The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Solving the problem of fish stocks.....  (Read 30613 times)

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« on: 22/09/2007 20:22:11 »
How about this as an idea,

Right the government or an N.G.O, builds fish farms to restock the sea with missing species. So each country would have one.
Right, therefore the fish would be owned by either the 'people' or greenpeace for example. So any fisher men would have to pay the government for each fish they caught.
Right so that would keep fish stocks up, help enforcement of legal restrictions, and generate revenue for preservation of the sea.
You may have to tag the fish but it would surely help. 


 

another_someone

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #1 on: 22/09/2007 21:34:32 »
Certainly there is an argument that the only way to preserve scarce resources is to allocate ownership (and thus responsibility) over the resource (this was what caused the fencing of the commons).  In that respect, the idea makes sense; but the practical implementation you suggest would not, in my opinion, be able to be made to work.

Firstly, tagging fish, rather like branding cattle, will work, but only if you can do the same for their offspring.  This is far easier to do with cattle, which generally have one live birth a year, than with fish that will  spawn millions of eggs that are not easily traceable to the parent.  Arguably, this could be better achieved with DNA testing, but this would be a very expensive procedure to implement (to DNA test each fish caught), and how do you allocate ownership to the fourth generation, when maybe each of the great grandparents of the fish came from a different stock group?

Another problem would be enforcement - how do you enforce that a fisherman will DNA test the fish?  What about fish that do not come from an existing stock?

There is another problem with regard to protection of asset values.  Many fish are caught and eaten by other predators (whales, larger fish, seals, etc.).  When you apply an asset value to the fish, it is reasonable for the owners of that asset value to seek to protect their assets (just as sheep farmers act to prevent wolves from getting to their sheep).  How would you envision this playing out?
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #2 on: 23/09/2007 13:24:21 »
Certainly there is an argument that the only way to preserve scarce resources is to allocate ownership (and thus responsibility) over the resource (this was what caused the fencing of the commons).  In that respect, the idea makes sense; but the practical implementation you suggest would not, in my opinion, be able to be made to work.

Well that's not what I'm suggesting. The whole resource would not be owned.

Firstly, tagging fish, rather like branding cattle, will work, but only if you can do the same for their offspring.  This is far easier to do with cattle, which generally have one live birth a year, than with fish that will  spawn millions of eggs that are not easily traceable to the parent.  Arguably, this could be better achieved with DNA testing, but this would be a very expensive procedure to implement (to DNA test each fish caught), and how do you allocate ownership to the fourth generation, when maybe each of the great grandparents of the fish came from a different stock group?

Here is my point, the offspring of the fish you release are not owned they are free. You tag the fish released and should they be caught then they charge a price relative to the cost of production don't forget each year they will be releasing thousands of new fish all tagged. The whole point of the scheme is to increase fish stocks, not to give complete overship of all the fish in the sea.

Another problem would be enforcement - how do you enforce that a fisherman will DNA test the fish?  What about fish that do not come from an existing stock?

If it worked as I'm suggesting there would be no need to DNA test the fish, but if it did happen the fishermen would not do it the organisation in charge of there production would, using the coast guard ect.

There is another problem with regard to protection of asset values.  Many fish are caught and eaten by other predators (whales, larger fish, seals, etc.).  When you apply an asset value to the fish, it is reasonable for the owners of that asset value to seek to protect their assets (just as sheep farmers act to prevent wolves from getting to their sheep).  How would you envision this playing out?

That is expected, infact that would be a desired outcome, if the fish released are eaten by other fish or predators then the seas ecosystems would be improving. If it was government run then taxation would be paying for it, fishermen would be charged for each tagged fish they caught.
The costs of a tagged fish would be high Because they would cover the cost of production if possible.

The only way to do it would be to have fixed legislation in place to make sure both fisher men and those that produce the fish know where they stand, and stick to the law. Money could be made but the fundamental purpose of the operation is to improve the seas ecosystem.
« Last Edit: 23/09/2007 13:29:24 by sooyeah »
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #3 on: 23/09/2007 13:27:12 »
Funny, I just had another idea, A fish farm releases there fish into the wild, each fish released has inside it a shock device which stuns the fish. They could then live wild reproduce in the wild then be harvested when needed.

If they were caught there would be a charge for the fisher men that caught them. If the fish were eaten then you would hope the device is designed to be released in the predators waste. Hopefully with nano-technology the device could be designed to be easily recovered when needed. 
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #4 on: 23/09/2007 13:41:40 »
Here is my point, the offspring of the fish you release are not owned they are free. You tag the fish released and should they be caught then they charge a price relative to the cost of production don't forget each year they will be releasing thousands of new fish all tagged. The whole point of the scheme is to increase fish stocks, not to give complete overship of all the fish in the sea.

So am I to understand that a fisherman fishing in the North Sea catches X amount of fish.  The fisherman knows that a percentage of those fish are tagged, and will cost him if he lands that fish, but the rest are untagged, so he will pay nothing.  Being a sensible fisherman, he will throw back the tagged fish (dead, but has no charge) and land only the untagged fish (not much different to the present problem where fisherman are throwing back dead fish into the sea because they are forbidden to land those fish).

If it worked as I'm suggesting there would be no need to DNA test the fish, but if it did happen the fishermen would not do it the organisation in charge of there production would, using the coast guard ect.

But would the coast guard be given the resources to effectively enforce the rules (what do you do - put a fishery protection guy on board every fishing vessel, of every nation who fishes in your waters, and of every size - that is a lot of money spent on enforcement, and we all know what happens in reality when such enforcement resources are required - they are promised, but the money never arrives).


That is expected, infact that would be a desired outcome, if the fish released are eaten by other fish or predators then the seas ecosystems would be improving. If it was government run then taxation would be paying for it, fishermen would be charged for each tagged fish they caught.
The costs of a tagged fish would be high Because they would cover the cost of production if possible.

But, as I indicated above - the tagged fish would never be landed (I don't mean they would never be caught, just that they would immediately be thrown back as too expensive to land).

There would inevitably be pressure to reduce prices, both because the fishermen would be reluctant to pay the prices (hence throwing the fish back) and the consumer would be unwilling to pay the prices.
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #5 on: 23/09/2007 14:03:53 »
It's just an idea. Some want to ban fishing altogether, if current trends keep up there will not be any fish left.

This really is a problem caused by the fisher men, they could be the answer to the problem.

With regards to the tags it depends on how they are tagged. If they were DNA traced or had a small device implanted inside them, the fisher men would have no way of knowing which fish were tagged and which were not. But if your suggesting all the fish released and there offspring were owned and DNA traced then basically all the fish in the sea would be eventually own by an organisation.
That is something that I really do not want to see, and under that situation the fisher men would have to pay for every fish they caught, which would probably just lead to the blackmarket fishing and selling illegally to restaurants.

Bottom line is whatever you do, criminals will look for way around it, the way to make a cheep buck, even if the fisher men did find a way to find and throw back the tagged fish at least the situation would be better than it is now.
 
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #6 on: 23/09/2007 15:17:31 »
If they were DNA traced or had a small device implanted inside them, the fisher men would have no way of knowing which fish were tagged and which were not.

That would turn it into a game of roulette.

In my opinion, if the systems were made sufficiently portable and robust to be able to be implemented at every point of landing, then I cannot see how you could prevent the systems from finding their way aboard the boats themselves.

But if your suggesting all the fish released and there offspring were owned and DNA traced then basically all the fish in the sea would be eventually own by an organisation.


Only a universal system has any possible way of being enforced.  A system that applies only to some percentage of the catch would be totally unenforceable.

That is something that I really do not want to see, and under that situation the fisher men would have to pay for every fish they caught, which would probably just lead to the blackmarket fishing and selling illegally to restaurants.

Black markets always exist (just as the black market in ivory still continues, but made worse because there continues a legal market in antique ivory, and this presents a cover for the black market in illegal ivory).

Bottom line is whatever you do, criminals will look for way around it, the way to make a cheep buck, even if the fisher men did find a way to find and throw back the tagged fish at least the situation would be better than it is now.

Much easier to enforce a law where every fish must be paid for to one supplier or another (then if no supplier has been paid then the action is clearly illegal, whereas in a mixed economy, a fisherman can casually claim that the fish has no owner, and so has no documentation to fill, and no payment to make).

There are always ways around the system, but much more difficult to achieve in a uniform system than in a hybrid system.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #7 on: 23/09/2007 15:28:21 »
It's just an idea. Some want to ban fishing altogether, if current trends keep up there will not be any fish left.


Despite all the scare stories, I cannot see this being an outcome, but I can easily see a situation where there will no longer be any fish left suitable for the fishing industry to catch (possibly that means no fish that are suitable for human consumption).

This really is a problem caused by the fisher men, they could be the answer to the problem.

Isn't this a case of when things are going well, it is our genius, but if things go wrong it is all their fault?

Did not society as a whole promote fishing, when it suited society to do so; and now we have come to the end of the road, we simply pass the blame on to the fisherman who served society so well in the past.

 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #8 on: 23/09/2007 15:59:22 »
It's just an idea. Some want to ban fishing altogether, if current trends keep up there will not be any fish left.


Despite all the scare stories, I cannot see this being an outcome, but I can easily see a situation where there will no longer be any fish left suitable for the fishing industry to catch (possibly that means no fish that are suitable for human consumption).

Well some fish stock are at 10% of what they were 25 years ago. Some fish have already been so over fished that they are almost extinct. Scare stories? That is not the case, it's the hard reality of over fishing.

This really is a problem caused by the fisher men, they could be the answer to the problem.

Isn't this a case of when things are going well, it is our genius, but if things go wrong it is all their fault?

Did not society as a whole promote fishing, when it suited society to do so; and now we have come to the end of the road, we simply pass the blame on to the fisherman who served society so well in the past.

I agree anyone involved in the process has their part to play, however if fishermen acted a tiny bit more responsibly, then it is possible we wouldn't be here.
But really this is not a problem caused by the smaller fishermen its the giant fishing companies, with giant boats which basically suck everything up they pass over. Its not just the fish, it's dolphins and other wildlife the nets kill, etc.
People who eat fish also pay a part but, better fishing practice would do alot to solve most of the problems.

