Ransom A. Myers 1952–2007
My passion for marine conservation stemmed from my days in St. John's, Newfoundland, where I worked for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. At the time, the industry was watching the collapse of the cod fishery in Eastern Canada, and I was determined to develop new and better ways to manage our oceans.
I spent years examining and comparing fishing records from around the world, discerning patterns and reviewing scientific data. I was able to show that, in spite of there being millions of eggs, the females of most commercial marine fish species produce only three to five viable young each year. This was news to many fisheries scientists. My research demonstrated that the collapse of the northern cod stock was caused by excessive fishing, and would not recover quickly. Not only were the fish populations decreasing, but the size of the larger fish was also declining.
I battled to stop the ecological destruction that my research had revealed, and sought to inform the world that our oceans were in trouble. I warned governments that they should concentrate on reducing catch limits, instead of fighting over the few fish left.