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Getting the fishing incentives wrong

I couldn\’t believe this nonsense.

Observers monitoring European fish quotas are being regularly intimidated, offered bribes and undermined by the fishing crews they are observing, a Guardian investigation has discovered.

More than 20 former and current observers on Portuguese and Spanish ships said that they had experienced tactics such as beingput under surveillance, deprived of sleep, or threatened with being thrown overboard, or having their official documentation stolen by fishing crews to conceal a culture of overfishing.


The twats expect to beat over fishing by putting a man with a clipboard at sea?


What you\’ve got to do is align the incentives for the fishermen so that it is in their interest to preserve the stock. When over fishing reduces profits then it will stop. Not men with bloody clipboards for goodness sake.

5 thoughts on “Getting the fishing incentives wrong”

  1. Eh? “Follow the rules or we’ll nick you” is definitely an incentive, in the full-on economic sense of that term.

    We know this from pretty much every property crime study: while the harshness of punishments has next to no impact when prosecutions are rare, there is an strong negative correlation between prosecution rates and crime rates. Because incentives.

    So sending men to check whether boat captains are cheating, and nick them if they are, is *completely* legit from an economic point of view. Would probably make sense to hire burlier men for the role and pay them more, though.

  2. I understand from a former marine biology student that the observers are usually 18-21 year old marine biology students , armed, as Tim says, with clip boards. The observees are burly Spanish fishermen with knives to gut fish. And the observees do occasionally suggest, ever so gently, that the observers may have been mistaken in what they thought they observed.

  3. Even more than the Euro, the CFP is arguably one of the two greatest ‘achievements’ of the EU. A holocaust of Fish that the writers of ‘Captain Planet’ would have taken for a Fairy tale’. One of the finest campaigners I have ever had the pleasure of corresponding with is John Ashworth of ‘Save Britain’s fish’- he and others point out that the only way to preserve fishing stocks is to give back sovereignty over waters to individual countries-Witness the three nations with relatively healthy stocks-Icelnd, the Faroese and Norway -And what do these fie countries have in common? As Tim says, Young Socialists armed with clipboards isn’t going to cut it….

  4. John b

    I would respectfully suggest that “follow the rules or we’ll kneecap you” would be a more effective incentive. And that the folk tasked with providing this incentive should have the power and resources to deliver it. Which suggests that they should be built on a similar scale to the burly fishermen and have something rather more effective as an incentive-management tool than a clipboard.

  5. Hence “burlier” and “pay them more”, indeed. I’m not sure about kneecapping; “throwing them in jail when they reach port” would suffice. As long as the inspector uses a satphone to report when he joins a particular boat he’s on, they’re not likely to get away with merely throwing them in the sea…

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