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Sea Around Us project newsletter, issue 28, March/April 2005 Forrest, Robyn; Sea Around Us Project Mar 31, 2005

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SSSS Seeee e aaaa a     AAAA Arrrr r ouououou ounnnn ndddd d     UUUU Ussss sThe Sea Around Us Project NewsletterIssue 28 – March/April 2005Academics aregenerally known totravel more oftenthan the average citizen.The story I am about to tellconfirms this in my case.This story began in January2005 with my trip to Halifax,Nova Scotia, and ended atthe Office of Managementand Budget, ExecutiveOffice of the President ofthe United States on March31, 2005.In Halifax, a group ofmultidisciplinary fisheriesscientists and managersmet  to participate in aworkshop and Public Forumon “Creating a PositiveFuture for Fisheries andCoastal Communities”.  Thekey goal of the meeting(law.dal.ca/law_6433.html),was to provide insights intohow to create a positivefuture for fisheries, which,as we have learnt fromrecent studies, are inovercapitalized, overfishedand, in some cases,depleted states.  Instead ofattempting to define whatis meant by a positive futurefor fisheries, participantsgenerally agreed thatdeclining biomass of fishspecies targeted by afishery over time does notsignal a sustainable andtherefore a positive future forfisheries. Workshopparticipants agreed generallythat global fisheries arecurrently in bad shape, andthat some drastic measuresneed to be taken in order toturn things around and createa positive future for fisheries.Keys for creating a positivefuture for fisheries identifiedincluded(i) developingmethodologiesfordeterminingthe total valueof fisheries tosociety; (ii)engaging thepublic througheducationaland outreachprograms;(iii) getting business involved;and (iv) linking science topolicy.From the winter of Halifax – Imissed one of the famousHalifax winter storms onarrival to the city and escapedanother one by flying out afew hours before it hit thecity - I moved on to CapeTown, South Africa - anAfrican city, which is home tothe famous Table Mountain.Cape Town is affectionatelycompared to Vancouver by itsmany lovers, in terms of itsbeauty and naturalsurroundings, withmountains, ocean views andmuch else. The city was hostto the Southern AfricanDevelopment Cooperation(SADC) - European Union (EU)Monitoring Control andSurveillance (MCS)Conference in February,which was why I foundmyself there (www.mcs-sadc.org/Welcome%20page.htm). Thechoice of Cape Town as hostof a conference on MCS inthe region underscores thepressure being felt byfisheries scientists andmanagers in South Africafrom chronic illegal fishing byboth foreign and local-basedpirate vessels active in thecountry’s waters. A case inpoint is a recent case ofillegal fishing by the Hout BayFishing Company ... theFrom Halifax to theWhite Houseby Ussif Rashid SumailaContinued on page 2 - SumailaInspectors about to board a fishing vessel in Tanzania.Photo courtesy of C. Palin, SADC EU MCS Programme.Page 2Sea Around Us – March/April 2005The Sea Around Us project newsletter ispublished by the  Fisheries Centre at theUniversity of British Co-lumbia. Includedwith the FisheriesCentre’s newsletterFishBytes,six is-sues of this news-letter are pub-lished annually.Subscriptions arefree of charge.Our mailing address is: UBC Fisheries Cen-tre, Lower Mall Research Station, 2259 LowerMall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,V6T 1Z4. Our fax number is (604) 822-8934,and our email address isSeaNotes@fisheries.ubc.ca. All queries (in-cluding reprint requests), subscription re-quests, and address changes should be ad-dressed to Robyn Forrest, Sea Around UsNewsletter Editor.The Sea Around Us website may be foundat saup.fisheries.ubc.ca and contains up-to-date information on the project.The Sea Around Us project is a Fisheries Centre partner-ship with the Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia,USA. The Trusts support nonprofit activities in the areasof culture, education, the environment, health and human serv-ices, public policy and religion. Based in Philadelphia, theTrusts make strategic investments to help organisations andcitizens develop practical solutions to difficult problems. In2000, with approximately $4.8 billion in assets, the Trustscommitted over $235 million to 302 nonprofit organisations. ISSN 1713-5214   Sea Around Us (ONLINE)company is believed to haveillegally caught the equivalent ofabout 50% of  the total  quota forthe South Coast rock lobster forover 10 years before it wascaught.I focused my talk on theeconomics of MCS, emphasizing(i) the need to understand theeconomic drivers of illegal fishing;and (ii) the cost-effectiveness ofMCS systems and the financing ofMCS activities. MCS is necessarybecause illegal fishing is currentlywidespread globally, making stockassessments inaccurate;endangering the sustainability ofresources; causing