Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Susatainable Fishing

A BBC story caught my eye, and led me to a new World Bank - FAO report on fishing.

The reality would seem to be simple - more and more effort, at greater and greater cost, for less and less fish - with the endpoint somewhere around mid century. We probably already knew this.

The antidote seems to be major reform - and the article suggests that if there is a move toward reducing the size of fleets and building up stocks, fishing could be profitable again worldwide.

The pull quote in the BBC story says it all:

"Sustainable fisheries require political will to replace incentives for overfishing with incentives for responsible stewardship. " Kieran Kelleher, World Bank fisheries team leader.

Ah - political will. With the opposite of political will being short term gain (or supposed short term gain) and greed, I think.

Reading the article I wondered how much of the resistance to a change to sustainability comes from the way of life of fishers - my sense, having known some, is that there is almost more emotional attachment to fishing as a way of life, generation to generation, than there is to farming. Turns out the report does have some things to say about this - and the need to invest in the transitions of persons who are displaced by increased management of fisheries. But what about beyond the economic considerations - to considering what such displacement does to people's sense of self, sense of place in creation?

Here's the report: "The Sunken Billions: the economic justification for fisheries reform",com_docman/task,doc_view/gid,742/Itemid,98/

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