

 

Wasting Fish To Save It? To...

Newsletter: Share: