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Subject: Re: [Fishfolk] From fishing to piracy...
From: Bob McDonald <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 6 Dec 2008 10:00:08 +1100

text/plain (36 lines)

HI Folks and Bill,
                              you say,

 > I am reminded that interviewers have reported that fishermen in the 
> Sea are well aware that sturgeon are overfished, but that they continue to 
> poach them because that is the only income they have. Closing a fishery 
> without providing an alternative line of work doesn't seem to accomplish 
> much.

Poaching is rife in southern Australia, but only a small proportion is by 
'comercial' fishermen as such. In the abalone industry the quota holdersd 
have other people doing the hard work for them.  When these fishermen catch 
extra or go poaching there is an economic incentive - but the punishment - 
losing the job altogether, fines and jail deters most.  It does not deter 
poachers noy connected to the fishery at all, They have sophisticated 
operations with lookouts, underwater stashes of poached shellfish, mother 
ships that look like recreational cruisers and dinghy boat with fishing 
rods. Other work the shorelines at night. It is heavy with the odd person 
shot and the occasional car bombing.

All of this is as a result of inappropriate management too. If the grounds 
abalone are found on were divided into many fishing territories and those 
licences to fish them had to live close by then poaching on a large scale 
would almost disappear and the incentives for the holders of the rights to 
'fish' those species in those places would clearly be to protect them.

The closure of the wild sturgeon fishery seems to have created the same 
problems. Perhaps those closer to this fishery could comment on the stock 
asessments used  - it would not be the first time management was designed to 
create scarcity driving price. Southern Bluefin Tuna in Australia is a good 
example of this management playing on scarcity to restructure the industry 
and control the price to the market.

Cheers Bob McDonald

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