Future of Commercial Fishing?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by sharpii2, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    What is the future of commercial fishing.

    Will we be able to go on as we always have, making bigger and better boats that are ever more efficiant?

    Or will we be forced to subject ourselves to some kind of artificial self limitation for sake of preserving the wild fish stocks?

    If we do go for limitations, how should they be enforced? Who should do the enforcement? And how do we decide what kind of limmitations are best?

    What kind of design ideas could domminate under a regime of forced limmitations?

    Hope to hear all your comments, suggestions, and/or refutations.

  2. Skippy
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    Skippy Senior Member

    More likely, fishermen will
    1. overfish, cutting down the population,
    2. frantically continue to overfish as the fish become harder to find, to stay ahead of their competition,
    3. start starving and going out of business after the population is decimated,
    4. possibly settle into a routine where all the remaining fishers pounce on the small populations that develop, again to beat their competition, thus keeping the population in a perpetually small, underproducing state.
    Theoretically, there's an optimal population level that is stable and results in maximum production rates, but that state absolutely requires that catches be reduced any time the population temporarily drops below that level. The problem is that the profit-oriented microeconomics of competition provides no mechanism whatsoever for maintaining that situation. And to make it even worse, politicians favoring the industry will tend to emphasize things like fishers' "rights" to fish even though there's very little out there, and the short-term fix sabotages long-term prosperity. Of course, there's also the problem of regulating huge international bodies of water even if the industry could get themselves organized to try it.

    Again, from a purely technical point of view, population dynamics can be modeled well enough to keep production up nicely. It's the politians and starving fishers who are more interested in making something happen TODAY, along with international competition, that create problems further down the road. The only reason a fish farm can keep its production up is because there's one boss deciding how things will done, REGULATING the rate of harvest rather than allowing individual workers to compete with each other by raiding the stock any time they get a chance. Good luck, it ain't an easy problem. :(
  3. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

  4. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    From my point of view, we will come someday to an equilibrium and so find and maintain a sustainable rate of exploitation of fisheries stocks. A lot of effort is being put into this by many nations, particularly in Europe, although it's not an easy task and for sure there is still a long way to go. But I'm confident we'll arrive there...somehow.

    Fishing will still be necessary, as fishfarming has also its drawbacks (Sea pollution because of food and medicines in open waters farms not being the lesser). So, as I see things, fishing boats will still be necessary and they will have to be efficent machines designed to catch precisely the amount of fish they will be allow to, not more, under strict supervisions. And these efficient machines also will have to be more safe for their crews (Around 24.000 lives are lost every year among the world's fishing fleets) offering more humanized working and living conditions.

    But fishing effort discipline and supervision is not an easy task and requieres a lot of consensus among nations, a deeper education among the fishermen and also big moneys put into regulatory and supervising methods.

    The proof that it is not an easy task is that in the European Union one of the main ways of regulating the fishing effort is to limit the size of boats and fleets by means of using the GT (Gross Tonnage) of fishing vessels. To build a new boat, fishermen are not allowed to use more GT's than those of already existing vessels, that have to be previously retired from fishing by breaking them up. But they are not limited in the amount of GT they can use (They can buy GT from other fishermen), so two old and inefficient boats will become a bigger and more efficient one. And the owner of this bigger, more efficient and more expensive vessel, will struggle as far as possible to catch more fish, be it legally or illegally....Not very good.

    On top of this, this GT regulation scheme is bringing boats designed to optimize fishing, processing and storing fish within a certain fixed size, so producing some ugly boats, overpowered, cramped and hydrodinamically terrifying. And worse than that, with a lack of stability in many cases. Specially among fishing boats less than 24 m of registry length. People is dying because this regulation is promoting certain 'suicidial' behaviour in fishermen. I can testify that.

    A new regulation in the EU based on a system of licenses given for an strict amount of fish for every fishery, instead of the GT one is urgent, at the same time that a more effective method of making the fishermen to carry out with those regulations has to be put into effect.

