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A Simple Decision - and How to Get There

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  • Combinations of 7 remarkably similar factors have led to the (partial) failure of recent efforts to address five global or national crises. The paper analyzes the global financial crisis, climate change, the US health care crisis, the blue fin tuna collapse in the Atlantic Ocean and the collapse of fish stocks in Yemen and West Africa from the optics of (i) the strategy of politics, (ii) the role of science and economics, (iii) the effect of (dis-) information and communications, (iv) the role of leadership, (v) weaknesses of institutions and (vi) a variable rest factor, including the nature of opposition. Final decisions balancing the long-term future impact of maintaining the status-quo (or worse) for millions or even billions of stakeholders against the short-term benefits for far fewer stakeholders, favoring the latter, suggest that neither science nor economic considerations largely determined the final outcome, but that a more complex vector of factors was at work. To better manage this vector in fisheries, a Fisheries Authority may be more suitable than existing Ministries and Departments. The author suggests that to improve the chances of success of future local and regional fisheries management: (i) a global pilot program be created with some external donor assistance - establishing Fisheries Authorities in developed and developing countries to demonstrate more effective sector management; and (ii) BA and MA programs be created at two highly rated universities in developed and developing countries to educate future fisheries managers in critical subjects that impact decision making.
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  • Van Santen, Gert. 2010. A Simple Decision - and How to Get There. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 13-16, 2010, Montpellier, France: Economics of Fish Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems: Balancing Uses, Balancing Costs. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2010.
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  • US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Division, Agence Française de Développement, Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, Ministère de L’Alimentation de L’Agriculture et de la Pêche, Ministère de l’Énergie, du Développement Durable et de la Mer, La Région Languedoc Rouslilon, Département Hérault, Montpellier Agglomèration, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, and AquaFish Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP).
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