economicwaste; and putting fishers whoplay by the rules in adisadvantaged position. WithoutMCS, illegal fishing wouldincrease, resulting in the loss ofeconomic, social and ecologicalbenefits. Cost-benefit analysis of16 cases of incriminated vesselsfishing illegally around the worldshowed that the penalty theyfaced needed to be increased 25-fold in order for the penalties toserve as adequate deterrents toillegal fishing (Sumaila et al.2004). Part of the reason penaltylevels are low is, in general, thatjudges do not see why theyshould penalize fishers harshly‘just for fishing’. South Africa is onthe way to providing a solution tothis problem by constitutingenvironmental courts to deal withserious cases of illegal fishing andother environmental crimes.My next port of call was PrincetonUniversity, back in the U.S., wherethe game theorist, John Nash ofthe Beautiful Mind movie fame,made his mark and still resides. Asan applied game theorist, it wasgreat to come to the home of theman who set game theory free byproving the Nash equilibriumconcept.  I went to Princeton onthe invitation of Sara Curran toparticipate in a conferenceentitled “Trading Morsels”(www.princeton.edu/~piirs/trading_morsels/conference.html). The conferenceis part of a larger project atPrinceton, which seeks , throughsystematic assessments andcomparisons of food-basedcommodity chains, to explorehow these chains affect theeconomic development andenvironmental consequences inboth producing and consumingnations. In my contribution, Idemonstrated how the trading offishing access rights betweenWest African countries and theEuropean Union is leading to asituation where fishingcommunities are left dry – with‘no fish and no dollars’ - therebyimpacting negatively on theirfood security (Atta-Mills et al.2004 and Alder and Sumaila2004).Many readers may know aboutCancun, the big Mexican touristtrap where the 2003 WTOConference took place and which,incidentally, I attended. Well, mynext port of call, Loreto, Mexico, isnot nearly as big and popular withtourists yet, but it seems to methat this is only a matter of time! Iwent to Loreto on the invitation ofthe North American MarineProtected Areas Network(NAMPAN) to give a keynoteaddress on the ‘Challenges toestimating the benefits of marineprotected areas’.  The Commissionfor Environmental Cooperation(CEC) of North America(www.cec.org/programs_projects/index.cfm?varlan=english)coordinates NAMPAN, incollaboration with the NorthAmerican Marine Working Groupof IUCN/World Commission onProtected Areas. The aim ofNAMPAN is to enhance andstrengthen the conservation ofmarine biodiversity in criticalmarine habitats throughout NorthAmerica by creating functionallinkages and informationexchanges among existing andplanned marine protected areas. IContinued on page 3 - SumailaSumaila - Continued from page 1As anappliedgametheorist, itwas great tocome to thehome of theman who setgame theoryfree byproving theNashequilibriumconceptPage 3 Sea Around Us – March/April 2005used the opportunity to stress theneed to capture the total valuesfrom marine ecosystems ingeneral, and marine protectedareas in particular, in economicvaluations (see Sumaila andWalters, 2005). A correctcomputation of the values ofmarine protected areas needs toinclude how their creation willaffect the quality and quantity ofthe use, non-use, option, bequestand existence values that theecosystem is able to provide. Ialso took the opportunity tointroduce the new Sea Around UsGlobal MPA database(www.seaaroundus.org)  andsolicit data from participants toenrich the database.My next trip was to Thessaloniki,the Greek city which is home toAristotle University. I took theopportunity to give a lecture onthe valuation of marineecosystem goods and services atthe university. However, theprimary reason for my visit was togive a keynote address at theannual meeting of the EuropeanAssociation of FisheriesEconomists (www.eafe-fish.org/),on the invitation of the Presidentof the Association. The topic ofmy talk was fisheries subsidies, atopic that is of interest in Europebecause of the popularity ofbuyback or decommissioningsubsidies in the European Union.In general, fisheries subsidies aretopical today for two reasons.First, someone has to pay forthem – usually the taxpayer.Second, it is generally acceptedthat most fisheries subsidies aredetrimental to the sustainable useof fishery resources. A keyquestion I addressed in mypresentation is whether buybackschemes are green subsidies, thatis: do they reduce fishing pressureon fish stocks? I argued thatbecause fishing capacity tends toseep back into the fishery after abuyback scheme (Milazzo1998), and that fishers arerational and therefore wouldincorporate rationalexpectations into theirinvestment decisions (Clark etal. in press), buyback schemesare likely to contribute little, ifanything, to reducing fishingpressure in a fishery. Ifbuybacks are