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Thread: Ray Hilborn on fishing and economic impacts

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    Default Ray Hilborn on fishing and economic impacts

    http://www.savingseafood.org/washing...-little-i.html

    For those who do not know Ray Hilborn he is a leading scientist on fisheries management. He has published numerous books and articles and is well respected in the field. I think you will find his presentation above interesting.

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    Good find Nerka. Here's a few excerpts:


    "This view of the world has dominated our management strategies, including setting target biomass and harvest rates, and in the stock rebuilding requirements. The theory asserts that if stock biomass controls productivity, then reducing fishing pressure on stocks at low abundance allows biomass to rebuild, and stock productivity will increase as the biomass increases.

    In the last two decades, the evidence has become strong that this view of the world is incorrect, and most fish stocks experience sustained periods of good times and bad times. This is often called productivity regime shifts. In a paper published in 2013 a group of us showed that for 230 fish stocks where we had long term data, 69% showed such regime shifts, and only 18% of fish stocks appeared to conform to the simple theory that biomass determines productivity. The remaining 13% of stocks showed no relationship between biomass and productivity or temporal regime shifts. We found that increases in productivity were slightly more common than declines.

    If regime shifts, which are natural environmental fluctuations, are driving productivity, then reducing fishing pressure will increase the abundance of the stock, but productivity (and subsequent sustainable yield) will not increase until the regime changes. Rebuilding to former biomass may indeed be impossible unless productivity changes, regardless of reductions in fishing."


    "Accepting that regime shifts are common does not mean we do not need to regulate fisheries. We must always be careful not to harvest more than the production, and when regime shifts move systems from high to low productivity, the yield must decline."


    "We lose 1-3% of US potential yield by fishing too hard, 30-48% of potential yield by fishing too little

    The major threat to sustainable jobs, food, recreational opportunity and revenue from U.S. marine fisheries is no longer overfishing, but underfishing. However, many groups, particularly some e-NGOs, are still actively pushing for less fishing pressure by giving a high priority to maintaining fish stocks at high abundance. Perhaps it is time for Congress to explicitly state the extent to which we wish to forego food, jobs, recreational opportunity and revenue in order to have more fish in the ocean either because of their intrinsic value, or as food for marine birds and mammals."

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    Same story in the wildlife management world, I suspect, but I haven't seen it formalized by any Ray's colleagues in the furry side of the business.
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    Lightbulb Pauly/Hilborn debate . . .



    Not everyone agrees . . . Hilborn's views are very controversial:








    http://blog.nature.org/conservancy/2...a-ray-hilborn/

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Hamon View Post
    Same story in the wildlife management world, I suspect, but I haven't seen it formalized by any Ray's colleagues in the furry side of the business.

    By "same story," do you mean the debate between Pauly & Hilborn? The debate over which—regime change or biomass—is the primary determinant of productivity?


    How then, by whatever you mean, do you see a corollary in the "furry side of the business"?


    What come to mind are bison and passenger pigeons: it would seem that for some species, productivity is driven and determined solely in terms of biomass.



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    I feel that fish (especially salmon and those fish that depend on their marine derived nutrients) are more susceptible to regime shifts as we have documented swings in ocean conditions. Ray was a professor of mine in school and while his thoughts may be "controversial" he's doesn't have a dog in the fight like fishermen do, is a very pragmatic scientist, and has the data, brains and skills to back up what he says. Our salmon stocks in AK show him to be true, many of our major "comebacks" have had nothing to do with management except that for perhaps at the end of the swing on the downward slide, we finally lowered our take, only to watch small escapements create huge returns with high survival due to a change in ocean conditions (and that less escapement means less competition for parr and smolts in freshwater and they leave bigger with a higher chance of survival.....add the right conditions in the ocean and voila, "rebuilt stocks".

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    Lightbulb One swallow does not a summer make . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    I feel that fish (especially salmon and those fish that depend on their marine derived nutrients) are more susceptible to regime shifts as we have documented swings in ocean conditions. Ray was a professor of mine in school and while his thoughts may be "controversial" he's doesn't have a dog in the fight like fishermen do, is a very pragmatic scientist, and has the data, brains and skills to back up what he says. Our salmon stocks in AK show him to be true, many of our major "comebacks" have had nothing to do with management except that for perhaps at the end of the swing on the downward slide, we finally lowered our take, only to watch small escapements create huge returns with high survival due to a change in ocean conditions (and that less escapement means less competition for parr and smolts in freshwater and they leave bigger with a higher chance of survival.....add the right conditions in the ocean and voila, "rebuilt stocks".

    Exactly . .


    . . . and the film noted above, "End of the Line," uses Alaska's fisheries as an example of good management.


    That said, Alaska's fisheries alone do not make Hilborn's case across the broad board of the ocean's fisheries. While the productivity of some fisheries like, say, Pacific salmon, may be more susceptible to regime change, others may not. Other fisheries like, say, blue fin tuna or herring, may be more susceptible to biomass. As Aristotle said, "One swallow does not a summer make . ."


