Food for Thought: fishing

simple;105852 said:
... I'm still trying to figure out what fisherman can give back to the sea that would make up for what they have taken...

Their soul would be a good start!:cthulhu:
Cephalopodia;105829 said:
And that's why we have a Quota Management System in place which involves setting a catch limit on different species.

Of course I'm not that fond of the QMS. It is the effort that is doing the damage to the seabed (and water column) community. Perhaps restrictions should be placed on effort, rather than catch, because with dwindling catch rates effort increases .... as does any effect on the environment.

Example: no more than 10 seabed trawls in area 'x' each calendar year, regardless of catch. (The reality is that it should be no more than 10 trawls in area 'x' each 1000 years .... )

There's a major distinction between economic and ecological sustainability; the QMS is more about economic sustainablilty.
CETA and the Scripps Institute have something like that, though nowhere near as environmentally friendly. Hope it goes through!
One might be tempted to think that farming fish commercially to take the load off the wild population would be an improvement in this area... sadly, the devil is in the details:

Lice from fish farms threaten Canadian wild salmon

of course, it sounds like it's not a complete technological show-stopper for the idea, although the social and economic factors often come into play in this regard, and it's typical of the "these systems are often more complicated than we expect" black swan problem with the plan.
monty;106312 said:
One might be tempted to think that farming fish commercially to take the load off the wild population would be an improvement in this area... sadly, the devil is in the details:

Another problem that crops up with aquaculture is the "Aquaculture is a brilliant idea......Oh you meant here! No I'm sorry I thought you were going to do it in someone elses backyard" view of the world.
monty;106312 said:
One might be tempted to think that farming fish commercially to take the load off the wild population would be an improvement in this area... sadly, the devil is in the details:

Lice from fish farms threaten Canadian wild salmon

To bring this full circle since salmon has come up, lets discuss farmer's impacts on salmon here in the western United States. Not that farmers are the whole problem, but they have played one of the largest roles in oncorhynchus salmon run destruction in two major ways: 1) Dams for irrigation have made huge swaths of breeding habitat inaccessable. (The large Hydroelectric dams get all the bad rap these days, but in truth most of the damage was done before they showed up by small irrigations dams on the tributaries. Really only a small amount of spawning takes place in the large mainstem) 2) Run off from farming has introduces a huge over-abundance of nitrates and some phosphates, causing massive eutrophication to the Western US and Canadian streams. This is not a good thing for a oligotrophic obligate species. Additionally silt run off has the bad tendancy to cover and suffocate salmon eggs.

I know we are mostly marine-type people here, but farming today isn't idyllic either. Converting huge tracts of land into single-species habitats is controlled ecological disaster in itself. yes there are things we can do to improve farming and fishing to make them more eco-friendly, but ultimately there are more primate mouths to feed on this planet than it is adapted to handle in its current configuration, and there aren't getting to be less people either. I could talk about population control, but I am not going to offer myself up to reduce the population, nor do I think I would take kindly to someone forcibly limiting the number of offspring I I am not about to call for someone else to do it either. I see the problem... but I have no clue what to do about it. :cry:
It seems very common for quota systems and grandfathering and such to lead to really bad dynamics... In addition to deliberate abuses, manipulations, and loopholes, sometimes the incentive structure of a poorly designed system can penalize or sidetrack well-intentioned participants.

Some random examples:

California water politics is complicated, since it's a major farming state with a very limited water supply. This leads to many, many very stupid things. For example, if farmers don't use their full water quota for a given year, it can be reduced the next year. And they can get paid for trying and failing to grow crops. So there is an incentive to fail to grow water-intensive crops like rice in order to use up their water quota so they won't lose it, instead of doing something sensible, under some conditions.

Also, the farmers use most of the water, but huge amounts of water are still used by cities, and so there are often efforts (both reasonable and insane, both grassroots and coordinated by water companies and state governments) to have city-dwellers conserve water. In the 80s, there was a statewide drought, and all the green-aware hippies in San Fransisco were doing things like not flushing their toilets often, taking two minute showers, and not watering their lawns or washing cars, while in Los Angeles, people continued with ostentatious lawns in the desert and fountains and such. I found them both rather silly, since the well-intentioned asceticism of the San Fransisco folks was a drop in the bucket compared to the stupid rice farmers, yet the Angelenos were showing the arrogance of "hey, I pay my water bill, so I don't have to care if there's a drought."

Of course, not all Los Angeles dwellers are arrogant jerks; some actually noticed that water was a concern. In fact, the water department sent homeowners a request to voluntarily conserve water as much as they could. The L.A. folks who were not too self-centered, apathetic, or ignorant then tried to reduce their water footprints as much as they could, to their credit. The powers that be decided that this wasn't making it, though, and they needed to provide some economic teeth, and made the announcement that anyone who didn't cut their water bill by some amount (20%) would be forced to pay a large penalty. It apparently didn't occur to them that the arrogant jerks who ignored the voluntary request could easily reduce their lawn-watering or something and avoid the penalty, but the poor saps who had cut their water usage down to the bare minimum in response to the request a few months earlier had nothing left to cut. Take that, you tree-hugging hippies! ( *ironic* for the irony-impaired)

I see these sorts of broken incentives come up all the time in everything from carbon-trading schemes to computer games... quotas and regulations often seem like a good idea, but it's not too unusual for bad implementations to actually make things worse, and a lot of people don't seem to understand that the devil is in the details.
Colin;106223 said:
Well, not long until our long-awaited marine park... not as in dolphins jumping through fiery hoops but like a national county park underwater... I am waiting for all the kicking and screaming next year from fishermen.

any chance we can get a few flaming hoops at the park anyway?

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