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Cape Cod

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What is the discussion mainly about?
  • A. Results of privatization in the cod-fishing industry

  • B. Laws that regulate the cod-fishing industry

  • C. A recent study on cod-fishing techniques

  • D. Problems related to the overfishing of cod

显示答案 正确答案: D

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    NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in an environmental conservation class.

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:Next I want to talk about the collapse of the North American cod population.Let's look at Cape Cod, in the northeastern United States.

    The area was named Cape Cod because there were so many cod fish in the waters just off its shores, so many that the first Europeans who fished there in the seventeenth century reported it was better than in Newfoundland, Canada.At the time, Newfoundland's cod fishery was so rich that people said it was possible just to lower a bucket in the water, pull it out, and it'd be full of cod.But Cape Cod was even better.So the fishing industry there did great until, after the 1940s, uh, there were simply too many fishing vessels, sophisticated vessels, competing for fewer and fewer fish.

    In the 1940s, there were still about 400 million pounds of fish caught at Cape Cod every year.Just 50 years later, though, by the 1990s, commercial cod fishing there had become unprofitable; the annual catch had gone down to about five percent of its 1940s level.

    And here's what's so fascinating.As more and more fishing vessels with better and better fishing technology were competing for cod, this competition was causing changes to the biology of the fish and these changes were making it more and more difficult for the cod population to sustain itself.

    FEMALE STUDENT:[incredulously] Changes to the biology of the fish?

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:Well, if a cod fish could reproduce earlier than usual, it'd have a better chance of passing on its genes to the next generation before being caught, right?And sure enough, biologists noticed that around Cape Cod, the cod were beginning to mature at an earlier age than normal.Prior to the population collapse, cod usually took about 8 to 10 years to fully mature, to start to reproduce, uh, and they lived around 40 years total.So cod had about 30 years of active reproductive life.But now cod were beginning to reproduce at a younger age, at 3 to 4 years old.And they were living shorter lives because they were being caught, so they had fewer years within which to reproduce.

    Additionally, even though some fish in the population were maturing at an earlier age, none was actually growing faster.No cod has a way of speeding up its rate of growth. So the younger reproductive age actually meant that smaller fish were reproducing.And, when you are a small cod reproducing, you produce fewer eggs than a large cod... the smaller cod simply don't have the body mass to produce as many eggs.The overfishing pressure on the cod population was pushing the cod into an evolutionary corner. they were having a harder and harder time surviving.

    MALE STUDENT:But what can be done to prevent other scenarios like this?I mean, obviously we need a better way to manage environmental resources.

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:Well, what do you guys suggest?Carol?

    FEMALE STUDENT:Hmm... uh, maybe privatize the resource?A private owner would want to manage the resource efficiently­ in a sustainable way.

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:[encouragingly, but wants her to consider more carefully] OK, but the problem is, privatization doesn't necessarily result in better management of an environmental resource.Any ideas why it wouldn't?

    MALE STUDENT:Well, an individual owner might not properly assess the limits of the resource. so they could be just as prone to overexploiting that resource as a group, where lots of people have access to it.

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:Yes. Well, like in the 1970s, when it was already clear the North American cod population was declining dramatically.The U.S. and Canada declared a 200-mile exclusive economic zone in the waters around Cape Cod.By declaring an exclusive economic zone, you see, these two countries were trying to extend their territorial waters.Basically, it was as if they were saying, "We're the private owners.we own these waters, so we own the rights to the fish in them too."Essentially, the two countries told fishing vessels trawlers from all other nations to get out of the cod-fishing area.You'd think that'd be good news for the cod because there'd be less fishing.However, the U.S. and Canada wanted to expel foreign trawlers only in order to increase the numbers of their own fishing fleets.The total number of fishing trawlers actually increased.

    Another possible solution, pass laws that regulate use of the resource.But for regulation to be effective, penalties for breaking the law have to be large enough to deter violators.

