Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ending overfishing with catch shares (ITQs, etc.)

It's time to move beyond ideology and use catch shares (ITQs, LAPPs, etc.) to help end overfishing. A new study by Environmental Defense shows how this can be done.

Market-based solutions to environmental problems have created a sharp ideological divide. Some say they're the best answer, and others say they're no answer at all. Where's the pragmatic middle that says they're a useful tool?

Right here, that's where. Blogfish steps boldly into the crossfire between ITQ true believers and dyed in the wool opponents and says catch shares (ITQs, DAPs, LAPPs, co-ops, etc.) can be a good way to manage fisheries.

The key is that catch shares--like any other tool--must be well designed in service of clear objectives. They're especially valuable where too many boats are chasing too few fish,(hey tell me someplace where there are too few boats chasing too many fish?).

OK, let the crossfire begin.

2 comments:

HODAD26 said...

1. I do know a few places where there are too few boats chasing too many fish, but I will never tell, one place you white boys will not be likedm lol

2. the idea of ITQ's is good, this is part of MY solution, however for folks such as EDF to suggest, well
most of all these folks[sitting in their cushy offices in DC[nuje target for those radical guys]] only talk now, unlike the 'good ole days'
one must get their hands dirty, very easy for all these so called oraganizations and 'think tanks' to sit in their offices and write and speak,[and lots of lawyers for fish bait that is a great solution, huh?]
you think coastal development will stop? get real.... greedy developers and goood ole wanna be;s will not allow it, look here in Myrtle Beach, SC no more fish read my lips, not much crabs or oysters,all from somewhere else cannot even swim in the ocean here after it rains, but then California knows ALL about
this everyone wants to live at the beach, the polluted Carolina Beaches you should see it here
get real, wake up!

but then the kids now, 18-35 only talk on their cells, do vid games and watch american idol, they are worthless wanna be's all the college females have big buts! the boys are worthless drunks and pill poppers now and boy'z they are not surfers of course or real watermen

not too many out there want to work for their goals, they want it NOW! just how it is these days, Mark reality bites back
lots of talk,
time for violent action,violent overthrow, but i have tried here, too late in USA
got my hands full in Central America
Viva La Revolucion!
first is to get rid of bush and all his cronies and change the arrogant,greedy,ignorant{uneducated},obese xenophobic ways of the super consumptive USA person, one thing is too much cheap chinese crap in the stores, like the biggest sinner, walmart
fat america LOVES that cheap walmart crap 25% of communist china's output now

wake up USA
10% of the world using 90% of the resources??!!!!!and yo8u do not think all over the world with the www that folks do not know this?
give me all in USA to drop off where I live for a week, to show how the rest of the world lives
maybe then? i doubt it throw your TV away is the first step
2012 cometh soon
you want to eat fish, then you will only get the 80% farm raised shrimp now on the market and cheap Viet,Chinese COMMUNIST[YES THE WORKERS GET A BAG OF RICE EACH MONTH THE GOVERNMENT OWNS THE LAND AND FARMS] basa and swai fed chicken shit and feathers etc or big copr fish food full of who knows what, but lots of government[USA] subsidized corn
that's right
HEMP is the ONLY solution, write your representatives today to urge farmers be allowed to raise HEMP
fairtradefish.org for links to real info and data
whatever, I am blessed i get to go back to paradise, and it ain't myrtle beach
have a nice day

Tracy Rouleau said...

Hi Mark,

This time I have to say I am in total agreement with you! (Yes I bet you thought I fell off the planet ;-)). Even though I am a Fisheries Economist (in training), I don't always believe that market solutions work; there is often a need for regulation. While I do think our farmers should be allowed to grow (not raise) hemp, it's definately not the only solution, a well-designed ITQ program gives fishermen incentives to conserve, ends the "race for fish" that results in so much waste (both biological and economic), and can (as you pointed out) reduce overcapitalization of the fleet.

Now if you want somthing really controversial - consider my dissertation topic (which is what I have been madly working on for the past few months) - Introducing ITQ's into Recreational Fishing - Yes - recreational fishing. I am working on a bioeconomic simulation and theoretical economic analysis of just that... (We also introduce a tax on days fished and look at the differences between various management techniques in comparison- but that's another topic)

Yes - it's unrealistic bith in terms of enforcement and political feasability, however in many fisheries circles it is being discussed, and this should help form a basis for the discussions. While we are only in the very beginning stages of this research, we are finding some interesting preliminary results. For instance, while harvest (fish taken out of the water) increases slightly at various equilibrium stock sizes (ESS), landings (fish taken home) decrease - this discrepancy results in increased discards, as you might suspect - if you have to pay for what you take home (we model ITQs on both landings and total mortality) you throw away more fish, taking home only the best. Now in commercial fisheries this is called high-grading, and isn't what we want to see - but in recreational fisheries it's called catch-and-release and is often what is desired. Interestingly, when my advisor first presented these preliminary results at a conference in Norway - they laughed at the notion of catch-and-release, in Norway when you catch a fish you take it home, sigh... if only Americans could be so prudent, but I digress... Realizing that the increase in discards is somthing that could have serious effects on the stocks, and to examine how catch-and-release effects stock sizes and benefits, we built a discard mortality parameter into the model. This parameter takes into consideration the fish that are released back into the water that die anyway - currently this factor is a constant, but eventually we can model different discard mortality rates and life histories to see the effects on stocks with different life histories (billfish, snapper, grouper etc.).

We've still got a long way to go - but you can be sure I'll keep checking in.