EP 531 | AIRED 03/29/2021
March 29th, 2021 --- This week we speak with discuss Ocean Science Misinformation, with the University of Washington's Sustainable Fisheries' editor Max Mossler, to understand how myths like having "no more fish by 2048", was able to gain so much traction.
--- The goal of most research insitutes and government organisations like the FAO is to provide accurate information to the general public.
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------ Mossler recently disputed some global bycatch statistics released from an Oceana report titled Wasted Catch: Unsolved Problems in U.S. Fisheries, which claimed that the global bycatch may amount to 40 percent of all catch, or 63 billion lbs per year.
After reaching out to scientists at Oceana, claiming that this information was innacurate and he was going to address it publicly, they immediately followed by issuing a correction on every page.
Mossler explains that the main issue here is that we need to build stronger relationships between science and communication.
There is no one clear way to solve these issues, as they are engrained into our soc iety, but we as members of the industry can start by working harder to hold one another accountable.
This can be done by utilising non-for profit journalism, like ProPublica, the Intercept, Sustainable Fisheries and of course, The Three Minute Market Insight, organizations that don't run their publications off of advertisements.
If we can repair this disconnect, the information on which decisions are made, can be more reliable, while properly acknowledging the actual work done by these scientists.
--- [Mossler] I think I blame the Internet mostly, there are so many places to get information, so many options for content.
The content creators who are able to create the right headline, who are able to hack into the emotional aspect of information, we're able to grow and they just become more and more powerful with social media.
And that's been very frustrating as a member of a democracy where good information is necessary for a functioning democracy.
--- And I see that in fisheries and seafood with with all the different myths and common misconceptions that seep into media.
There really isn't anyone to blame at all, it's just the entire funding model of everything is just tied to incentives.
Like NGOs and people who do research in big organizations, they're incentivized to raise funds so they all have jobs and so they can continue to do good work and research into things that they do.
And one of the things that funders and the people who control the money really like is they like newsworthiness, they like headlines.
So in order to keep their jobs and keep research, they're incentivized to make splashy headlines with research claims and that sort of thing, and who can blame them?
I don't blame them at all.
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