If they were DNA traced or had a small device implanted inside them, the fisher men would have no way of knowing which fish were tagged and which were not.

That would turn it into a game of roulette.

In my opinion, if the systems were made sufficiently portable and robust to be able to be implemented at every point of landing, then I cannot see how you could prevent the systems from finding their way aboard the boats themselves.

You could check at the point of sale, in the shops at the other end of the system, then trace where the fish came from.

But if your suggesting all the fish released and there offspring were owned and DNA traced then basically all the fish in the sea would be eventually own by an organisation.


Only a universal system has any possible way of being enforced.  A system that applies only to some percentage of the catch would be totally unenforceable.

That depends on the form of the enforcement, but I see what your saying.

That is something that I really do not want to see, and under that situation the fisher men would have to pay for every fish they caught, which would probably just lead to the blackmarket fishing and selling illegally to restaurants.

Black markets always exist (just as the black market in ivory still continues, but made worse because there continues a legal market in antique ivory, and this presents a cover for the black market in illegal ivory).

To which you would have to ban all trade in ivory to stop properly.

Bottom line is whatever you do, criminals will look for away around it, the way to make a cheep buck, even if the fisher men did find a way to find and throw back the tagged fish at least the situation would be better than it is now.

Much easier to enforce a law where every fish must be paid for to one supplier or another (then if no supplier has been paid then the action is clearly illegal, whereas in a mixed economy, a fisherman can casually claim that the fish has no owner, and so has no documentation to fill, and no payment to make).

There are always ways around the system, but much more difficult to achieve in a uniform system than in a hybrid system.

I really only suggested a tag a pay for catch system to help fund the fish farms.

As another suggestion you could stick a tax on all fish people purchase and a tax on all fish caught by the fishermen the money generated could then be used to fund the fish farms and help replenish the sea.

Under which the farm would be run by the government and the fish released would be owned by no-one and then the fishermen would just pay a tax on the whole catch.

So that way they would only need to check the quantity caught no tags at all. So that would be a better and simpler system, which should help keep fish stocks up, improve the ecosystem and also help fisher men keep there jobs, as well as allow people to keep eating fish.

The other idea about realising fish with tags could be used as a way of farming free range fish they would lose some of the fish but the fish they sold would be healthier.  

« Last Edit: 23/09/2007 16:16:46 by sooyeah »
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #9 on: 23/09/2007 17:06:21 »
It's just an idea. Some want to ban fishing altogether, if current trends keep up there will not be any fish left.


Despite all the scare stories, I cannot see this being an outcome, but I can easily see a situation where there will no longer be any fish left suitable for the fishing industry to catch (possibly that means no fish that are suitable for human consumption).

Well some fish stock are at 10% of what they were 25 years ago. Some fish have already been so over fished that they are almost extinct. Scare stories? That is not the case, it's the hard reality of over fishing.

I don't think there is a contradiction.

Your earlier statement said we may not have any fish left, whereas you latest statement says some fish are on the verge of extinction.  I merely said that I believed your earlier stamement to be too sweeping, but did not disagree that some fish may be pushed to extinction.

I agree anyone involved in the process has their part to play, however if fishermen acted a tiny bit more responsibly, then it is possible we wouldn't be here.

People act responsibly if they are given ownership of a problem (i.e. ownership of a resource).  It is not reasonable to give people blame where you have not given them ownership of the problem.

I am sure that Fred White would be acting far more responsibly with the fish that were exclusively his, and where he knew his actions would impact his own long term future.  On the other hand, if Fred White acts responsibly, but sees Joe Smith taking all the benefit for it, then why would Fred White make sacrifices for Joe Smith's benefit.  That is where giving ownership comes into it - you find a means where Fred White can be assured that any sacrifices he makes today will return to him as his personal benefit tomorrow.

But really this is not a problem caused by the smaller fishermen its the giant fishing companies, with giant boats which basically suck everything up they pass over.

But if you push up the cost of fishing, then the first effect is to push out the smaller fisherman.

Certainly, we do need to devise fishing practices that are more discriminatory, but it will be far more difficult to try and protect the small fisherman (just as it has proved difficult to protect the small corner shop in the face of giant supermarkets, or the small car manufacturer in the face of the major players).

Nonetheless, even if we do develop more discriminatory fishing practices, what this will do is limit the collateral damage, it will not prevent the depletion of the target species.

People who eat fish also pay a part but, better fishing practice would do alot to solve most of the problems.

This is just as true of the fishing industry as it is true of the narcotics industry - so long as there are customers, you will not be able to prevent people trying to supply the demand.

You could check at the point of sale, in the shops at the other end of the system, then trace where the fish came from.

If you have a single piece of salmon on your plate, this might be possible, but how do you suggest you do this with a single slice out of a giant tuna, or where fish are ground up into fish meal?

As another suggestion you could stick a tax on all fish people purchase and a tax on all fish caught by the fishermen the money generated could then be used to fund the fish farms and help replenish the sea.

Under which the farm would be run by the government and the fish released would be owned by no-one and then the fishermen would just pay a tax on the whole catch.

It has its benefits in terms of simplicity, although there are still a number of holes in this (not necessarily more holes than in any other system).

A French fishing boat comes ashore with a boat load of fish - where does the tax go - is this to support the French fish farms, even though he caught all of his fish off the coast of Iceland?  What if he had been fishing in more than one area, how do you allocate the tax?  What about the landing of species that are not farmed?  What motivation is there in the system to better reward more effective fish farms?

It is a system you could run side by side, where you could apply a hefty tax on unbranded fish, but where the fishermen could identify the particular fish farm, they could pay a smaller royalty direct to the fish farm, and so reduce his costs and reward the farmer who achieves the best results.

All of this ofcourse changes from the current system, since the present system does not release farmed fish back into the wild, and I suspect at present many environmentalists would be wary of doing so.


The other idea about realising fish with tags could be used as a way of farming free range fish they would lose some of the fish but the fish they sold would be healthier.   

This, I suspect, would be more plausible (from the health perspective) than releasing farmed fish into the wild, but it does require some way of cataloguing all the fish presently in the seas, and somehow allocating initial ownership of that fish.
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #10 on: 24/09/2007 12:24:50 »
You could check at the point of sale, in the shops at the other end of the system, then trace where the fish came from.

If you have a single piece of salmon on your plate, this might be possible, but how do you suggest you do this with a single slice out of a giant tuna, or where fish are ground up into fish meal?

It would be done at the factory that they are made, pre-use.

As another suggestion you could stick a tax on all fish people purchase and a tax on all fish caught by the fishermen the money generated could then be used to fund the fish farms and help replenish the sea.

Under which the farm would be run by the government and the fish released would be owned by no-one and then the fishermen would just pay a tax on the whole catch.

It has its benefits in terms of simplicity, although there are still a number of holes in this (not necessarily more holes than in any other system).

A French fishing boat comes ashore with a boat load of fish - where does the tax go - is this to support the French fish farms, even though he caught all of his fish off the coast of Iceland? 

It would all depend on how the system was set up, the tax could go to European union and then be sent to each country that had a fish farm.
Or you could tax related to the actual catch, then the money would go to the farm that actually releases that species.
If the tax was generated by each country then you would have to tax share with the countries involved, that would cause some problems.

What if he had been fishing in more than one area, how do you allocate the tax?

Well the tax by species and then allocation to the farm that produces would solve that. But then you would no doubt have a situation where two farms produce the same fish and then argue over who is closer to the catch site.
Under that situation I would recommend a tax share, which would mean all of the catches would be divided between all the farms that produce that species.

What about the landing of species that are not farmed?

Well the non-farmed fish numbers would probably have been increased due to a greater numbers of other fish being released. So the again the tax would be split up and shared between all the farms.

Don't forget your taxing all areas of the process, the buyers the producers and the middle men as well, So the overall tax burden on each would be lower.
 
What motivation is there in the system to better reward more effective fish farms?

Well rewards should be more than just financial. If the system was intergrated and there was some form of over control then the fish farms could adapt and release the fish needed. If each farm was left to its own devices they would probably all start producing the same fish, which would give the most benefit financially.

This is why I think the farms would need to be government run, the overall benefits to the economy would stem from that.
This is a world problem, why could you not allow the U.N to run the scheme?
All coastal countries would have a farm, all countries would pay a tax on the fish all the revenue would then be shared out to the farms that produces the catch. So the U.N and environmental groups could run it.
   
It is a system you could run side by side, where you could apply a hefty tax on unbranded fish, but where the fishermen could identify the particular fish farm, they could pay a smaller royalty direct to the fish farm, and so reduce his costs and reward the farmer who achieves the best results.

Well thats a good idea, the unbranded fish would be more expensive so the fishermen would throw them back, I only hope the fish thrown back, survive.

All of this ofcourse changes from the current system, since the present system does not release farmed fish back into the wild, and I suspect at present many environmentalists would be wary of doing so.

It would be nice if any environmentalists reading this could voice an opinion, I would say that, what I am suggesting is no different to what they do with monkeys or other nearly extinct spices, do they not raise them in a zoo and then release them back into the wild to help the population increase.

That is interesting, maybe this scheme could be used across the board any animal life, plant life could some how benefit from this idea as well.

The other idea about realising fish with tags could be used as a way of farming free range fish they would lose some of the fish but the fish they sold would be healthier.  

This, I suspect, would be more plausible (from the health perspective) than releasing farmed fish into the wild, but it does require some way of cataloguing all the fish presently in the seas, and somehow allocating initial ownership of that fish.

You would still be releasing farmed fish into the wild you would just go get them back at some point, trouble there is the fish wouldn't be cheep, but they would be very healthy. I don't want to sea all fish owned if the owner choose to they could destroy all their fish.
The whole point of running the scheme is to leave the wild, wild, but to have improvement in the eco-system while allowing fisher men and others to carry on working. If all fish became owned what would stop a sole owner banning all fisher men from working or giving all fishing rights to one company?

I really think it should be a world scheme to repair the damage done, overall ownership shouldn't be allowed. 
« Last Edit: 24/09/2007 12:41:10 by sooyeah »
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #11 on: 24/09/2007 13:46:02 »
You could check at the point of sale, in the shops at the other end of the system, then trace where the fish came from.

