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Overfishing AFF


No CS Now

The United States has no comprehensive policy to end overfishing- despite the success of catch share programs in other countries, fishery management is outdated in the states.

DAVID FESTA, DIANE REGAS, and JUDSON BOOMHOWER in 2013, Festa is director, Diane Regas is managing director, and Judson Boomhower is a fellow of the Oceans Program at Environmental Defense in Washington, DC, Sharing the Catch, Conserving the Fish, Issues in Science and Technology, http://issues.org/24-2/festa/

To end the urgent problem of overfishing, we need a new approach in which fishermen are given a share in—and take responsibility for— a fishery’s total allowable catch. The mid-1990s were tough times to be a Pacific rockfish fisherman on the West Coast of the United States or a groundfish fisherman in Canada’s British Columbia. Fish populations in both regions were on the decline. Fishermen were working harder for smaller catches and smaller paydays, and talk of even stricter catch limits and fewer days at sea haunted the docks. Environmentalists and the public were almost as distressed. Today, British Columbia’s groundfish stocks are at healthy levels and fishermen enjoy profitable businesses and fish throughout the year, whereas U.S. stakeholders continue to battle over how to restore still-depleted rockfish populations and fishing seasons remain limited to a few weeks or months a year. Why the difference? Veterans of fish fights in both countries legitimately point to complicated factors, but the key reason for these disparate outcomes is policy. In 1997, Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans changed complex rules constraining how fishing was to be practiced (rules, the agency had hoped, that would indirectly achieve conservation goals) and instead held fishermen directly and individually accountable for meeting a vital conservation target: ensuring that fish catches stay within scientifically determined levels. That is, fishermen were given a “share” of the total allowable catch and given the flexibility and the accountability for meeting it. As a result, groundfish stocks rebounded and so did the fishermen. Meanwhile, fishery managers in the western United States have yet to make this key transition. Consequently, comparatively little rockfish recovery has happened off of Washington, Oregon, and California, and the fishermen have been left with declining profits. Many other ocean fisheries in the United States continue to operate in the same away as the Pacific rockfish fishery. But federal and state fishery managers can end the inherent incentive to overfish that is created by exclusive reliance on indirect measures such as limiting how and when fishermen can work. Better systems of management that change fishermen’s behavior by giving them a share in, and responsibility for, the fishery’s take—called “catch share” programs—are the best way to end the urgent problem of overfishing in the United States. There is an increasing interest in catch shares across the country. In 2002, the legal moratorium on some types of catch share programs was lifted. In 2006, Congress took the further step of enacting new rules to guide implementation of catch shares, and now six of the eight federal regions are working to develop catch share programs. The Bush administration has also taken some actions in support of the programs. These steps are positive, but more needs to be done. We believe that all U.S. fishery management plans must examine whether catch share programs can end overfishing faster and with less collateral damage to the environment and to fishermen that the management plans in place today.

Poor USfg management and regulation now

Current Federal Government management fails – a new approach is need

Safina 13, Safina, Carl, founding president of the Blue Ocean Institute and writes extensively on the changing oceans. "A Future for U.S. Fisheries." Issues in Science and Technology. University of Texas at Dallas, 27 Nov. 2013. http://issues.org/25-4/safina-4/ Web. 01 July 2014. CS

Current policies have slowed but not stopped the depletion of fish stocks. A new approach based on restoration is needed. For the fishing industry in the United States, and for the fishery resources on which the industry depends, there is good news and bad news. Bad news still predominates, as many commercial fishers and their communities have suffered severe financial distress and many fish stocks have declined considerably in numbers. Poor management by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which regulates the fishing industry, and some poor choices by many fishers have contributed to the problems. But there are some bright spots, small and scattered, that suggest that improvements are possible. Starting with the bad news, the federal government’s fisheries management remains primitive, simplistic, and, in important cases, ineffectual, despite a fund of knowledge and conceptual tools that could be applied. In many regions—New England and the Pacific Northwest, among others—failed management costs more than the receipts from fisheries. This does not suggest that management should be given up as a lost cause, leaving the industry in a free-for-all, although this strategy might, in fact, be cheaper and not much less effective.

Overfishing is devastating fish stocks, the fishing industry has little to no regulation now

Mosbergen in 2013(If We Keep Overfishing, There May Soon Be No Fish Left, The Huffington Post, By Dominique Mosbergen, 12/06/2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/06/overfishing-video_n_4393946.html)

A powerful video about how overfishing is decimating our oceans reminds us this week to pause and think twice about the seafood we eat. Created by European environmental coalition OCEAN2012, the video explains that since the advent of large-scale industrial fishing in the 1950s, stocks of large fish -- such as tuna, swordfish, cod and flounder -- are believed to have fallen by as much as 90 percent worldwide. If overfishing continues, some scientists warn that a collapse of all types of fish species may happen in less than 50 years. Governments and consumers have been complicit in this wildly unsustainable industry, the video asserts -- and it's time that we all collectively take responsibility for the harm we've caused marine ecosystems. After first going viral on YouTube last year, the OCEAN2012 video has experienced a surge in interest yet again this week after being shared by Upworthy. Renewed interest in the short film is proof that this issue remains as pressing today as it's ever been. (Story continues below.) fish This infographic, created by OCEAN2012, shows how catches of Bluefin tuna, Atlantic salmon and cod have been plummeting over the last few decades as fish populations collapse. (To see an enlarged version of this graphic, click here.) "The fish don't stand a chance," Greenpeace writes on its website about overfishing. "More often than not, the fishing industry is given access to fish stocks before the impact of their fishing can be assessed, and regulation of the fishing industry is, in any case, woefully inadequate." According to environmental group Food and Water Watch, Atlantic cod, Atlantic flatfish (like halibut, flounder and sole), as well as Atlantic salmon, orange roughy and bluefin tuna are some of the worst fish to consume due to their over-harvested, dwindling populations. Overfishing has caused the stock of bluefin tuna in the Pacific, for instance, to plummet by a whopping 96.4 percent, per a 2013 study on the fish. On the flip side, Food and Water Watch says that fish like yellowtail snapper, black cod, Atlantic mackerel and pole- or troll-caught Alaskan salmon, Pacific albacore tuna or mahi-mahi are better, more sustainable choices for your next meal. (The organization's "Smart Seafood Guide" offers even more ideas for conscientious consumers.)

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