Imagine a group of 100 fisherman faced with declining stocks and worried about the sustainability of their resource and their livelihoods. One of them works out that the total sustainable catch is about 20% of what everyone is catching now (with some uncertainty of course) but that if current trends of increasing catches (about 2% a year) continue the resource would be depleted in short order.
No need to imagine!
The Commission acknowledged years of policy failure in an unusually candid report last month, which concluded that too many subsidy-dependent fishing boats were chasing too few fish. “If nothing happens soon, we will soon end up with no fish to fish for,” said Joe Borg, the fisheries commissioner.