If you have a single piece of salmon on your plate, this might be possible, but how do you suggest you do this with a single slice out of a giant tuna, or where fish are ground up into fish meal?

It would be done at the factory that they are made, pre-use.

You are now creating a very complex system, where some fish are checked at one point in the system, some at another point in the system.  Such a level of complexity and inconsistency will generate an enormous number of holes within the system, as well as generating costs.

At present, fish are normally checked on landing, which is as close to the point of capture as people are willing to go - but every point in the system further away from the point of capture just increases the likelihood that someone will sidestep the system.


It has its benefits in terms of simplicity, although there are still a number of holes in this (not necessarily more holes than in any other system).

A French fishing boat comes ashore with a boat load of fish - where does the tax go - is this to support the French fish farms, even though he caught all of his fish off the coast of Iceland? 

It would all depend on how the system was set up, the tax could go to European union and then be sent to each country that had a fish farm.
Or you could tax related to the actual catch, then the money would go to the farm that actually releases that species.
If the tax was generated by each country then you would have to tax share with the countries involved, that would cause some problems.

But Iceland is not a member of the EU - and what if the fishing fleet is Russian?

What if he had been fishing in more than one area, how do you allocate the tax?

Well the tax by species and then allocation to the farm that produces would solve that. But then you would no doubt have a situation where two farms produce the same fish and then argue over who is closer to the catch site.
Under that situation I would recommend a tax share, which would mean all of the catches would be divided between all the farms that produce that species.

But since catch and farming are only loosely related by the species of fish they produce, then it will lead to people trying to farm popular species of fish on the cheap, get the profit from the catches, but have no real benefit (maybe even a liability) on the feral stock levels (they would be technically feral rather than strictly wild stock).

What about the landing of species that are not farmed?

Well the non-farmed fish numbers would probably have been increased due to a greater numbers of other fish being released. So the again the tax would be split up and shared between all the farms.


How do you work this out?

If you release one species of fish, they may be food for another breed, but they could also represent competition for yet another species, or could be predators for yet a third species, or could be a disease vector for a fourth species.  You cannot assume that adding a species will equally benefit all other species.

Don't forget your taxing all areas of the process, the buyers the producers and the middle men as well, So the overall tax burden on each would be lower.

Complexity, complexity, complexity.

So, now, every time I use a product of any kind, I have to know if fish were in some way used to produce some of the raw material for that product (maybe fish were fed to the chickens I buy, or maybe fish glue was used somewhere, or maybe I am buying a mix of food, some of which includes fish and some which does not), and I have to work out the exact percentage of fish in the mix before I know my tax liability?

 
What motivation is there in the system to better reward more effective fish farms?

Well rewards should be more than just financial. If the system was intergrated and there was some form of over control then the fish farms could adapt and release the fish needed. If each farm was left to its own devices they would probably all start producing the same fish, which would give the most benefit financially.

This is why I think the farms would need to be government run, the overall benefits to the economy would stem from that.
This is a world problem, why could you not allow the U.N to run the scheme?
All coastal countries would have a farm, all countries would pay a tax on the fish all the revenue would then be shared out to the farms that produces the catch. So the U.N and environmental groups could run it.

Do you really believe national governments, much less the UN, is competent to run such a scheme (British Leyland writ large).

This is really going back to the debates we had elsewhere about centralised planned economies - you are now talking about a centralised planned fish sector of the economy.


Well thats a good idea, the unbranded fish would be more expensive so the fishermen would throw them back, I only hope the fish thrown back, survive.

Evidence to date unfortunately show that most fish that are thrown back are either dead before the hit the water, or will not survive long after.

All of this ofcourse changes from the current system, since the present system does not release farmed fish back into the wild, and I suspect at present many environmentalists would be wary of doing so.

It would be nice if any environmentalists reading this could voice an opinion, I would say that, what I am suggesting is no different to what they do with monkeys or other nearly extinct spices, do they not raise them in a zoo and then release them back into the wild to help the population increase.

What we do with monkeys is totally different.
  • We rear a small number of monkeys (not millions).
  • The monkeys are relatively disease free (the conditions in fish farms leads to higher levels of infection in the fish than is common in the wild).  One fear is that releasing large numbers of farmed fish into the wild could spread infection into the wild population.
  • There is some attempt to train the few monkeys that are released back into the wild to cope with conditions in the wild (having been brought up in the more protected environment of a zoo) - again, not at all practical for millions of fish.

The whole point of running the scheme is to leave the wild, wild, but to have improvement in the eco-system while allowing fisher men and others to carry on working. If all fish became owned what would stop a sole owner banning all fisher men from working or giving all fishing rights to one company?


There are two issues.

Firstly, the owner is going to want to maximise profits, so clearly he will only ban all fishing if that is a requirement for the sustainability of his long term profits - which is exactly what we would want.

The point about having sole rights depends on the legal framework you put around the issue.  It may be that this is an acceptable way of doing things, or you may regard it as contrary to public interest as it may be regarded as a form of monopoly, and we already have legislation regarding the creation of cartels and monopolies.

I really think it should be a world scheme to repair the damage done, overall ownership shouldn't be allowed. 

Having politicians providing centralised control over resources has always proved to be the worst of all possible worlds.

You asked earlier why fishermen are not behaving responsibly, and I suggested it was because they were never given responsibility.  Giving politicians centralised control over fish stocks does nothing to mitigate this - fishermen will still not be given responsibility for their fish stocks, and so will still have no motive to behave responsibly.  What you are suggesting is equivalent to to collectivisation of agriculture that Stalin implemented in the Soviet Union that lead to the great famine.  Centralised control of resources is too blunt an instrument, and does not work.  You need the flexibility of allowing (and motivating) people at the coal face to optimise their own actions in the light of local conditions.  If the only people motivated are the guys at the centre, and the rest are just blindly following orders, the system will not work.
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #12 on: 24/09/2007 20:08:25 »
I really think it should be a world scheme to repair the damage done, overall ownership shouldn't be allowed. 

Having politicians providing centralised control over resources has always proved to be the worst of all possible worlds.

You asked earlier why fishermen are not behaving responsibly, and I suggested it was because they were never given responsibility.  Giving politicians centralised control over fish stocks does nothing to mitigate this - fishermen will still not be given responsibility for their fish stocks,

Well they are not their stocks, they never were they turn up pull them out of the sea and sell them.

and so will still have no motive to behave responsibly.  What you are suggesting is equivalent to to collectivisation of agriculture that Stalin implemented in the Soviet Union that lead to the great famine.  Centralised control of resources is too blunt an instrument, and does not work.

Well no I am not advocating anything these are just ideas.
I am not suggesting that overall control over fish stocks should be given to anyone. At the point of release the fish are free and owned by no-one.

You need the flexibility of allowing (and motivating) people at the coal face to optimise their own actions in the light of local conditions.  If the only people motivated are the guys at the centre, and the rest are just blindly following orders, the system will not work.

I am merely suggesting that the fish removed by fisher men, be replaced; And looking at different ways of achieving that. So people can still eat them, fisher men can still work and stocks don't run out.

A not for profit organisation could run the scheme. For it to work you would need some form of overall direction, if every country that could build a farm and did, and then did what they wanted, anything could happen, it could very well make the situation worst.

You could ban fishing altogether and just allow farmed fish to be sold.   

I just don't see the centralised argument here. If one company owned all the fish farms, what's the difference? At least if it was run by government it would be democratic.
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #13 on: 24/09/2007 20:54:36 »
You could check at the point of sale, in the shops at the other end of the system, then trace where the fish came from.

If you have a single piece of salmon on your plate, this might be possible, but how do you suggest you do this with a single slice out of a giant tuna, or where fish are ground up into fish meal?

It would be done at the factory that they are made, pre-use.

You are now creating a very complex system, where some fish are checked at one point in the system, some at another point in the system.  Such a level of complexity and inconsistency will generate an enormous number of holes within the system, as well as generating costs.

No, I was actually just saying that fish bought would have a tax on it. You could just set a flat tax worked by weight, which would be equal for all fish. Probably the simplest way of doing it. You will get half weights but you can round up to the nearest penny.

At present, fish are normally checked on landing, which is as close to the point of capture as people are willing to go - but every point in the system further away from the point of capture just increases the likelihood that someone will sidestep the system.


It has its benefits in terms of simplicity, although there are still a number of holes in this (not necessarily more holes than in any other system).

A French fishing boat comes ashore with a boat load of fish - where does the tax go - is this to support the French fish farms, even though he caught all of his fish off the coast of Iceland? 

It would all depend on how the system was set up, the tax could go to European union and then be sent to each country that had a fish farm.
Or you could tax related to the actual catch, then the money would go to the farm that actually releases that species.
If the tax was generated by each country then you would have to tax share with the countries involved, that would cause some problems.

But Iceland is not a member of the EU - and what if the fishing fleet is Russian?

As I said you would need to address all of these issues as you set the system up. That is why I was suggesting that it should be a U.N run operation, all countries get a say.

What if he had been fishing in more than one area, how do you allocate the tax?

Well the tax by species and then allocation to the farm that produces would solve that. But then you would no doubt have a situation where two farms produce the same fish and then argue over who is closer to the catch site.
Under that situation I would recommend a tax share, which would mean all of the catches would be divided between all the farms that produce that species.

But since catch and farming are only loosely related by the species of fish they produce, then it will lead to people trying to farm popular species of fish on the cheap, get the profit from the catches, but have no real benefit (maybe even a liability) on the feral stock levels (they would be technically feral rather than strictly wild stock).

They should be run by not for profit organisations, the benefits they bring should be the main consideration. Employment for fisher men, better ecosystems, and protection of the resources. 

What about the landing of species that are not farmed?

Well the non-farmed fish numbers would probably have been increased due to a greater numbers of other fish being released. So the again the tax would be split up and shared between all the farms.

How do you work this out?

You don't work it out, all fish that get removed get a small tax put on them, across the board.

If you release one species of fish, they may be food for another breed, but they could also represent competition for yet another species, or could be predators for yet a third species, or could be a disease vector for a fourth species.  You cannot assume that adding a species will equally benefit all other species.

Your right, that is why you would need serious scientific over sight by the environmental community. They are not easy questions to answer, which fish is probably the hardest, unless you only release the ones caught to balance against the action of fisher men.