    As for who has skin in the game and who doesn't, that's not the point . . everyone has some skin in the game in terms of, if nothing else, their world-view. The point is that the natural sciences are imprecise, and the Pauly/Hilborn debate is more a matter of opinion than of science. Credible "science" can be mustered for both sides of the question.


    Neither Pauly nor Hilborn constitute a Moses descending from the mountain with the word of God. The issue is an open question, and to cite one authority or the other as the know-all/end-all of the discussion is dangerous ground indeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Exactly . .


    . . . and the film noted above, "End of the Line," uses Alaska's fisheries as an example of good management.


    That said, Alaska's fisheries alone do not make Hilborn's case across the broad board of the ocean's fisheries. While the productivity of some fisheries like, say, Pacific salmon, may be more susceptible to regime change, others may not. Other fisheries like, say, blue fin tuna or herring, may be more susceptible to biomass. As Aristotle said, "One swallow does not a summer make . ."


    As for who has skin in the game and who doesn't, that's not the point . . everyone has some skin in the game in terms of, if nothing else, their world-view. The point is that the natural sciences are imprecise, and the Pauly/Hilborn debate is more a matter of opinion than of science. Credible "science" can be mustered for both sides of the question.


    Neither Pauly nor Hilborn constitute a Moses descending from the mountain with the word of God. The issue is an open question, and to cite one authority or the other as the know-all/end-all of the discussion is dangerous ground indeed.
    Salmon are more perceptibly affected due to the fact they return and then die and live in discreet brood years and come back to freshwater where they can better count them. Your comment on biomass is actually a nested issue in that their biomass (as compared to numbers) is also connected to the regime change and due to being open water fishes are hard to count and the data is often messy.

    While his story may not fit all fisheries, more the point is a change in mentality from trying to maintain a stock in perpetuity at MSY compared to adjusting and incorporating regime shift into different modes of management. And the reason he has no dog in the fight matters is this.....commercial fishermen want a consistent take for each year....this is a natural thing to want as it makes your economic stress much less. Hilborn is saying that there will be ups and downs no matter what we do.....best we can do is anticipate the down times and give stakeholders a heads up and manage accordingly.

    (edited)
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 10-24-2013 at 21:37. Reason: personal comment

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    Red face Ain't that simple . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    Salmon are more perceptibly affected due to the fact they return and then die and live in discreet brood years and come back to freshwater where they can better count them. Your comment on biomass is actually a nested issue in that their biomass (as compared to numbers) is also connected to the regime change and due to being open water fishes are hard to count and the data is often messy.

    While his story may not fit all fisheries, more the point is a change in mentality from trying to maintain a stock in perpetuity at MSY compared to adjusting and incorporating regime shift into different modes of management. And the reason he has no dog in the fight matters is this.....commercial fishermen want a consistent take for each year....this is a natural thing to want as it makes your economic stress much less. Hilborn is saying that there will be ups and downs no matter what we do.....best we can do is anticipate the down times and give stakeholders a heads up and manage accordingly.

    (edited)



    I have no argument with your first two paragraphs, Catch It, and you have correctly stated why Hilborn is so often cited by commercial fishing interests.


    (edited) What I am saying is simply that it ain't that simple. Maybe this will work:


    “There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say 'It is yet more difficult than you thought.' This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

    —Wendell Berry
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 10-24-2013 at 21:39. Reason: removed personal comment

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    Wink Chill . . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    If it ain't that simple, please reveal what your wit has come up with.....if you have no answer, I defer to my third paragraph.

    Nice quote, but self-appointed muses are not muses at all.....write that down.

    What I have come up with is simply that Hilborn doesn't have all the answers even though commercial interests would like to believe he has.


    There is more than one side to the issue. Check it out:



    To hear some people tell it, the increasingly energetic and sophisticated fishing industry has left the world’s oceans a shambles, with species of cod, sharks, tuna and other fish hunted almost to extinction and vast stretches of the ocean floor wrecked by bottom-scraping trawlers.To hear some other people tell it, many depleted stocks are recovering nicely.Ray Hilborn, a fisheries scientist at the University of Washington, wades into this disagreement in his new book and comes out with a lucid explication of a highly tangled issue.

    Each argument, he concludes, has some truth on its side. “It depends on where you look,” he writes. “You can paint horror story after horror story if you want. You can paint success after success.”

    —read the entire article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/sc...life.html?_r=0

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    Red face "The rest of the story". . . or "Beyond Hilborn" . . .

    SIX EXPERTS DISCUSS THE GLOBAL FISHERIES CRISIS; THE ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, AND SOCIAL PRESSURES THAT CONTRIBUTED TO IT; AND WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO MAKE FISH STOCKS BOUNCE BACK.

