8.9.11

Fishing subsidies. Good, bad or just plain evil?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/scientists-call-for-end-to-deep-sea-fishing/2011/08/30/gIQApPJc7J_story.html

To some extent, people are happy to blow things out of proportion for their own purposes. But there's also a tragedy of the commons in effect - as well as a self-defeating industry practice in which fleets from many different regulatory bodies (i.e., countries) compete to innovate and get to the stocks before they're depleted. That will eventually kick the industry hard enough in the *** (i.e., the wallet) to get people to sit up and take notice.

But we're definitely at the stage where technology and massive scale economies in industrial fishing has developed to the point where once an economically advantageous mode of operations is identified and put into practice, the lasting damage can be done in a few years. Putting that into a "sustainable harvest" mode is a massively problematic issue of international cooperation, difficult at the best of times.

“What they’re doing out there is more like mining than fishing,” said Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
Fishing subsidies help sustain this practice, according to Rashid Sumaila, the paper’s other author, who directs the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. He said high-seas trawlers around the world receive roughly $162 million each year in government handouts, which amounts to a quarter of the value of the fleets’ catch.
“That is what is keeping most of them in business,” Sumaila said.
Bottom-trawling can crush deep-sea corals, which can live for as long as 4,000 years, the scientists noted. Some fish species of the deep live for more than a century, and while they can spawn many eggs, there can be several years in which juveniles fail to make it into adulthood.
Orange roughy, which Australia declared a threatened species in 2006, take 30 years to reach sexual maturity and live up to 149 years. The leafscale gulper shark, one of several deep-water sharks targeted for its liver oil, “matures late, has only 5-8 pups per year and lives to be 70 years old,” the authors write.
Here's to hoping the international fishing industries will eventually figure out that they need their governments to get together and hash this out somehow so that new developments and hitting up previously ignored fish stocks will not work for a few years and then have to shut down due to lack of fish.

Don't forget that the money for subsidies comes out the taxpayers' pockets. I'm guessing you pay taxes. You pay for this ****. And there's a bunch of special-interest lobbyists laughing all the way to the bank as they fund re-election campaigns in order to get favourable legislation.

Theft. Legalized and called preservation of <insert country> values, or "creating jobs" or similar doublespeak.

Mmmm... more efficient ways to build protein for human consumption. Insects.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insects_as_food#Advantages
Insects generally have a higher food conversion efficiency than more traditional meats, measured as efficiency of conversion of ingested food, orECI.[29] While many insects can have an energy input to protein output ratio of around 4:1, raised livestock has a ratio closer to 54:1.[30] 
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficiency_of_conversion

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