Don't forget your taxing all areas of the process, the buyers the producers and the middle men as well, So the overall tax burden on each would be lower.

Complexity, complexity, complexity.

So, now, every time I use a product of any kind, I have to know if fish were in some way used to produce some of the raw material for that product (maybe fish were fed to the chickens I buy, or maybe fish glue was used somewhere, or maybe I am buying a mix of food, some of which includes fish and some which does not), and I have to work out the exact percentage of fish in the mix before I know my tax liability?

I see your point, most producers could tell you what percentage of fish is in a product. But, your right tax the catch on landing and the cost will be taken on by all parties after that. So the simplest way of doing it would be to straight tax all fish brought in.

 
What motivation is there in the system to better reward more effective fish farms?

Well rewards should be more than just financial. If the system was intergrated and there was some form of over control then the fish farms could adapt and release the fish needed. If each farm was left to its own devices they would probably all start producing the same fish, which would give the most benefit financially.

This is why I think the farms would need to be government run, the overall benefits to the economy would stem from that.
This is a world problem, why could you not allow the U.N to run the scheme?
All coastal countries would have a farm, all countries would pay a tax on the fish all the revenue would then be shared out to the farms that produces the catch. So the U.N and environmental groups could run it.

Do you really believe national governments, much less the UN, is competent to run such a scheme (British Leyland writ large).

This is really going back to the debates we had elsewhere about centralised planned economies - you are now talking about a centralised planned fish sector of the economy.

"Centrally planned" no! it's more and exercise in environmental repair. The farms replace what was taken nature does the rest.

Well thats a good idea, the unbranded fish would be more expensive so the fishermen would throw them back, I only hope the fish thrown back, survive.

Evidence to date unfortunately show that most fish that are thrown back are either dead before the hit the water, or will not survive long after.

A study into why might be able to find a solution

All of this ofcourse changes from the current system, since the present system does not release farmed fish back into the wild, and I suspect at present many environmentalists would be wary of doing so.

It would be nice if any environmentalists reading this could voice an opinion, I would say that, what I am suggesting is no different to what they do with monkeys or other nearly extinct spices, do they not raise them in a zoo and then release them back into the wild to help the population increase.

What we do with monkeys is totally different.
  • We rear a small number of monkeys (not millions).
  • The monkeys are relatively disease free (the conditions in fish farms leads to higher levels of infection in the fish than is common in the wild).  One fear is that releasing large numbers of farmed fish into the wild could spread infection into the wild population.
  • There is some attempt to train the few monkeys that are released back into the wild to cope with conditions in the wild (having been brought up in the more protected environment of a zoo) - again, not at all practical for millions of fish.

No it's the same, just bigger, I don't think fish need education, they may, but I don't think they do.

The whole point of running the scheme is to leave the wild, wild, but to have improvement in the ecosystem while allowing fisher men and others to carry on working. If all fish became owned what would stop a sole owner banning all fisher men from working or giving all fishing rights to one company?


There are two issues.

Firstly, the owner is going to want to maximise profits, so clearly he will only ban all fishing if that is a requirement for the sustainability of his long term profits - which is exactly what we would want.

The point about having sole rights depends on the legal framework you put around the issue.  It may be that this is an acceptable way of doing things, or you may regard it as contrary to public interest as it may be regarded as a form of monopoly, and we already have legislation regarding the creation of cartels and monopolies.

I really take issue with the idea that anyone could own nature. Its the utter lack of respect for nature that got us here. If nature becomes owned then those that own it can treat it as they like(legally).
Nature should be protected for its own sake, not because it's owned. I can't see ownership of the sea doing anything but making the situation worse, normal fishing with rod and tackle would become prohibited, any fish caught from the sea would be owned by someone; I don't want to see that.
   
« Last Edit: 24/09/2007 21:06:59 by sooyeah »
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #14 on: 24/09/2007 21:21:45 »
There are lots of ways the system could work.

They could be taxed and run by either individual governments, blocks like the European union or the U.N.

Or you could turn it into a business, where all fish would be owned, although I can not see the market solving this problem, the main concerns would be monetary.

Or a not for profit organisation or an NGO.

There are other ways too. 

The whole point of a forum to discuss ideas, to share information and come up with a better understanding of things. This idea may never be useful, but then it may, who knows.

One things for sure, we need to think about it.   
« Last Edit: 24/09/2007 21:27:52 by sooyeah »
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #15 on: 24/09/2007 21:34:12 »
I am not going to try and argue point by point here, because I think we are getting into basic difficulties that neither of us really see a path out of, so I will merely give some view of what I perceived as my starting point for this.

It was never my intention to suggest that a single company owned all the fish stocks in the world.  As you say, a commercial monopoly is no better than a political monopoly (hence the problems we have had with rail and water privatisation).  My conception was more along the lines of a single company owning a single school of fish, and following that school as the Lapps might follow their herd of reindeer.  The problem with this, with fish as with reindeer, the animals do not respect political boundaries, so it might present difficulties for the fishermen to follow their school if the entered waters that the fishermen were not allowed to follow into.  If this could be made to work, it would give the fishermen good cause to protect their schools, knowing that over-utilisation would jeopardise their own future, while the fruits of appropriate self restraint could not be stolen from them by their competitors.

The other problem is to naively consider all fish to be the same.  One cannot manage cod in the same way as one might manage tuna, since tuna are more solitary fish.

I don't think at this time it is practical to ban fishing worldwide; but increasingly some species of fish will become ever more uneconomic to fish as the price of wild fish is vastly undercut by farmed fish.  The problem is that not all fish can easily be farmed, and I cannot ever see it being practical to farm large fish such as sharks or tuna.

One also has to ask whether large scale fish farming will actually offer the protection to wild fish that people imagine.  Certainly, in some cases, fish farming might undermine the economic benefits in hunting wild fish; but that simply means that the risk to the fish changes from hunting to habitat encroachment, resource competition, and general neglect (as has been see to be the case with the move from terrestrial hunting to farming, that the farmers ceased to see the wild animals as an economic asset, but saw them just as a threat to their farms).
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #16 on: 24/09/2007 22:03:49 »
The problem with this, with fish as with reindeer, the animals do not respect political boundaries, so it might present difficulties for the fishermen to follow their school if the entered waters that the fishermen were not allowed to follow into.

That is why I was suggesting that farmed fish be released and left to there own devices, it's simpler, fisher men would carry on as now.

The issue for me is, how do you fund it? How could it be put to the best use?

This is an issue of sustainability. The primary concern should be bringing fish back from the brink.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #17 on: 24/09/2007 22:09:11 »
OK, we are crossing postings, as this came in while I was replying to the previous.  No problem, just so we understand what is a reaction to what.

But Iceland is not a member of the EU - and what if the fishing fleet is Russian?

As I said you would need to address all of these issues as you set the system up. That is why I was suggesting that it should be a U.N run operation, all countries get a say.

I still don't see it going to be easy to have the Chinese, Russians, Burmese, Americans, North Koreans, Somalis, et al, sign up to this let alone allow appropriate audits to ensure it functions properly.

But since catch and farming are only loosely related by the species of fish they produce, then it will lead to people trying to farm popular species of fish on the cheap, get the profit from the catches, but have no real benefit (maybe even a liability) on the feral stock levels (they would be technically feral rather than strictly wild stock).

They should be run by not for profit organisations, the benefits they bring should be the main consideration. Employment for fisher men, better ecosystems, and protection of the resources. 

Profit, in a narrow sense, is not the key issue; the key issue is some system of reward for success, and penalty for failure profit is merely the conventional way of achieving this.  If there is no reward for success, then you lack quality control.


If you release one species of fish, they may be food for another breed, but they could also represent competition for yet another species, or could be predators for yet a third species, or could be a disease vector for a fourth species.  You cannot assume that adding a species will equally benefit all other species.

Your right, that is why you would need serious scientific over sight by the environmental community. They are not easy questions to answer, which fish is probably the hardest, unless you only release the ones caught to balance against the action of fisher men.

The trouble is that scientists and environmentalists are not omnipotent.  Even assuming that all environmentalists were saints, and all fishermen were sinners, that the scientists and environmentalists are still only offering theory, and you still need a feedback mechanism to demonstrate that theory translates to practice (in other industries, e.g. Mining you can have geologists who will tell you where to mine for whatever you are looking for, but one does noit glibly accept the geologists theory, one tests it against practice, and often the geologists get it wrong how are you proposing we test the environmentalists theories against practice?).

What motivation is there in the system to better reward more effective fish farms?

Well rewards should be more than just financial. If the system was intergrated and there was some form of over control then the fish farms could adapt and release the fish needed. If each farm was left to its own devices they would probably all start producing the same fish, which would give the most benefit financially.

This is why I think the farms would need to be government run, the overall benefits to the economy would stem from that.
This is a world problem, why could you not allow the U.N to run the scheme?
All coastal countries would have a farm, all countries would pay a tax on the fish all the revenue would then be shared out to the farms that produces the catch. So the U.N and environmental groups could run it.

As I said above, whether you regard it as profit, or something else, you still need a feedback mechanism that rewards results, not merely rewarding conformance to theory.  Profit is the traditional way of doing this, but if you want some other means, then by all means think of another way of doing it but if results are not rewarded, then there will be no way of separating good practice from bad practice, and the final outcome will always be failure.

"Centrally planned" no! it's more and exercise in environmental repair. The farms replace what was taken nature does the rest.

But if the UN is planning an running all of this, then how can you regard that as anything but centrally planned?  What is less central than the UN?

Well thats a good idea, the unbranded fish would be more expensive so the fishermen would throw them back, I only hope the fish thrown back, survive.

Evidence to date unfortunately show that most fish that are thrown back are either dead before the hit the water, or will not survive long after.

A study into why might be able to find a solution

I don't think you need much of a study into why fish die when they are taken out of the water.

What we do with monkeys is totally different.
  • We rear a small number of monkeys (not millions).
  • The monkeys are relatively disease free (the conditions in fish farms leads to higher levels of infection in the fish than is common in the wild).  One fear is that releasing large numbers of farmed fish into the wild could spread infection into the wild population.
  • There is some attempt to train the few monkeys that are released back into the wild to cope with conditions in the wild (having been brought up in the more protected environment of a zoo) - again, not at all practical for millions of fish.

