Posts Tagged ‘chance’
The most widely adopted measure for assessing the state of the world’s oceans and fisheries led to inaccurate conclusions in nearly half the ecosystems where it was applied. The new analysis was performed by an international team of fisheries scientists, and is reported in this week’s issue of the journal Nature.
“Applied to individual ecosystems it’s like flipping a coin; half the time you get the right answer and half the time you get the wrong answer,” said Trevor Branch, a University of Washington aquatic and fisheries scientist…
“This study makes clear that the most common indicator, average catch trophic level, is a woefully inadequate measure of the status of marine fisheries…”
The trophic level of an organism shows where it fits in food webs, with microscopic algae at a trophic level of one and large predators such as sharks, halibut and tuna at a trophic level around four…
The authors determined that those averages were declining over time and warned we were “fishing down the food web” by overharvesting fish at the highest trophic levels and then sequentially going after fish farther down the food web.
Twelve years later newly compiled data has emerged that considers the numbers and types of fish that actually live in these ecosystems, as well as catch data…
An example of the problem with the measure is in the Gulf of Thailand where the average trophic level of what is being caught is rising, which should indicate improving ecosystem health according to proponents of that measure.
Instead, it turns out fish at all levels have declined tenfold since the 1950s because of overharvesting.
When Scott Hoover bought a $5 scratch-off ticket in Virginia called “Beginner’s Luck” last summer, he carefully studied the odds. Even though he figured his chances of winning were a long shot, he felt the odds were reasonable.
Hoover, a business professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, wasn’t surprised when his tickets didn’t bring him the $75,000 grand prize, but he was shocked to learn the top prize had been awarded before he bought the ticket.
“I felt duped into buying these things,” Hoover said.
He discovered the Virginia State Lottery was continuing to sell tickets for games in which the top prizes were no longer available. Public records showed that someone had already won the top prize one month before Hoover played. He is now suing the state of Virginia for breach of contract.
Through a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act, Hoover’s lawyer was able to obtain records that showed the Virginia State Lottery sold $85 million in tickets for which no top prize was available…
Apparently, half the 42 states selling scratch-off lottery tickets will sell them even if the advertised big payoff has already been won.