anticipated, thetendency is for fishers to investin more vessels than they wouldotherwise, thus resulting inworse outcomes than the openaccess equilibrium outcome insome cases (Munro and Sumaila2002; and Clark et al. in press).A few participants in theconference tried to argue thatEuropean buyback(decommissioning) schemeshave worked pretty well, andtherefore seem to be anexception to my argument.However, even before I couldreact to this assertion, others inthe audience provided counterarguments, making the pointthat European decommissioningschemes are indeed noexception and have not been assuccessful as claimed.Finally, a unique experience forme - a visit and a presentation atthe powerful White HouseOffice of Management andBudget (OMB:www.whitehouse.gov/omb/).Making a presentation close tothe famous Rose Garden(www.whitehouse.gov/history/grounds/garden/) was simplyawesome. What is interestingabout my visit to the WhiteHouse is that I went there topresent arguments againstproposed revisions to theregulations implementingNational Standard 1 of theMagnuson-Stevens Act, whichdeals with the rebuilding offederally managed overfishedstocks.  The regulation inquestion stipulates that if a stockof fish is declared overfished bythe National Marine FisheriesService and if it is possible tobiologically restore the stock inten years, then all must be doneto restore the stock within thisperiod. The proposed revisionswant to relax this regulation toallow the management councils“more flexibility” in restoringoverfished stocks. Based on recentwork at the Fisheries Centre(Sumaila 2004; Sumaila andWalters 2005; and Ainsworth andSumaila in press), I demonstratedthat relaxing the regulationamounts to postponinginvestment in the future of U.S.fisheries. It amounts to putting toomuch weight on the current costof taking action compared to thepotential future benefits fromrestored fished stocks.  In general,my message was well-received bythe participants at the meeting,which included staff members atthe OMB, the National MarineFisheries Service, theEnvironmental Protection Agencyof the U.S. and representatives ofenvironmental NGOs. It seems tome that the political time horizonof 4 years (that is, from oneelection to the next) is a problem.It makes the pressure to postponeaction now very high due topressure from interested parties.The only way to counter thispressure is for the public to beprovided good information tohelp them push theirrepresentatives in the otherdirection, if that is what they want.Sumaila - Continued from page 2References on page 6 - SumailaI went [tothe WhiteHouse] topresentargumentsagainstproposedrevisions totheregulationsimplementingNationalStandard 1of theMagnuson-Stevens ActMePage 4Sea Around Us – March/April 2005In Issue 23 of this newsletter(May/June 2004), I reportedon a research agreementbetween the Sea Around Usproject and the Western PacificRegional Fisheries ManagementCouncil (WPRFMC) in Hawaii, toundertake a catch reconstructionexercise for the U.S. associatedislands in the Western Pacific(American Samoa, Guam, theNorthern Mariana Islands andHawaii). This project is nowreaching its final stage, with a draftfinal report being reviewed by theCouncil. Here, I would like to givea brief update on the project,whose findings I presented at theEcosystem Science andManagement Planning Workshopthat was held in April 2005 by theWPRFMC in Honolulu. FisheriesCentre faculty members CarlWalters, Villy Christensen andSteve Martell also attended theworkshop, which was expertlyhosted by the Council ExecutiveDirector Kitty Simonds, and wellorganized and coordinated by theCouncil’s Senior Scientist PaulDalzell.Without pre-empting the finalrevisions of the catchreconstruction, it is fair to say thatthe results I presented causedsome surprise and concern amongthe participants of the workshop.Based on the reconstruction, allcoastal fisheries catches (coralreef-, bottom- and reef-associatedpelagic species) appear to havedeclined substantially between1950 and the present, with overalldeclines possibly as high as 70-Catch reconstruction andecosystem science workshop:U.S. Western Pacific - Part IIby Dirk Zeller80%. This trend is in contrast tothat observed if one considersonly those data that form theofficially reported catch statistics(i.e., are missing subsistence andother non-commercial fisheriescatches), which suggest a slightincrease in catches over the sametime period. Furthermore, themissing fisheries sectors(subsistence and other non-commercial) may account forseveral times the reportedcatches, in terms of tonnage, overthe time period considered here.Thus, our perspective of historicfisheries development in theseislands over the last half centurywill have to change significantly,and so do managementapproaches.Furthermore, this project clearlydemonstrates the need for theresponsible local, national andregional agencies to fully accountfor