Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Collaboration between competitors to reduce bycatch

Here is a cool story from ScienceDaily on the benefits of networking between commercial tuna fishers.

Read the full article here from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors are a multidisciplinary team from the University of Hawaii and James Cook University.

7 comments:

Jordan Zaiser said...

I find it interesting that it has taken so long for people to notice communication was not happening between these "cliques". I assume they were talking about the bycatch issue with the fishers in their group. I am confused as to why no one just ask some other fisher outside of their group about the problem, even just out of curiosity. Collaboration would help them all, but these small, exclusive groups they set up have kept them from progressing and profiting as a larger group.

Although this story is fairly new, I am curious as to whether or not the fishers have attempted to collaborate to fix the bycatch problem since it have been brought to their attention.

Asia Askew said...

I think that the communication about this is low because they are competing with one another. If one clique found a way to reduce the by-catch problem then it's easier for them to catch more tuna and make more of a profit over their competitors. Even though its beneficial for them initially it could harm them in the long run.

Nikki Ruest said...

Commercial fishing is such a frustrating topic for me. On one hand, I think fishermen should feel morally obligated to reduce their by catch and to fish sustainably, if not for the sake of fish stocks than for the sake of future fishermen. On the other hand, how could we reasonably expect businesses to willingly give up potential profit just for the sake of future fish stock that they may not even live to see? Like Asia mentioned, figuring out ways to reduce by catch would most likely increase your take of tuna, so why would you share that info with your competitors? I think a lot of technological advancements and legislative reform will be needed to fix this problem.

Lexie Dempsey said...

This is an interesting topic, I think that it might be necessary to force these companies to share this information with each other. While profits are obviously their main concern, if we don't force them to work together to combat this issue then they never will in sake of competition. I think this is a classic example of people focusing on their personal best interests and thereby adding social costs in the process. Communication is a serious tool that when utilized can make remarkable progress in a variety of areas.

Nathan Smith said...

I agree with both Asia and Nikki on their points. I can see why communication would be low because if one group found a way to reduce by-catch it would give them an advantage possibly on how much tuna they could catch. On the other hand by just reducing by-catch does that necessarily mean that they would catch more tuna? I also agree with Nikki though because you wouldn't tell a business man to stop making deals because he was making to much money, so how can we expect a fisherman to stop fishing when the potential for more profit is out there waiting to be caught?

Austin McGrayne said...

Reading the article, Hardins tragedy of the commons comes into mind. I say this because of the mutual coercion aspect of Hardins paper. This article talks about how if there were more communication between fishermen, the amount of by catch could be dramatically reduced. I thought the number they gave was extremely high, up to 46,000 sharks could have been saved if the fishermen communicated together. But with everyone interested in their own benefits, that didn't happen, atleast as of last year. Again the idea of mutual coercion sticks in my head and I feel that this is a scenario where if it were practiced, time, money and animal lives could be saved.

Marc Monace said...

I wrote this on the discussion. I think the outright outlawing and criminalizing of bycatch followed with strict enforcement would go a long ways of discouraging the act. Humans usually don't like to disobey authority.