No it's the same, just bigger, I don't think fish need education, they may, but I don't think they do.

Depends on the fish, but it is more complex than formal training in the way that one might train a human being.  Fish farming is probably closer to poultry farming (in some respects, battery farming) than to keeping fish in a small tank.  Fish are not expected to be physically strong (they have not had to build up strength overcoming natural obstacles), their immune systems will have had different threats, they will have generally had to adapt to a very different environment than they do in the wild.

One would not expect to take a chicken who has lived its life in a battery farm, and just land it in the middle of the jungle, and expect it to have a long life expectancy.

I really take issue with the idea that anyone could own nature. Its the utter lack of respect for nature that got us here. If nature becomes owned then those that own it can treat it as they like(legally).


I would argue quite the converse the reason we are where we are is because nature is not owned.

Farmers own a bit of nature but that ownership brings with it responsibility.  Fishermen have never owned anything more than their boat, and they have made great efforts to look after their boat, but have had no incentive to look after that which they did not own.

Ownership does not mean you can do what you like with something.  Quite the contrary.  I own my car, but I am legally required (if I am to use my car on a public road) to maintain it to a minimum standard.  My ownership of that car is what makes me legally personally responsible for the car, whereas I have no responsibility for a train I do not own, so I am not legally bound to maintain a train to any particular standard (although the owner of the train is responsible for such).

If I were to own a pet, it does not mean that I have the right to abuse that pet, it simply means that I am responsible for that pet.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #18 on: 24/09/2007 22:16:03 »
This is an issue of sustainability. The primary concern should be bringing fish back from the brink.

The issue for me is responsibility, which brings us to ownership.  If you cannot work out who is responsible, the you cannot fix a problem.  By responsibility, I do not mean blame - it is easy to blame, but blame does not fix problems - giving responsibility for a solution, and providing rewards for responsibilities carried out successfully, is what brings results.
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #19 on: 25/09/2007 18:39:48 »
I still don't see it going to be easy to have the Chinese, Russians, Burmese, Americans, North Koreans, Somalis, et al, sign up to this let alone allow appropriate audits to ensure it functions properly.

It depends, on the benefits and rewards.

Profit, in a narrow sense, is not the key issue; the key issue is some system of reward for success, and penalty for failure profit is merely the conventional way of achieving this.  If there is no reward for success, then you lack quality control.

A nice future is a reward. I see what your saying.

The trouble is that scientists and environmentalists are not omnipotent.  Even assuming that all environmentalists were saints, and all fishermen were sinners, that the scientists and environmentalists are still only offering theory, and you still need a feedback mechanism to demonstrate that theory translates to practice (in other industries, e.g. Mining you can have geologists who will tell you where to mine for whatever you are looking for, but one does noit glibly accept the geologists theory, one tests it against practice, and often the geologists get it wrong how are you proposing we test the environmentalists theories against practice?).

How do you access the health of the sea?

As I said above, whether you regard it as profit, or something else, you still need a feedback mechanism that rewards results, not merely rewarding conformance to theory.  Profit is the traditional way of doing this, but if you want some other means, then by all means think of another way of doing it but if results are not rewarded, then there will be no way of separating good practice from bad practice, and the final outcome will always be failure.

It is not an easy question to answer. I just don't want to say 'Targets', there I did it [:-'(].

But if the UN is planning an running all of this, then how can you regard that as anything but centrally planned?  What is less central than the UN?

Well only because the fish farm would release the fish in response to the action of the fishermen.
That would give the fishermen a form of control over the numbers released; Maybe you could work it the other way, a penalty for over fishing, sorry, these are just ideas.

I don't think you need much of a study into why fish die when they are taken out of the water.

Well some don't die maybe with a slightly different catch system they could all survive.

Depends on the fish, but it is more complex than formal training in the way that one might train a human being.  Fish farming is probably closer to poultry farming (in some respects, battery farming) than to keeping fish in a small tank.  Fish are not expected to be physically strong (they have not had to build up strength overcoming natural obstacles), their immune systems will have had different threats, they will have generally had to adapt to a very different environment than they do in the wild.

As another suggestion you could release the fish eggs in similar area to where they are born naturally, you would expect a high mortality rate, but that would probably be the cheepest and most efficient option.

I really take issue with the idea that anyone could own nature. Its the utter lack of respect for nature that got us here. If nature becomes owned then those that own it can treat it as they like(legally).


I would argue quite the converse the reason we are where we are is because nature is not owned.

Farmers own a bit of nature but that ownership brings with it responsibility.  Fishermen have never owned anything more than their boat, and they have made great efforts to look after their boat, but have had no incentive to look after that which they did not own.

Ownership does not mean you can do what you like with something.  Quite the contrary.  I own my car, but I am legally required (if I am to use my car on a public road) to maintain it to a minimum standard.  My ownership of that car is what makes me legally personally responsible for the car, whereas I have no responsibility for a train I do not own, so I am not legally bound to maintain a train to any particular standard (although the owner of the train is responsible for such).

If I were to own a pet, it does not mean that I have the right to abuse that pet, it simply means that I am responsible for that pet.

Ownership does and can bring responsibility but if the owner is inclined they could do the bare minimum(legally).

The owner of a dog who never "harms" his dog and feeds it the minimum amount needed, gives the dog very little attention; The owner would, in the eyes of the law be responsible. Ownership does not make a person responsible, it asks that the owner keeps to the laws relating to the ownership of an item, they can however only be prosecuted after breaking the law, once the damage is done, and then only if they are caught.
 
In some cases if a person never had ownership of a item in the first place, they would not have had the opportunity to damaged it.   

This is an issue of sustainability. The primary concern should be bringing fish back from the brink.

The issue for me is responsibility, which brings us to ownership.  If you cannot work out who is responsible, the you cannot fix a problem.  By responsibility, I do not mean blame - it is easy to blame, but blame does not fix problems - giving responsibility for a solution, and providing rewards for responsibilities carried out successfully, is what brings results.

How does that saying go some people say 'who broke it?' others says 'its broken, I'll fix it'.

Those that caused this problem are probably no longer fishing/eating/doing something that damages the sea.
Government are already giving legal restrictions to fishermen, in an attempt to solve the problem(with no consideration to farm released fish).
Which is why I suggest that the current situation, could be maintained, and fish farms or egg farms could give the fish stocks and extra leg up, in conjunction with the legislation currently being enforced; It's simpler and might work.
« Last Edit: 25/09/2007 18:53:33 by sooyeah »
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #20 on: 25/09/2007 18:40:45 »
So how about the egg farm idea?

It would be cheaper, it would just need breding fish, you wouldn't need to take care of massive amounts of fish, you look after a few then drop the eggs in the breading grounds.
All fish stocks could be covered and the cost would be greatly reduced, the fish would hatch and grow in the wild.

A egg farm would be cheaper so generating the funds would be less demanding, maybe it could work as a charity, NGO.
« Last Edit: 25/09/2007 19:47:14 by sooyeah »
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #21 on: 25/09/2007 20:48:31 »
I still don't see it going to be easy to have the Chinese, Russians, Burmese, Americans, North Koreans, Somalis, et al, sign up to this let alone allow appropriate audits to ensure it functions properly.
It depends, on the benefits and rewards.

But now your coming around to my way of thinking you need tangible rewards to motivate compliance and good practice.  Simply relying on altruism, aside from being insufficient motivation, tends to do more to motivate superficial compliance than genuine good practice.

The trouble is that scientists and environmentalists are not omnipotent.  Even assuming that all environmentalists were saints, and all fishermen were sinners, that the scientists and environmentalists are still only offering theory, and you still need a feedback mechanism to demonstrate that theory translates to practice (in other industries, e.g. Mining you can have geologists who will tell you where to mine for whatever you are looking for, but one does noit glibly accept the geologists theory, one tests it against practice, and often the geologists get it wrong how are you proposing we test the environmentalists theories against practice?).
How do you access the health of the sea?

The problem with assessing anything is first to define it.

The first problem is what exactly are you really trying to achieve?

Up until now we were talking about sustainable fisheries that is a measurable thing (not easily measurable, but measurable) but how do you define the health of an entity that you cannot even say what its normal functionality is?

Even when you are dealing with something one supposedly understands a lot better, it can often be impossible to define what is meant by 'health', so how do you define it for the entirety of the seas?

As I said above, whether you regard it as profit, or something else, you still need a feedback mechanism that rewards results, not merely rewarding conformance to theory.  Profit is the traditional way of doing this, but if you want some other means, then by all means think of another way of doing it but if results are not rewarded, then there will be no way of separating good practice from bad practice, and the final outcome will always be failure.
It is not an easy question to answer. I just don't want to say 'Targets', there I did it [:-'(].

I can see your unease with the notion of 'targets'.

Targets themselves are not bad of themselves, the trouble is that targets need reality checks.  Targets are a good means to an end, but one must not confuse the means with the ends.


But if the UN is planning an running all of this, then how can you regard that as anything but centrally planned?  What is less central than the UN?

Well only because the fish farm would release the fish in response to the action of the fishermen.
That would give the fishermen a form of control over the numbers released; Maybe you could work it the other way, a penalty for over fishing, sorry, these are just ideas.

But which fish farm releases how many fish in response to which fisherman's actions this requires either a direct link between the activity of fishing and the fish farms, or some intermediate control through an organisation such as the UN.

I don't think you need much of a study into why fish die when they are taken out of the water.
Well some don't die maybe with a slightly different catch system they could all survive.

At the risk of being in bad taste, not all inmates in Auschwitz died, but is it meaningful to analyse the difference between survivors and non-survivors, or just accept that Auschwitz is not a place well suited to survival.

Ofcourse, it might be that in the long term, as we keep throwing fish back in the water, we may stimulate evolutionary changes in the fish to make them better able to survive the experience, but I would not see that as being a quick fix solution.

As another suggestion you could release the fish eggs in similar area to where they are born naturally, you would expect a high mortality rate, but that would probably be the cheepest and most efficient option.

It rather depends on the type of fish.

Some fish give live birth (although these are probably more likely to be larger fish, that would be difficult to farm anyway).