    The new documentary film The End of the Line paints a sobering picture: Humans have perfected the art and science of the catch, using computers to help pinpoint migratory schools and nets large enough to cinch around several ocean cruise liners. The length of hook-bearing fishing line dropped into the ocean each year could be wrapped around the globe 550 times. However, those nets and lines are culling fewer and fewer fish each year.

    So few, in fact, that Boris Worm—the marine biologist around whose work the film’s narrative revolves—and Ransom Myers concluded in a 2003 Nature paper that industrial fishing had reduced global populations of sharks, tuna, and other large open-water predators by 90 percent. Three years later, Worm and his colleagues went a step further: Extrapolating from current populations in collapse, they predicted that by 2048, the oceans would be empty of fish.

    Almost immediately, the 2048 doomsdate came under attack by other members of the scientific community. A particularly prominent critic was fisheries scientist Ray Hilborn of the University of Washington, Seattle. Hilborn, who is also featured in the film, told the media that Worm’s analyses were “sloppy” and called the projection “mind-boggling[ly] stupid.” . . .

    Even Worm and Hilborn appear to broker a truce. They may not agree on the precise date fisheries will collapse, but neither seems to doubt that it will happen. A point not included in the film: At the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California, the once-rivals have recently begun collaborating on a new project to figure out why their different data or methods yield such divergent impressions of ocean ecosystems. . .


    **********************


    Anyone wanting the rest of the story can click on the link below and read the entire article: http://seedmagazine.com/content/arti...nding_fish/P1/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post

    By "same story," do you mean the debate between Pauly & Hilborn? The debate over which—regime change or biomass—is the primary determinant of productivity?


    How then, by whatever you mean, do you see a corollary in the "furry side of the business"?


    What come to mind are bison and passenger pigeons: it would seem that for some species, productivity is driven and determined solely in terms of biomass.


    No, I mean that there sometimes appears to be the operational expectation that we can make more critters by harvesting fewer, or by removing predators, when the ecosystem base for their food supply is an important consideration and we may well not be able to maintain the sorts of densities that people dream of. The 'argument' is really not whether either of them is correct. The argument is more about whether one of them is more often correct. We know, and they both know, that both scenarios play out in the real world, it is really just a question of whether one of them is more common. And it is because academics get more press and more funding by having 'arguments' than they do by having agreements. So the differences are highlighted.
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    Catch It - sorry I started this post because of the reaction you received. I was hoping that people would read Ray's testimony and find it interesting. My point in posting it was the bigger picture that sometimes being over conservative in one fishery can cause unintended consequences with other fisheries. Hilborn testimony was about the Magnuson Stevenson Act and U.S fisheries management not the dispute about global fisheries and the Nature article. That was just an attempt by one individual to take the discussion away from the topic . If one reads the Hilborn testimony one can see clearly that the discussion is limited to the U.S fisheries and Magnuson/Stvenson and Ray's professional recommendations on how to fix parts of that Act - end of story. Do not waste your time on this anymore. Taking the bait just means you get hooked in the belly.

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    Smile Operational expectations . . terrestrial and oceanic . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Hamon View Post
    No, I mean that there sometimes appears to be the operational expectation that we can make more critters by harvesting fewer, or by removing predators, when the ecosystem base for their food supply is an important consideration and we may well not be able to maintain the sorts of densities that people dream of. The 'argument' is really not whether either of them is correct. The argument is more about whether one of them is more often correct. We know, and they both know, that both scenarios play out in the real world, it is really just a question of whether one of them is more common. And it is because academics get more press and more funding by having 'arguments' than they do by having agreements. So the differences are highlighted.



    Well said. My concern is how well terrestrial considerations and categories translate into oceanic considerations and categories.


    Terrestrial ecosystems are far more geographically defined, more geographically discrete than are oceanic ecosystems. What happens in the world's oceans has far wider, geographically speaking, implications and consequences than does, say, what happens to moose populations along the Yukon.


    As for your last point, couldn't agree more . . lotsa bucks to be made as a contrarian . . Attachment 74684

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    Salmon are more perceptibly affected due to the fact they return and then die and live in discreet brood years and come back to freshwater where they can better count them. Your comment on biomass is actually a nested issue in that their biomass (as compared to numbers) is also connected to the regime change and due to being open water fishes are hard to count and the data is often messy.

    While his story may not fit all fisheries, more the point is a change in mentality from trying to maintain a stock in perpetuity at MSY compared to adjusting and incorporating regime shift into different modes of management. And the reason he has no dog in the fight matters is this.....commercial fishermen want a consistent take for each year....this is a natural thing to want as it makes your economic stress much less. Hilborn is saying that there will be ups and downs no matter what we do.....best we can do is anticipate the down times and give stakeholders a heads up and manage accordingly.

    (edited)
    ... Just wanted everyone to have a chance to read it again... NICE POST!!!
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 10-24-2013 at 21:41. Reason: personal comment

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