Suggested Bibliographic Reference: Challenging New Frontiers in the Global Seafood Sector: Proceedings of the Eighteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 11-15, 2016. Compiled by Stefani J. Evers and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2016.
Proceedings of the Eighteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, held July 11-15, 2016 at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center (AECC), Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
As the Scottish enlightenment has taught us, it is vitally important to think for ourselves rather than believing what we are told. Here, we question the basic principles of fisheries managements. We ask if the hypothesis of capacity maximization - a race to boats - could be considered instead of that of profit maximization - a race to fish. With an elementary game theoretic model, we show that the competition for the exploitation capacity of a natural resource comes down to the sharing of a pie and that the size of this pie is determined by technical efficiency and financing costs. Then, with theoretical and empirical arguments, we justify the hypothesis of capacity maximization and its importance in the present context of financialization. The situation of fisheries, the history of agriculture in developed and developing countries let us imagine that altogether, the worldwide development of fish product markets, the liberalization of finance and the substitution of local credit systems by general banks, and the policies for reinforcing competitiveness, will result in highly capitalized fleets and the fossilization of small scales fisheries. We argue that this would not result in an increase of productivity and that, to prevent this, fishing policies should go against the tendencies (1) to increase competition, (2) to support technological progress and (3) to anticipate financial changes. Therefore, fishing policies should reinforce local financial cooperation between operators of the fishing sector and control fishing efficiency at a "reasonable" level.