by Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation
Catch Shares: Are they a Silver Bullet for Overfishing? (Photo: NOAA)
In pursuit of our goals to increase ocean health while protecting fishing communities, The Ocean Foundation has worked long and hard with our fellow marine conservation philanthropists to fund a suite of ocean and fishery management tools, beginning with the Magnuson-Stevens Act in 1996. And some progress has indeed been made.
We are increasingly concerned, however, about the very human tendency, when confronted with problems of this magnitude and complexity, to seek the tempting “silver bullet,” the one solution that will achieve economic, environmental, and social sustainability for fishing endeavors globally. Unfortunately these “magic” solutions, while popular with funders, legislators and sometimes the media, never work as effectively as we would like, and they always have unintended consequences.