  • 旁白:请听环境保护课上的部分内容。

    教授:接下来我想讲一讲北美洲鳕鱼数量的爆减。我们来看看美国东北部的科德角吧。

    这个地方被命名为科德角是因为那里海岸边的水域中曾经有很多鳕鱼,数量多到17世纪第一批在那里捕鱼的欧洲人报告说那里比加拿大的New Finland还要好。在那时,New Finland的鳕鱼渔业非常丰富,以至于人们说直接把一个篮子放到水里然后把它拉出来里面就会装满鳕鱼也是有可能的。但是科德角还要更好。所以那里的捕鱼业发展得一直很好,直到二十世纪四十年代,那里的渔船太多了,都是很有经验的渔船来争抢越来越少的鱼。

    在二十世纪四十年代,科德角每年仍有大约4亿磅的鱼被捕捞。但是,仅仅在50年后,也就是二十世纪九十年代,商业捕捞鳕鱼在那里已经无利可图了,年捕获量下降到了四十年代水平的5%左右。

    很令人着迷的是。随着越来越多的装配着越来越好的捕鱼技术的渔船争抢鳕鱼,这种竞争导致这种鱼产生了生物变化,而这些变化使得鳕鱼群越来越难维持自己的生存。

    学生:这种鱼发生了生物变化?

    教授:如果一条鳕鱼能比平常早一些繁殖,那它在被抓之前就有更好的机会把自己的基因传给下一代,对吗?果不其然,生物学家发现在科德角附近,鳕鱼开始成熟的年龄比正常的要早。在数量爆减之前,鳕鱼通常需要8-10年的时间才能完全成熟,才能开始繁殖,而且它们总共能活40年左右。所以之前的鳕鱼有大概30年的时间可以积极地繁殖后代。但是现在,鳕鱼在一个更年轻的年纪,在3-4岁的时候就开始繁殖。而且因为会被捕获,它们的生命也变得更短,所以它们能繁殖的年数更少了。

    另外,虽然种群中的一些鱼成熟得比较早,但它们都没有真的长得更快。鳕鱼没有办法加快它的生长速度,所以更年轻的繁殖年纪实际上意味着更小的鱼在繁殖。而作为一条小鳕鱼繁殖的时候,它能产出的卵比大鳕鱼要少...小鳕鱼根本没有可以繁殖更多卵的体重。鳕鱼种群面对的过度捕捞压力正把鳕鱼逼进一个进化的困境,它们越来越难生存下去。

    学生:但是我们能做些什么来防止其他像这样的情况发生呢?我的意思是,很明显我们需要一个更好的方法管理环境资源。

    教授:那你们有什么建议呢?Carol,你来说一下?

    学生:嗯,也许可以把资源私有化?私人拥有者会想要以一种可持续的方式有效管理资源的。

    教授:好吧,但问题是,私有化并不一定能带来对环境资源的更好管理。知道为什么不会吗?

    学生:个人所有者可能无法正确评估资源的限制。因此,他们可能会像一个群体一样,过度开发这些资源,因为很多人都可以使用这些资源。

    教授:是的。就像在二十世纪七十年代,当北美鳕鱼数量正在急剧减少的情况已经变得很明朗时。美国和加拿大宣布在科德角附近的水域成立一个200英里的专属经济区。其实通过宣布成立一个专属经济区,这两个国家是在试图扩展他们的领海。基本上他们就是在说:“我们是私人拥有者,这些水域是我们的,所以我们也有权占有里面的鱼。”这两个国家基本上把所有其他国家的渔船和拖钩渔船都赶出了有鳕鱼的水域。你们可能以为这对鳕鱼来说会是好消息,因为捕鱼的变少了。然而,美国和加拿大想把那些外国的渔船赶出去只是为了增加他们自己的渔船数量。渔船的总数实际上增加了。

    另一个可能的解决方案是,通过一些控制资源使用的法律。但是为了让这些规定能够行之有效,对违法行为的处罚必须大到能够打消违反者的念头。

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  • 本题对应音频:
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    题型分类:主旨题

    音频定位:The overfishing pressure on the cod population was pushing the cod into an evolutionary corner—they were having a harder and harder time surviving.

    选项分析:原文提到了fishing vessels钓鱼船,且提到了鳕鱼,由此可知本文将围绕鳕鱼的过度捕捞展开叙述。。


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