catches from ALL fisheriessectors, i.e., account for TOTALextractions of living marineresources in their nationalaccounting schemes.It should be noted that not all ofthe likely decline in catches canbe attributed directly to excessfishing, as dietary preferenceshave changed in many PacificIslands with the growingestablishment of cash economies,and near-shore habitats have alsobeen extensively modified andoften degraded due to coastaldevelopments, thus likelyreducing stock productivity.Nevertheless, overfishing ofcoastal resources is a majorconcern for most of the mainislands of the U.S. associatedPacific region, as has already beendocumented prior to the presentproject (e.g., Green, 1997).However, the presentation ofcomplete time series ofreconstructed catch estimates,despite high data sourceuncertainty, serves as a powerfulvisualization of the scale andmagnitude of the likely decline incatches.As a final note, according to asenior Council staff member, theFisheries Centre participation inand contribution to the workshopwas a success, and it is hoped thatthis will mark the beginning of along and fruitful collaboration. Weconcur, and look forward to futurecollaborations. On the casual side,it was suggested that the socialengagements of the FisheriesCentre contingent during theworkshop has also left a lastingimpression, and not only for thesinking of large volumes of wine,for which a certain member of theFisheries Centre delegation (whoshall remain anonymous) was sig-nificantly responsible! Enoughsaid.ReferencesGreen, A. 1997. An assessment ofthe status of the coral reefresources, and their patterns ofuse, in the U.S. Pacific Islands.Western Pacific RegionalFisheries Management Council,NOAA Award ReportNA67AC0940, Honolulu,281 pp.... accordingto a seniorCouncil staffmember, theFisheriesCentreparticipationin andcontributionto theworkshopwas asuccess ...Page 5 Sea Around Us – March/April 2005A global ex-vessel fish pricedatabase is born!by Ussif Rashid SumailaA new feature hasbeen added to theSea Around Usproject’s website(www.seaaroundus.org):a database that provides realand nominal ex-vessel fishprices, and the correspondinglanded values of fish caughtfrom the exclusive economiczone (EEZ) of each coastalcountry of the world.Ex-vessel fish prices are anessential piece of informationneeded to help manage fisheryresources. This is because thefinancial value that isobtainable from catch is one ofthe primary motivators forfishers to go fishing. This is thefirst time that a global ex-vesselprice database has beencreated and made available inthis way, where interestedmembers of the public,researchers and managers caneasily obtain the prices of fish ofall of the world’s majorcommercial fish species. TheUnited Nations Food andAgricultural Organisation (FAO)compiles product and processedfish prices, but not ex-vesselprices.Ex-vessel price data for theworld’s commercial specieswere compiled from a numberof sources, the aim being to addvalue by taking the data, alreadyavailable but widely scattered, toa higher level that would permitmore policy-relevant ecologicaland economic analysis offisheries. We1 concentrated, inthe first instance, on data for themajor fishing countries in eachcontinent.  In this way, wecollected data that covered themajor fisheries of the world,while putting in place a databasestructure that would allowfurther inclusion of data formore countries over time.The database runs from 1950 tothe present (2001, currently). Itshould be noted that 1950 wasthe year the FAO startedcollecting and compiling globalfish catch data. Hence, manyanalyses of global fisheries beginin 1950.We searched all availablesources of ex-vessel price data,including the FAO, the statisticsoffice of the OECD, theEuropean Commission, Fisheriesand Oceans Canada, the USNational Marine FisheriesService, Statistics Norway,Southeast Asia FisheriesDevelopment Centre andFAO-Globefish, plus theweb and the publishedliterature (e.g., Anon.2002a,b, 2003a,b and2004). We also workedthrough our partners fromall over the world to help ussearch for local data.As would be expected, asubstantial portion of thedata matrix could not becompleted with availabledata. Therefore, anassignment procedure wasimplemented courtesy ofReg Watson to fill the gaps.Thus, the price data wecollected from publishedsources were used in aninterpolation process toensure that all catch recordsfrom the Sea Around Us project’sglobal catch database, regardlessof taxon, country, region andyear, would have prices assignedto them. Given that prices formuch of the world’s catch wereavailable directly from the pricecollected, it was possible to usea structured interpolationprocess to fill in missing cases.The general process ofinterpolation was one ofreplacing general prices withmore specific ones.  