Policy ForumENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS

Subsidies, efficiency, and fairness in fisheries policy

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Science  05 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6435, pp. 34-35
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw4087

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  • RE: “Subsidies, Efficiency, and Fairness in Fisheries Policy,” 5 April 2019

    In view of the already demonstrably destructive activities currently in play on the high seas, I would like to register my strong objection to the proposed rule of the NMFS aimed at further increasing the capacity of commercial fisheries (Martin D. Smith, “Subsidies, Efficiency, and Fairness in Fisheries Policy,” 5 April 2019)— and through the expansion of taxpayer-generated subsidies no less, adding insult to injury.

    While I realize that current practices are common knowledge among those who work within fisheries circles, reading the literature as an outsider whose primary concern is the integrity of the Biosphere—what remains of it—I find it shocking that, for example, global tuna biomass has been “halved in half a century,” with populations declining by an average of 60%, and certain species much more than that—coupled with the fact that the “maximum sustainable yield” is still being treated as a management target rather than an upper limit even as such exploitation drives “steep population declines” in tunas while endangering a variety of “bycatch” fishes, seabirds and turtles (Juan-Jorda et al., “Global population trajectories of tunas and their relatives,” 2011). In an interview last year with Yale 360, “A Global Ban on Fishing on the High Seas? The Time Is Now,” Daniel Pauly called the global industrial fishing industry “a Ponzi scheme,” fishing down one unexploited region of the sea after another until, as is happening now, the fish have nowhere to hide, no...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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