Thursday, July 12, 2007

New ways to end overfishing-sustainability incentives

Sustainability incentives work! Fishing will be reduced in Iceland and New Zealand to maintain market position as sustainable fisheries.

The theory behind the sustainable seafood movement is proving true--sustainability incentives can be strong enough to promote conservation of fish in big industrial fisheries.

First, fishing industry leaders in New Zealand are calling for reduced fishing of hoki, to preserve their reputation for sustainable management and to maintain their certification as a sustainable fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council.

And in Iceland, fishery managers have cut the quota for cod fishing, to preserve their reputation for sustainable fishing.

After a day of the Boston meeting on best practices in US fisheries, here's a new best practice emerging. Bring sustainability incentives to fisheries and then see how the rewards of sustainability motivate good behavior by fishermen and managers.

This fits my take on the meeting so far, most of if is focused on how to get fishermen to accept sustainable management. We know how to do sustainable management, but what is harder is getting the political support (or insulation) to keep sustainable management in place. Sustainability incentives are proving up as a good reward, one that matters where it counts, in the wallet.

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