    Well, for sure all this is from a point of view based in my limited professional experience in Spain. I would appreciate very much to hear from other EU countries experiences, as well as from other nations the world around.
  5. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    One of the main problems with individual countries (Including the much vaunted super state "European Union" is that whilst anone can regulate one's own people it is extremely difficult regulating some one elses without causing International offense and crisis, wars and the like. A typical set up being around the British Coastline where the British (England, and the Celtic Nations - Scotland, Wales, Ireland [N & S] Cornwall) fishermen are tightly controlled on what they land but when these boats are on down time because of quotas the fish is plundered by foreign vessels who are not on their own grounds and thus don't give a damn about what they take or the conservation angle. Weak cowardly governments who do not protect their own do not help! either the fish or the fishermen (and this in the long run includes the foreigner did he but realise it - but to be fair he has mouths to feed at home and must continue to fish to sustain HIS 'status quo'.

    secondly the use of large nets (both bottom, surface and midwater) sweep up everything - nothing escapes due to the configuration of the net (no matter what the 'expert' tells you to the contary) thus even though the 'young' are thrown back they are usually dead either before or just after being returned to the water.

    It would appear therefore that the only means of ensuring that the young stay to grow (but does not do much for the breeding fish) is to ensure that the young cannot physically be taken. the ONLY way to do this is a total ban on nets for a period - no matter how unpalatable this is! during this period 'Longlines' may be used to good effect to continue fishing to a certain extent! This ban must BE SUSTAINED by EVERY vessel in the area no matter who - if your found with a net in the water the crew will be removed from the offender (any polutant will also be removed) and the vessel be sunk immediately - no fines, being let off 'cos you don't come from round here or any other lame excuse! Your fishing illegally, crew and fuel off, BANG BANG your sunk, by force if need be!

    Also of course the sophisticated equipment being used to find the fish these days should be removed and destroyed to give the fish a chance - simple echo sounders and other live saving equipment is of course allowed, but side sweeping sonar that would do credit to a Navy Submarine Hunter must go!

    Harsh I know, but if the world is going to conserve fish stocks for future use this must be put in place without delay!
  6. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    sharpii I'm right there with you on the dory idea,as you can see above (and on the hi-jacked place this forum came from - great idea this one but I fear you may have opened up a very large tin of worms from the money oriented so called fisherman (glad they call 'em fishermen and not seamen 'cos that's one thing most of em ain't - too dangerous!!) that chase fish these days!:(
  7. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    IN the gulf of mexico, east of the mississippi is flat mud bottom to the west coral reefs and rocky bottom .It takes about 20 years for a yellowfin grouper to get to 30 pounds. same for red snappers.another consequences of over fishing is mercury poison; we found that once the fish are gone the levels of mercury increase to a point that nothing will live, creating a barren desert. even after leaving what we thought was plenty of breeder stock. self regulation ;out of the question just wont happen. dock masters inspection during unloadingand boat confiscation for violators ...maybe. its probably to late to give allotments like kingcrab but a good thought. the best thing would be to cancle the fishery for10 years and check it for progress .last,as we speak we are killing off the rest of the fish in third world nations ;there is no local fish markets in the USA all of our fish are imported from Costa rica and Thailand ,some orange roughy from NewZealand and alaskan halibat and whiting.........per haps like safewalruss says ''one person maybe cant change anything but we can try..........longliner45
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    It is very simple: I travel around a lot and in every harbour where I land I see those big factory ships which are the poachers of the seas, I have no tother words for them.

    Fish today, is an expensive item and although here in the EU things are not running out of hand, I do not understand why those large trawlers are allowed anymore - 235 years ago I could launch my inflatable from the beach, go out for a day and came home with a catch that profited all the family in law for some weeks to go. That was then. Our sea at the front door is empty.

    Ok, we have to live with that, however since the world population is growing at an ultyr-fast speed and no wars/plagues to keep the population at acceptable level what are the politicians going to do.

    Once I was a graet optimist, nowadays - having seen almost everything detoriating at a fast pace, I have to go as far as to Oz to have some nice fishing.

    Trouty, unleash your rods, here I come......
  9. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    The real problem isn't too few fish - it's too many people. Time we started putting a quota on them!
  10. trouty

    trouty Guest

    Rods unleashed D'artois!

    Yes, boat fueled, rods rigged and ready to go.

    My plan is to mount a beaufort style gun on the foredeck, and we take out as many "people" as we can on the way out...to eliminate the demandd side of the fish equation...

    How many you take out determines how big a bag limit of fish you can bring back - the more you eliminate from the demand side of the equation, the more fish you can bring home...

    Works for me!:D

    We start with the Indonesian Fishermen illegally plunderingour fish stocks!

    Hows this for a "ïnternational situation"

    After year before lasts dreadfull Boxing day Tsunami...which wiped out gazzilions of the blighters from our northern neighbours shores....we sent em billions of $ in foreign aid.