This processassumes that the affinities of ananimal (i.e., its place in thetaxonomic classification) was theprimary determinant of theprice. Following this, in order ofimportance, were the countryContinued on page 6 - PricesEx-vesselfish pricesare anessentialpiece ofinformationneeded tohelpmanagefisheryresourcesPage 6Sea Around Us – March/April 2005Publications Mail Agreement No: 41104508fishing and the year when thecatches were reported. At eachstep in the interpolation process,the level of specificity in thedocumentation was recorded.  Ifa more specific price for a catchrecord occurred in a subsequentstep in the process, then the oldprice, and its record of specificity,was overwritten with the newprice. In this way, all catchrecords in the global databasewere matched with the mostspecific and relevant pricesrecorded in the price databaseor weighted averages of these(weighted by their individualspecificity) when several wereavailable. A measure of the pricespecificity/applicability iscomputed for each taxon forwhich a landed value ispresented. These measures willbe used to guide the priorities infurther price data research.With the launch of our ex-vesselprice database, we hope that thecommunity of fisheriesscientists, managers, the fishingindustry, NGOs and all interestedparties in the world’s fisheryresources will help us improvethe current version of thedatabase for the benefit of all.Please explore the database,scrutinize it and send us yourfeedback on how best toimprove it. And, of course, wewould appreciate you sendingus any price data you may havethat you believe would behelpful to the effort (Contact:r.sumaila@fisheries.ubc.ca).ReferencesAnon. 2004.  Statistical Services,Fisheries and Oceans Canada.Commercial Sea fisheriesLandings. Fisheries andOceans Canada, Ottawa,Canada.Anon. 2003a.  Statistics onfisheries for the years 1995 to2001. Organization forEconomic Cooperation andDevelopment (OECD), Paris,France.Anon. 2003b. National FisheriesServices Database.  NationalFisheries Services, Valparaíso,Chile.Anon. 2002a. Price Data.Chioggia Fish Market, Venice,Italy.Anon. 2002b. AnnualCommercial LandingsStatistics. Fisheries Statisticsand Economics Division,National Marine FisheriesService, National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration,Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.Footnotes1. By ‘we’ I mean all those whocontributed to making thisdatabase a reality, in particular:Reg Watson and his team,Dale Marsden and DanielPauly.Upcoming publicationIn a soon to be released issue of Fish and Fisheries (www.blackwellpublishing.com) Dirk Zeller andDaniel Pauly present a paper on global discard estimates, entitled “Good news, bad news: globalfisheries discards are declining, but so are total catches”.  In this paper, they combine the latestdiscard analysis undertaken by FAO with previous global discard estimates and global landings datafor the 1975-2000 time period. Reducing wastage in fisheries, as indicated by the lower discard ratesreported in the latest FAO analysis is good news indeed, and to be applauded and encouraged.Nevertheless, if one considers this decline in discards in conjunction with the reported decline inglobal landings over the last decade (see Watson & Pauly, 2001, Nature 414), it becomes evident thattotal global catches (being landings plus discards) might have declined at a steeper rate thenpreviously thought. This could be bad news, if it is indicative of declining total availability of fish, ratherthan only the result of better fishing practices.ReferencesAlder, J. and Sumaila, U.R. 2004.Journal of Environment andDevelopment 13(2): 156-178.Atta-Mills, J., Alder, J. and U.R. Sumaila.2004. Natural Resources Forum28:13-21.Ainsworth, C.H. and U.R. Sumaila. Inpress.  Intergenerationalvaluation of fisheries resourcescan justify long-termconservation: a case study inAtlantic cod (Gadus morhua).CJFAS.Clark, C.W., G. Munro and U.R.Sumaila. In press.  Subsidies,Buybacks, and SustainableFisheries. Journal ofEnvironmental Economics andManagement.Milazzo, M.J. 1998. Subsidies in WorldFisheries: A Re-examination. WorldBank Technical Paper, No. 406,Fisheries Series, Washington.Munro, G. and U.R. Sumaila. 2002.Fish and Fisheries 3, 233-290.Sumaila, U.R. 2005. Economicvaluation and the reconciliationof fisheries to conservation. Paperpresented at the Fourth WorldFisheries Congress, Vancouver,May 2004.Sumaila, U.R., Alder, J., Heather, K. 2004.The cost of being apprehendedfor fishing illegally: Empiricalevidence and policy implications.In: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Ed.),Fish Piracy: Combating illegal,unreported and unregulatedfishing. OECD, Paris pp. 201-230.Sumaila, U.R. 2004. Fish and Fisheries5: 329-343.Sumaila, U.R. and C. Walters.2005. Ecological Economics52: 135-142.Sumaila - Continued from page 3Prices - Continued from page 5Pleaseexplore thedatabase,scrutinize itand send usyourfeedbackon howbest toimprove it


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