Sunday, March 25, 2012

One way to address overfishing

Overfishing is going to be with us for a long time, and I don't see any major improvements in the situation any time.  Thinking pessimistically, which I do frequently, I don't really see progress until we have a stronger global government.

But anyway, there are ways to try, and co-management of the resource is one of those ways.   Co-management is, according to the article, "... a collaborative arrangement between local communities, conservation groups, and governments..."

So, according to the article, it does work to an extent.

" The team of 17 scientists from eight nations concluded that co-management partnerships were having considerable success in both meeting the livelihood needs of local communities and protecting fish stocks. "

But can we get enough people in enough countries to act soon enough?  Can we?

One solution to global overfishing found

"Team leader Dr. Josh Cinner of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University, Australia explained: "We found clear evidence of people's ability to overcome the 'tragedy of the commons' by making and enforcing their own rules for managing fisheries. This is particularly encouraging because of the perceived failure of many open-access and top-down government-controlled attempts to manage fisheries around the world. More importantly, we have identified the conditions that allow people to make co-management successful, providing vital guidance for conservation groups, donors, and governments as to what arrangements are most likely to work."

The team studied local fisheries arrangements on coral reefs in Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, using a combination of interviews with local fishers and community leaders, and underwater fish counts.

The study's main finding is that co-management has been largely successful in sustaining fisheries and improving people's livelihoods. More than half the fishers surveyed felt co-management was positive for their livelihoods, whereas only 9 percent felt it was negative. A comparison of co-managed reefs with other reefs showed that co-managed reefs were half as likely to be heavily overfished, which can lead to damaged ecosystems."
It's similar to climate change.  Major sectors of the world's population have to be convinced of the urgency to act a lot sooner (like now) than later.

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