Friday, June 4, 2010

The Solution - Global Fishing Collaboration

Overfishing is a huge problem, so what can we do to stop it from happening?

 Current Solutions and Their Downfalls

When looking at past solutions and their failure a great example is the handling of the Newfoundland cod fisheries. The fix to the dwindling cod stocks was the establishment of the ICNAF, International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, which established TAC's, Total Allowable Catches, to slow the decreasing stocks. However, this organization failed to stop the overfishing. Let's look at a few reasons why this presumably effective plan failed.
  • Fishing is a very lucrative industry. It provides thousands of jobs to Canadian locals in Newfoundland which fuels the economy and also pumps millions of dollars to foreign nations who fish in international waters. This is very bad news for the cod as these companies and even whole countries pressured the ICNAF to raise the restrictions on the number of cod allowed to be fished.
  • Another reason that the restrictions failed was regulation. Since the ICNAF had limited resources it was unable to enforce all of it's restrictions. Factory boats and trawlers simply lied about the number of fish that they caught and there was no way to tell if the numbers provided were true or false.
  • The final reason the ICNAF was ineffective in solving the cod overfishing was their actual scientific information and lack outreach to the scientific community. Ironically, the ICNAF calculated cod populations based off the catch numbers of the companies who were overfishing. So as fishing technology improved and more cod were caught the ICNAF continually over estimated the number of cod and therefor set catch limits too high. This continued even though scientists and local fisherman told the ICNAF that the cod were decreasing.
So learning from these past solutions and their downfalls, what do we propose as a new solution? What we have come up with is a global organization that will aim to stop overfishing and promote alternatives to overfishing altogether.
    New Prevention Plan – “Global Fishing Collaboration”

    Goals) The overall goal of the GFC is to eliminate all forms of overfishing encompassing all species currently being over fished. The GFC also aims to educate the youth of the world on the damaging effects of overfishing to stop history from repeating itself and also promote alternatives to fishing.

    Action) The main action required to complete the plan is cooperation and support. In order to function correctly the most powerful and influential countries will have to sign and agree on the creation of the new organization so that it will have the power to persuade. Money and resources will also be required to carry out plans.

    Methods) The GFC has an arsenal of strategies to reduce overfishing. Previously, attempts to reduce overfishing have been treated with a pacifist approach. Those days are over. The GFC will issue mandates about how much a certain fish is allowed to be caught and where they can be caught. Countries successfully meeting mandates will be rewarded with money and support. On the other hand, countries that do not cooperate will be fined. If there are repeat offenses there is chance of an embargo by GFC countries and the most extreme, military force. Once again, this intimidation is required as simply words and documents are not enough to persuade the greedy fishing organizations. The GFC will also use new methods of stopping overfishing such as fish farming that would use environmental friendly products or setting up rotations of what fish are sold annually so that one fish is not in more demand then another.

    Success) Why will the GFC succeed? The first reason why is that it is needed. Once the GFC has completed it's goal of informing the world people will truly understand the destruction capability that overfishing has. The GFC is the answer to their calling. Another huge factor is support. If the GFC is approved and backed by multiple world powers other countries would have no choice but to meet their environmental standards.The GFC will also succeed as it will listen. The keyword in GFC is cooperation and that means on both parties.The GFC will listen to scientists around the world, they will listen to countries and what they think, and most of all they will listen to fisherman themselves to make the most informed decision possible.

    Time line) The formation and success of GFC would take about 15 years. The first 5 years would be founded in the United States of America. In this time, the program would be founded and begin work only in the United States. As time progresses the programs efforts in America will be noticed and the positive results of their work will provide concrete evidence to its effectiveness. Once that reputation is secured the next 5 years will be dedicated to gathering support. This is when representatives will visit other countries, committees will be organized, and world wide summits held. The last 5 years till full fledged operational status will focus mainly on resources. In this time headquarters will be constructed, enforcement fleets amassed, and scientists gathered. The GFC will eventually have to police the entire worlds ocean which would require massive amounts of bio-friendly ships, but anything can be done when people collaborate and cooperate.


    Jgmajors25 said...

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