The Alaskan Pollock fishery and Northern Cod fishery are both very similar. They both started off with the population fishing them as an endless supply, both of these places never thought there would be a decline in their fisheries. This led to an ultimate downfall. A similarity between the two would also be the huge foreign fleets that had come into their areas to harvest each species. Another similarity would be the misguided management each fishery had, such as they were all about the money at first rather than the science behind what was best for the fishery.
I think you bring up a good point that they both started off all about the money, with little regard to science. It also shows how the pollock industry handled it well, while the cod industry did not. The pollock industry, since setting scientifically based catch limits, has never exceeded their max catch limits. The cod industry by contrast when advised by fishery scientists to set a harvest limit of 100,000 tons as a conservation target, up to 170,000 tons maximum, set the limit to 190,000 tons, nearly double the conservation target. They completely ignored the science.
It’s interesting to me to bring in the concept that money > science when it comes to fisheries management. I often wonder about this with other environmental concerns where scientific evidence points strongly towards one method of management or one industry option being vastly superior to another, yet because of peoples’ preferences and our short-sightedness, we may be pushed away from the better (and scientifically supported) forms of management.
It’s extremely concerning to think that after so many chances to learn from our history, we still have management that decides an extra penny in their pocket in the short term is better than a long term sustainable fishery where the environment, economy and the manager all benefit.
This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by bmarshall6.