    So - being Coastal fishing communities they built new fishing boats, and now raid our northern waters for trochus and shark fin....using boats we provided the $ for!:rolleyes:

    So - we arrest them, abd burn their (our?) boats, and put em in jail for a few months before deporting them and flying them home (at our expense!).

    While in jail - they get paid about $10 Aus a day - allowance under our incarceration legislation...which is about 3 times what they would have made if they had returned home with the trochus and shark fin to sell.

    So it goes like this...

    Come to Aus on a boat they buy for you, steal their fish, get caught and get good accom wth 3 square meals a day (better than home), and make more $ than if you fished and got away with it, arrive home with a free flight, and a pocket full of Aussie cash....with which you immmediately get another foreign aid grant to build another new boat and sail back to start all over again.

    The crews they caught this week - some of the crew are on their 3rd conviction...(how many times they didn't get caught in between!

    The subsistence Aboriginals who maketheir livelihoods from the Trochus report entire reef systems strpped bare of trochus in weeks...they are resorting to molotof cocktails thrown onto the indo boats..

    It's a clusterphuk of monumental proportions...

    Our Govts (Aus & Indo) do bugger ll about it...

    The indo's havent forgiven us for kicking them out of Timor and stealing their timor sea oil & gas...and who can blame em - so they use our foreign aid - to frustrate us.

    There will be a war in the not too disrtant future - between Aus and our northern indo neighbours. IMHO it is inevitable...Fishers are already taking itonn themselves to attack Indo boats in our waters, with machetes and firearms...it must come to war at some time.

    So - my beaufort gun idea - has much merit I contend.

    There is some talk of the govt paying us (commercial fishers) to patrol our northern waters while we fish - the indo problem is so large and intractible.

    Fishin - shootin indo's - all sounds like good sport to me!;)

  11. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Hey Trouty I'll go with that one! A people cull, sounds just what we need! As a matter of interest the Malaysian government also had some problems with Indonesia some forty years ago and recently Issued medals to the commonwealth forces that helped them! good on them! Your lads recently received theirs, and power to their elbows for that; meanwhile our stingy goverment said no, thus effectively slapping both the veterans and the malaysian goverment in the face - clever! the amazing thing was it was a Labour goverment who sent us guys to help (the only war against terrorism that won!) and we have a labour goverment in charge now! MMmmmmm! appears they've rescinded now but we still ain't got our medals (same as Russia with the Arctic convoy medals, and the fact that not a single soldier killed in our latest war has been greeted (body) by a senior member of the goverment on their return to burial - seems it's OK to send us to kill the filthy foreigner, just that the goverment is ashamed to admit it, which digresses a bit from the main subject but is in some strange way relavant!)
  12. trouty

    trouty Guest

    Trust me safewalrus

    I hear exactly what your saying, and it doesn't surprise me in the least!

    That said I fear we've drifted away from the main topic- the future of commercial fishing, which in iteslf is interesting enough that it should be allowed to continue without me further changing the topic / digressing from the original thread.

    But I do hear you loud n clear....just say Vietnam all over again.:rolleyes:

    Cheers & good luck with the medals issue!
  13. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    I was a commercial fisherman; ive been through the good times and the bad. Ive read the thread a few times.some have good ideas .But lets talk reality. ..the reality is ;put your self in a fishermans boots ,your world is taking care of your family and feeding the masses.on top of that boat payment , insurance, truck and house and everything that goes with it.Have you ever been in a spot were you felt so removed from the government that it didnt matter...Now the subject of killing foriegn fisherman.I was in Louisianna and Texes in the 80s those Vietnamies boys new just as much about killing as us,my boat had a few holes in it too,This dont do anyone any good,,,,,,,,,,,But hey ,Im talking to engineers ,marina owners , desiners and maybe some influantial people ,lets face it ,we are smarter than most because we own boats. Perhaps petitioning the government and having some solutions might do some good ....... go ahead close down some fisherys,let um recoup were adaptable we"ll get by ,besides ,we have patience I cant wait for the day to put deck reels on my boat..........longliner45
  14. seadogs20
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    seadogs20 Junior Member

    In the far North West of Western Australia (ashmore reef) just recently I saw over a 30 Indo fishing boats.Ispoke to a few guys off a customs vessel and they told me, they are allowed to fish in our waters, as long as they are under sail. Now picture a oz boat in Indo waters... I dont think so!!...We would be blown out of the water(rather that then there gaols) but if we the fishermen and gov's dont do something soon there won't be any decent fish left to catch.

  15. seadogs20
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    seadogs20 Junior Member

    Sorry Im an ex Fisherman:)
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