At the opposite extreme, you have fish like salmon, that spawn millions of eggs, but immediately die.  In this case, it can make very little difference whether the fish lays its eggs in the wild, or in captivity, since you ill never be able to have the same fish operate as an egg laying factory (in the way the poultry can lay eggs year after year after year).  Nonetheless, I suppose you could I suppose breed a number of generations in captivity solely for the purpose of collecting a large number of eggs, and then release the eggs.  The problem is that as yet I doubt we know well enough the conditions under which the eggs should be released to optimise survival in the wild.

The reality is that to date only a very small fraction of the species in the sea, even the commercially viable species, have been successfully farmed.  Some almost certainly never will be, but no doubt that with time we will learn how to successfully farm others.

Ownership does and can bring responsibility but if the owner is inclined they could do the bare minimum(legally).

The owner of a dog who never "harms" his dog and feeds it the minimum amount needed, gives the dog very little attention; The owner would, in the eyes of the law be responsible. Ownership does not make a person responsible, it asks that the owner keeps to the laws relating to the ownership of an item, they can however only be prosecuted after breaking the law, once the damage is done, and then only if they are caught.

Whatever rules you apply, a person may choose to do no more than the rules require of them (and maybe even not that it may be illegal, not illegal is not the same as impossible).

A lot depends on how you frame the law.  Mental cruelty is I believe as illegal as physical cruelty, although may be more difficult to prove.

But then ownership has two sides to it responsibility and reward.  An owner may enjoy the benefits allowed by law of his ownership of his property.  In the case of a pet, the most common reason for buying a pet is companionship; but a pet will only be a good companion if it is treated well.  So you have both a legal responsibility to treat the animal well, and a right to a reward that is designed to be optimal if you follow both the spirit as well as the letter of the law.

In some cases if a person never had ownership of a item in the first place, they would not have had the opportunity to damaged it.   

Sorry, but this makes no sense whatsoever.

Ofcourse, I have never been to Australia, and I do not own any animals in Australia.  One can say that I have had not had the opportunity to be cruel to an animal in Australia, but it is scarcely a relevant argument.  Should I so choose, I could be cruel to my next door neighbours dog, despite the fact that I do not own the animal.

How does that saying go some people say 'who broke it?' others says 'its broken, I'll fix it'.


Agreed, but you still need to decide who will fix it.

Who broke it matters not in the least, but if 10 different people all try to fix it at once, you will simply get a complete mess, so you have to allocate responsibility to one person, and then ensure that the person does what he is responsible for doing.


Those that caused this problem are probably no longer fishing/eating/doing something that damages the sea.
Government are already giving legal restrictions to fishermen, in an attempt to solve the problem(with no consideration to farm released fish).

Governments are taking action, but the problem with governments (and this is inherent in all government activity, which is why so much of it fails) is that governments never actually make themselves responsible for the consequences of their actions there is never a comeback on a government if its policies fail.  Even in a supposedly democratic system, there are far too many policies all tangled up together for any real responsibility on a policy by policy basis, and even when the government does change, the change is merely of the party, and not much changes in terms of policy (and what does change usually has more to do with doctrine than to do with pragmatic assessment of the success or failure of individual policies).  Furthermore, the time horizons for politicians is far too short to be meaningful in terms of long term responsibility for decisions (although to be fair this can sometimes be true of business as well, although less so for family run businesses).


Which is why I suggest that the current situation, could be maintained, and fish farms or egg farms could give the fish stocks and extra leg up, in conjunction with the legislation currently being enforced; It's simpler and might work.

Certainly, I do not disagree that fish farms will provide many opportunities that would otherwise not be available for the future of fish production and consumption.

I think there are still many problems with fish farms, not least that there are still so few species that we yet understand how to farm.

I am totally against running the whole project as a purely political exercise, where the only quality control on the exercise is the results in the ballot box.  That is too blunt an instrument to manage such a complex task.

I also think we are a long way from releasing farmed fish back into the wild, and even the eggs would have to be carefully screened for parasites before realising into the wild, although the eggs might be more plausible that the returning of the fish themselves.

I do think that you have to be clear in your own mind as to what the objectives are that you are seeking before you can say whether plan X or plan Y is better to achieve that result.  We started this with the assumption that we were looking at sustainable fish harvesting; but you have now introduced this vague notion of the 'health of the sea'.  Please explain what you mean by that, and how would you judge plan X as being superior or inferior at achieving that end result than plan Y?
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #22 on: 25/09/2007 23:46:04 »
But now your coming around to my way of thinking you need tangible rewards to motivate compliance and good practice.  Simply relying on altruism, aside from being insufficient motivation, tends to do more to motivate superficial compliance than genuine good practice.

I agree that you need benefits for those involved, however given the right type of people, eg those involved in environmental conservation, the reward scheme would not need to be so complex.
In some programmes those involved actively want to do the work, as they believe in the project and its aims and objectives; as a result there is less of a need to offer extensive benefits. Biggest problem would be finding those people.

How do you access the health of the sea?

The problem with assessing anything is first to define it.

The first problem is what exactly are you really trying to achieve?

Up until now we were talking about sustainable fisheries that is a measurable thing (not easily measurable, but measurable) but how do you define the health of an entity that you cannot even say what its normal functionality is?

Environmentalists must have an answer to that.

Even when you are dealing with something one supposedly understands a lot better, it can often be impossible to define what is meant by 'health', so how do you define it for the entirety of the seas?

As I just said, for environmentalists to say for example 'that the sea is in trouble' they must have an idea of what constitutes a sea not in trouble.
Can any environmentalists reading this give any examples? Sea ecosystems how do you asses health? I know with forest ecosystems they count the number of large predators, can you do the same with the sea? Would you need to check water quality? Survey Plant life, coral? Environmentalists/marine biologists should have answers to those question surely? Are there any reading this?

Well only because the fish farm would release the fish in response to the action of the fishermen.
That would give the fishermen a form of control over the numbers released; Maybe you could work it the other way, a penalty for over fishing, sorry, these are just ideas.

But which fish farm releases how many fish in response to which fisherman's actions this requires either a direct link between the activity of fishing and the fish farms, or some intermediate control through an organisation such as the UN.

That's a different system again, just another idea, who runs it? How to fund it? What system of rewards and penalties should be used?  What are the main themes of success and failure? Each way of doing it brings lots of questions.
   
I don't think you need much of a study into why fish die when they are taken out of the water.
Well some don't die maybe with a slightly different catch system they could all survive.
Of course, it might be that in the long term, as we keep throwing fish back in the water, we may stimulate evolutionary changes in the fish to make them better able to survive the experience, but I would not see that as being a quick fix solution.

OK your suggesting that fish "might" evolve to cope with being caught!
What about just finding a better way of catching the fish so they don't die? This is only for the idea about, charging less for tagged fish, so they throw back natural ones anyway.

 
As another suggestion you could release the fish eggs in similar area to where they are born naturally, you would expect a high mortality rate, but that would probably be the cheepest and most efficient option.

It rather depends on the type of fish.

Some fish give live birth (although these are probably more likely to be larger fish, that would be difficult to farm anyway).

You could release the pregnant fish in those circumstances.

At the opposite extreme, you have fish like salmon, that spawn millions of eggs, but immediately die.  In this case, it can make very little difference whether the fish lays its eggs in the wild, or in captivity, since you ill never be able to have the same fish operate as an egg laying factory (in the way the poultry can lay eggs year after year after year).  Nonetheless, I suppose you could I suppose breed a number of generations in captivity solely for the purpose of collecting a large number of eggs, and then release the eggs.

That is what I am suggesting.

The problem is that as yet I doubt we know well enough the conditions under which the eggs should be released to optimise survival in the wild.

The reality is that to date only a very small fraction of the species in the sea, even the commercially viable species, have been successfully farmed.  Some almost certainly never will be, but no doubt that with time we will learn how to successfully farm others.

Well that's why an egg farm would be better, you wouldn't be farming the fish, you would keep a small number and release the eggs; the farms could be small as a result and located as near as possible to the point of release.

In some cases if a person never had ownership of a item in the first place, they would not have had the opportunity to damaged it.  

Sorry, but this makes no sense whatsoever.

Of course, I have never been to Australia, and I do not own any animals in Australia.  One can say that I have had not had the opportunity to be cruel to an animal in Australia, but it is scarcely a relevant argument.  Should I so choose, I could be cruel to my next door neighbours dog, despite the fact that I do not own the animal.

I am merely pointing out that before ownership is given, you can never fully assess what the consequences of ownership will bring.
At present no-one owns fish stocks, they move between different territorial waters etc. If ownership is given to a group or individual there could very well cause unforeseen problems.
Ownership is ownership. Could they not, have the right if they choose to remove all their fish and put them in tanks? They own the resource if they were all caught and put it tanks the owner could argue that the fish are being treated well? Then all of those fish would be tanked bread in captivity. Its a extreme example but if the financial reward was big enough the owner could do it. That would result it the complete removal of an entire species from the sea(legally).

How does that saying go some people say 'who broke it?' others says 'its broken, I'll fix it'.


Agreed, but you still need to decide who will fix it.

Who broke it matters not in the least, but if 10 different people all try to fix it at once, you will simply get a complete mess, so you have to allocate responsibility to one person, and then ensure that the person does what he is responsible for doing.

I know I have been arguing for government or NGO over sight. Mainly because this should not be a exercise in economics.

Those that caused this problem are probably no longer fishing/eating/doing something that damages the sea.
Government are already giving legal restrictions to fishermen, in an attempt to solve the problem(with no consideration to farm released fish).

Governments are taking action, but the problem with governments (and this is inherent in all government activity, which is why so much of it fails) is that governments never actually make themselves responsible for the consequences of their actions there is never a comeback on a government if its policies fail.  Even in a supposedly democratic system, there are far too many policies all tangled up together for any real responsibility on a policy by policy basis, and even when the government does change, the change is merely of the party, and not much changes in terms of policy (and what does change usually has more to do with doctrine than to do with pragmatic assessment of the success or failure of individual policies).  Furthermore, the time horizons for politicians is far too short to be meaningful in terms of long term responsibility for decisions (although to be fair this can sometimes be true of business as well, although less so for family run businesses).


Well There is a new form of government, what if the politicians were held responsible for there decisions even after they left office? That would make for better government. So how should they be punished?

Which is why I suggest that the current situation, could be maintained, and fish farms or egg farms could give the fish stocks and extra leg up, in conjunction with the legislation currently being enforced; It's simpler and might work.

Certainly, I do not disagree that fish farms will provide many opportunities that would otherwise not be available for the future of fish production and consumption.

Well agreed but the fish farms and egg farms discussed here wouldn't be involved in that process. The main purpose of these farms would be to repair the loss of stock through over fishing.


I think there are still many problems with fish farms, not least that there are still so few species that we yet understand how to farm.

I am totally against running the whole project as a purely political exercise, where the only quality control on the exercise is the results in the ballot box.  That is too blunt an instrument to manage such a complex task.

I don't see this as a political exercise, I see it as an environmental exercise, trouble is that it becomes political because it affects anyone who eats fish, anyone who works in the fish industry and also affect the sea as well.   

I also think we are a long way from releasing farmed fish back into the wild, and even the eggs would have to be carefully screened for parasites before realising into the wild, although the eggs might be more plausible that the returning of the fish themselves.

Probably the easiest option, the health issue you would work through as you went.

I do think that you have to be clear in your own mind as to what the objectives are that you are seeking before you can say whether plan X or plan Y is better to achieve that result.  We started this with the assumption that we were looking at sustainable fish harvesting;

No that wasn't, we started with me suggesting that fish farms could be used to replace the lost fish stocks, nothing more, everything else has come from this conversation, harvesting is the other side, I was really just looking at the releasing of fish and not considering harvesting.

but you have now introduced this vague notion of the 'health of the sea'.  Please explain what you mean by that, and how would you judge plan X as being superior or inferior at achieving that end result than plan Y?

Well we need a plan first, these are all just ideas, there are lots of ways to do it:

1. The fish themselves released
2. Just pregnant fish released
3. Just the eggs released

it would probably be the case that you would need to do all three depending on the fish.

That would be replacing the fish stocks by simply releasing either eggs or fish.

None of the above examples use tags, or internal devices or DNA scanning as they would be, the commercial ideas for funding the projects.

So a tagged system where fishermen would be charged for catching tagged fish(probably wouldn't work and the tagged fish would be thrown back).

Setting a flat tax on all fish but charge less for tagged fish, therefore natural fish get thrown back(dead).

Releasing tagged fish which are recover by those that released them, after they have lived and bred in the wild, the tag could stun them and assist in the harvesting, A kinda free range fish.

And then all the cross overs between all these different ideas; Which is the funding problem: tax, charity, through market forces, a combination of all three.

That not including all the different motivations for why were discussing it in the first place, the objectives:

1. To preserve fish stocks, eg. To return fish stocks to the levels of say, 30 years ago.

QUESTION: Is that possible? Or safe to do? Could that be counter productive, as the sea could not handle the old stock levels in todays eco-climate?

2. To preserve the fishing industry.

3. To protect all the species that rely on and live in the sea.

They are to my mind the main issues, but there are more.

Probably the biggest problem here is that all these different ideas, which really should all be looked at individually are jumbled up and as we go on I get more ideas....NIGHTMARE..... :(
« Last Edit: 26/09/2007 00:29:04 by sooyeah »
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #23 on: 26/09/2007 01:23:52 »
But now your coming around to my way of thinking you need tangible rewards to motivate compliance and good practice.  Simply relying on altruism, aside from being insufficient motivation, tends to do more to motivate superficial compliance than genuine good practice.

I agree that you need benefits for those involved, however given the right type of people, eg those involved in environmental conservation, the reward scheme would not need to be so complex.
In some programmes those involved actively want to do the work, as they believe in the project and its aims and objectives; as a result there is less of a need to offer extensive benefits. Biggest problem would be finding those people.

If you set up a system that employs 5 people, you can carefully select the people involved to ensure whatever criteria you choose.  When you have a worldwide system that must employ thousands, probably millions of people (in one capacity or another), you have to deal with your average human being (including some that are even the wrong side of average).  Whatever system you set up has to manage this diversity of people, and not naively assume that you can hand pick every last one of them.

do you define the health of an entity that you cannot even say what its normal functionality is?

Environmentalists must have an answer to that.

Not only is this passing the buck, but:
  • Ask 5 environmentalist, and I would guess you would get 6 answers (which should be no surprise, as you could say the same regarding most controversial issues when considered by independently minded people).
  • If you leave other people to decide the objectives to be reached, you may just not like the answer they give you (then again, I suppose it is what most followers of religious orders have been doing for a long time the question is whether you regard environmentalism to be a religion, with decisions being deferred to religious leaders).

As I just said, for environmentalists to say for example 'that the sea is in trouble' they must have an idea of what constitutes a sea not in trouble.
Can any environmentalists reading this give any examples? Sea ecosystems how do you asses health? I know with forest ecosystems they count the number of large predators, can you do the same with the sea? Would you need to check water quality? Survey Plant life, coral? Environmentalists/marine biologists should have answers to those question surely? Are there any reading this?

Are you saying that you are not interested in the 'health of the sea', but are interested in satisfying the environmentalists?
I can see how the number of large predators could be seen as an indicator of the amount of food available to it, but ofcourse that assumes a particular image of what the purpose of a forest is, and judging purpose can be very arbitrary.  In particular, as we discussed about targets before, one can use such things as crude targets without really achieving much (so, one introduces lots of big predators, and then imports lots of food for them to eat, and so achieve the targets while bypassing the mechanism it is meant to represent).

Beyond that, I would ask if we necessarily want big predators in our forests?  We may get all dewy eyed at the pictures of tigers in India, but we are not the ones who need to fear going into the jungle, and I wonder if we would feel so sanguine if we had school children being carried off by forest predators?  It may be 'healthy' by this standard, but is it healthy for humans?

But which fish farm releases how many fish in response to which fisherman's actions this requires either a direct link between the activity of fishing and the fish farms, or some intermediate control through an organisation such as the UN.
That's a different system again, just another idea, who runs it? How to fund it? What system of rewards and penalties should be used?  What are the main themes of success and failure? Each way of doing it brings lots of questions.
 
Clearly, one needs a centralised market oversight; but the point about the centralised authority is that it should only provide structure and not detailed control.  It should provide a system for resolving disputes, and determine the rules by which the system works, but should not seek to manage the system.

The system should be self funding, since the fishermen would be paying royalties of some kind to the fisheries, just as a radio station might pay royalties to a record label.  Clearly, this is only going to work if there are new records published, or new fish released.
 
OK your suggesting that fish "might" evolve to cope with being caught? What about just find better ways of catching the fish so they don't die?

The only ways I can think of doing that are:
  • Be more selective about what one catches.  This would mean either avoiding nets altogether, or somehow separating the species of fish before they being enmeshed in the nets.  Either way, I can only see this would be to have some intelligent process operating underwater (it did occur to me that we could use trained dolphins in the way shepherds use sheep dogs; alternatively use robotic equivalents).
  • The other alternative would be to build large and expensive fishing boats that contain large water tanks.  Rather than pulling the fish onto a dry deck, pull them into a shipboard pool, where the fish could be kept alive until the species can be segragated.

This is only for the idea about, charging less for tagged fish, so they throw back natural ones.
This was something I already suggested for other reasons.

It rather depends on the type of fish.

Some fish give live birth (although these are probably more likely to be larger fish, that would be difficult to farm anyway).
You could release the pregnant fish in those circumstances.

But this would have all the problems of releasing live fish in any other circumstance.

The problem is that as yet I doubt we know well enough the conditions under which the eggs should be released to optimise survival in the wild.

The reality is that to date only a very small fraction of the species in the sea, even the commercially viable species, have been successfully farmed.  Some almost certainly never will be, but no doubt that with time we will learn how to successfully farm others.

Well that's why an egg farm would be better, you wouldn't be farming the fish, you would keep a small number and release the eggs; the farms could be small as a result and located as near as possible to the point of release.

But we had discussed earlier that you would be farming fish, because that is how you would produce the eggs (otherwise where does your supply of eggs come from).  The issue was not about whether you farm the fish, but about what you would release into the wild.

I am merely pointing out that before ownership is given, you can never fully assess what the consequences of ownership will bring.
At present no-one owns fish stocks, they move between different territorial waters etc. If ownership is given to a group or individual there could very well cause unforeseen problems.

If you can tell me a course of action that pertains either to human nature, or the natural environment (much less, both of them) that will guarantee a particular outcome, and do so without any unforeseen consequence; I would at first disbelieve you, and if you could prove that what you were saying was true, I would be dumbfounded.

What we need to design are systems that are flexible enough, and robust enough, to deal with the unforeseen; but not be surprised that there will be unforeseen consequences.

Clearly, we do have some historic experience of what private ownership brings with regard to terrestrial life, as we have in the past first moved from a hunter gatherer lifestyle (roughly where fishing is today), towards agriculture (through various different models of ownership).

Ownership is ownership. Could they not, have the right if they choose to remove all their fish and put them in tanks? They own the resource if they were all caught and put it tanks the owner could argue that the fish are being treated well? Then all of those fish would be tanked bread in captivity. Its a extreme example but if the financial reward was big enough the owner could do it. That would result it the complete removal of an entire species from the sea(legally).

Theoretically possible (unless the law forbade it which is always a possibility); but why would they do it (there may be some reasons for doing it, but some of those reasons might even be legitimate, as it may ultimately be seen in some circumstances as the only way of protecting the species).

Two thirds of the Earth is covered by sea, and at present most of the sea is common 'land', and so is freely available to all who choose to use it.  Dry land covers only one third of the Earth, and is generally very expensive to use.  The reasons for a commercial organisation to choose to use an expensive resource like dry land, when they could use a free resource, like the open sea, would have to be very compelling indeed (and if it is that compelling, then it might even be legitimate).

I know I have been arguing for government or NGO over sight. Mainly because this should not be a exercise in economics.

Economics should be seen as the means and not the ends.  If you design the system correctly, you can use economics as a tool to achieve whatever ends you desire, but the process of economics allows the system to 'genetically' evolve to create the optimum solution to achieve the ends.  Ofcourse, I do fully accept that this is dependent on creating the right economic environment to achieve the desired ends, and if you get that wrong, you will indeed have adverse effects.

Well There is a new form of government, what if the politicians were held responsible for there decisions even after they left office? That would make for better government. So how should they be punished?

I would love it, but I cannot see any politician voting for it.

I don't see this as a political exercise, I see it as an environmental exercise, trouble is that it becomes political because it affects anyone who eats fish, anyone who works in the fish industry and also affect the sea as well.   

It is political because it is controlled by political bodies.

In some ways, one cannot effect any social change without involving political entities, but the problem is that politicians are not capable of the management of such projects (no reason why they should be, since it is not expertise in management that got them to be successful politicians).

but you have now introduced this vague notion of the 'health of the sea'.  Please explain what you mean by that, and how would you judge plan X as being superior or inferior at achieving that end result than plan Y?

Well we need a plan first these are all just ideas, there are lots of ways to do it:

1. The fish themselves released
2. Just pregnant fish released
3. Just the eggs released

it would probably be the case that you would need to do all three depending on the fish.

That would be replacing the fish stocks by simply releasing either egg or fish.

Then the other commercial ideas for funding the projects including tagging fish which fishermen would be charged for catching(probably wouldn't work and the tagged fish would be thrown back).

Setting a flat tax on all fish but charge less for tagged fish, therefore natural fish get thrown back(dead).

Releasing tagged fish which are recover by those that released them, after they have lived and bred in the wild, the tag could stun them and assist in the harvesting, A kinda free range fish.

But these are all means, and not ends.  You have not told me how you would measure that these means would achieve the desired objective, and this is because you have not even enumerated what the objectives are.

That not including all the different motivation for why were discussing it in the first place, Right the objectives:

1. To preserve fish stocks, eg. To return fish stocks to the levels of say, 30 years ago.

QUESTION: Is that possible? Or safe to do? Could that be counter productive, as the sea could not handle the old stock levels in todays eco-climate?

That is a good question, and part of the problem with this whole discussion.

The world changes, and preserving yesterday in aspic is just not 'healthy' in the sense that it undermines the processes of evolution.

2. To preserve the fishing industry.

That is the area that I was most concentrating on, since it is at least an easily identifiable and understandable target (with certain caveats, insofar as that too must evolve like all else).

3. To protect all the species that rely on and live in the sea.

Same problem as the preservation of historic stock levels things don't stand still, and trying to freeze yesterday cannot work, even if it was desirable.
 

sooyeah

  • Guest
Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #24 on: 26/09/2007 13:08:58 »
If you set up a system that employs 5 people, you can carefully select the people involved to ensure whatever criteria you choose.  When you have a worldwide system that must employ thousands, probably millions of people (in one capacity or another), you have to deal with your average human being (including some that are even the wrong side of average).  Whatever system you set up has to manage this diversity of people, and not naively assume that you can hand pick every last one of them.

I agree, but if the farms worked as I am thinking they should, then the Numbers employed in the whole scheme would be small.

Not only is this passing the buck, but:
  • Ask 5 environmentalist, and I would guess you would get 6 answers (which should be no surprise, as you could say the same regarding most controversial issues when considered by independently minded people).
  • If you leave other people to decide the objectives to be reached, you may just not like the answer they give you (then again, I suppose it is what most followers of religious orders have been doing for a long time the question is whether you regard environmentalism to be a religion, with decisions being deferred to religious leaders).

This is a responce to the claims made by environmentalists looking at sea life, if the environmentalists hadn't made the claims, then I would never have considered a way of repairing the damage and problems. Some enviromentalists claim there are problems and want all fishing stopped.
I am therefore just stating that reality, they said 'there is a problem', for them to do so, means they must have an idea of what the sea would be like without any major problems.
No buck passing at all, they brought it up as a problem, I'm asking if this 'fish farm' idea could help solve it?
Nothing more.

Are you saying that you are not interested in the 'health of the sea', but are interested in satisfying the environmentalists?

Hardly, I as I just said, am looking for solutions to problems they have raised. That does however, mean that to a degree I am relying on them.

I can see how the number of large predators could be seen as an indicator of the amount of food available to it, but of course that assumes a particular image of what the purpose of a forest is, and judging purpose can be very arbitrary.  In particular, as we discussed about targets before, one can use such things as crude targets without really achieving much (so, one introduces lots of big predators, and then imports lots of food for them to eat, and so achieve the targets while bypassing the mechanism it is meant to represent).

Beyond that, I would ask if we necessarily want big predators in our forests?  We may get all dewy eyed at the pictures of tigers in India, but we are not the ones who need to fear going into the jungle, and I wonder if we would feel so sanguine if we had school children being carried off by forest predators?  It may be 'healthy' by this standard, but is it healthy for humans?

Hence the problem with targets, and a system that puts money as the main purpose for activity.

Clearly, one needs a centralised market oversight; but the point about the centralised authority is that it should only provide structure and not detailed control.  It should provide a system for resolving disputes, and determine the rules by which the system works, but should not seek to manage the system.

The system should be self funding, since the fishermen would be paying royalties of some kind to the fisheries, just as a radio station might pay royalties to a record label.  Clearly, this is only going to work if there are new records published, or new fish released.

Well there are lots of ways to fund it, your right though, you need to set the objectives firsts, otherwise you going no where.

The only ways I can think of doing that are:
  • Be more selective about what one catches.  This would mean either avoiding nets altogether, or somehow separating the species of fish before they being enmeshed in the nets.  Either way, I can only see this would be to have some intelligent process operating underwater (it did occur to me that we could use trained dolphins in the way shepherds use sheep dogs; alternatively use robotic equivalents).
  • The other alternative would be to build large and expensive fishing boats that contain large water tanks.  Rather than pulling the fish onto a dry deck, pull them into a shipboard pool, where the fish could be kept alive until the species can be segragated.

I was thinking along lines of an on board tank as well.
I can't believe it would be that expensive, you would fill it with sea water, four sides and a pump. The hard part would be separating the fish. 

This is only for the idea about, charging less for tagged fish, so they throw back natural ones.
This was something I already suggested for other reasons.

For other reasons? Which were?

It rather depends on the type of fish.

Some fish give live birth (although these are probably more likely to be larger fish, that would be difficult to farm anyway).
You could release the pregnant fish in those circumstances.

But this would have all the problems of releasing live fish in any other circumstance.

Well no the problems would be reduced as you would only be releasing a small numbers of fish, rather than massive quantities that would be released under a 'fish farm'.

But we had discussed earlier that you would be farming fish, because that is how you would produce the eggs (otherwise where does your supply of eggs come from).  The issue was not about whether you farm the fish, but about what you would release into the wild.

Yes you are still farming, just smaller numbers, it would probably be done in tanks. Fish farms today hold huge numbers of live fish, an egg farm would hold far less.

What we need to design are systems that are flexible enough, and robust enough, to deal with the unforeseen; but not be surprised that there will be unforeseen consequences.

Clearly, we do have some historic experience of what private ownership brings with regard to terrestrial life, as we have in the past first moved from a hunter gatherer lifestyle (roughly where fishing is today), towards agriculture (through various different models of ownership).

Well, if we are looking at ways of preserving natural habitates and ecosystems, the above example of private ownership does not suit the objectives.

Theoretically possible (unless the law forbade it which is always a possibility); but why would they do it (there may be some reasons for doing it, but some of those reasons might even be legitimate, as it may ultimately be seen in some circumstances as the only way of protecting the species).

They would not be protecting the 'species' they would be protecting their investment.
There is a instant problem, currently, individuals are leaving the sea to its own devices(to nature), if that changes they will all start playing with it; the outcome could be a good one, but that's unlikely.
We are already fishing, my suggestion is to release fish to make up for the damage done by fishermen, while not allocating ownership of all the fish. 

Two thirds of the Earth is covered by sea, and at present most of the sea is common 'land', and so is freely available to all who choose to use it.  Dry land covers only one third of the Earth, and is generally very expensive to use.  The reasons for a commercial organisation to choose to use an expensive resource like dry land, when they could use a free resource, like the open sea, would have to be very compelling indeed (and if it is that compelling, then it might even be legitimate).

Not forgeting that currently all countries are involved in a sea land grab at the UN.

Economics should be seen as the means and not the ends.  If you design the system correctly, you can use economics as a tool to achieve whatever ends you desire, but the process of economics allows the system to 'genetically' evolve to create the optimum solution to achieve the ends.

Sadly the ends are generally always making money, and as much money as possible.

Ofcourse, I do fully accept that this is dependent on creating the right economic environment to achieve the desired ends, and if you get that wrong, you will indeed have adverse effects.

If you give ownership of the sea to someone they will explot it for economic gain. I cannot see that solving the problem. Even if you put in place strong laws, they can be reversed in court.

It is political because it is controlled by political bodies.
In some ways, one cannot effect any social change without involving political entities, but the problem is that politicians are not capable of the management of such projects (no reason why they should be, since it is not expertise in management that got them to be successful politicians).

It should be run by those that want the same objective achieved. So greenpeace or another NGO for example.

That not including all the different motivation for why were discussing it in the first place, Right the objectives:

1. To preserve fish stocks, eg. To return fish stocks to the levels of say, 30 years ago.

QUESTION: Is that possible? Or safe to do? Could that be counter productive, as the sea could not handle the old stock levels in todays eco-climate?

That is a good question, and part of the problem with this whole discussion.

The world changes, and preserving yesterday in aspic is just not 'healthy' in the sense that it undermines the processes of evolution.

Well yeah, but how do nonexistent fish evolve? The main objective has to be to stop fish going extinct.

2. To preserve the fishing industry.

That is the area that I was most concentrating on, since it is at least an easily identifiable and understandable target (with certain caveats, insofar as that too must evolve like all else).

Quite funny, that's the side I'm not really thinking about that much.

3. To protect all the species that rely on and live in the sea.

Same problem as the preservation of historic stock levels things don't stand still, and trying to freeze yesterday cannot work, even if it was desirable.

I know, they don't stand still. As an idea you could estermate the total damage done by fishermen and then set that as the objective, to put the sea in a position where human activity goes unnoticed.
« Last Edit: 26/09/2007 13:24:19 by sooyeah »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Solving the problem of fish stocks.....
« Reply #24 on: 26/09/2007 13:08:58 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums