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Policies and fish stock

This text discusses some potential policies used to protect local fish stock.
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Simulation models help us in understanding the often complex dynamics of socio-ecological systems. Simple models can illustrate some basic dynamics, and adding new elements to these models may help us understand the impact of certain factors.

Where our simple simulation was just a simple growth function, you can imagine it is also possible to model an ecosystem composed of many interacting species. In a similar way, human behaviour and societal dynamics can also be modelled in more detail if needed. Here, you could think of fisheries specialising in different species, innovations in fishing rigs, developments on the consumer market, and last but not least the policies aimed at controlling the fisheries. Experimenting with policies is valuable, because many experiments may be needed to identify viable strategies that can be implemented in the real world.

In our exemplary fishing case of Week 3, different policies can be thought of to reduce overfishing. Some of these policies have been implemented in the coastal area where Dirk Sloot is fishing. Limiting the number of ships having an allowance to fish was one of the policies. You can relate this policy to our first experiment on fishing, where you could change the number of fishers. A second policy is a limitation of the maximum horsepower of the ship’s engines, which affects the size of the nets you can tow and thus the catching ability of the ships.

This relates to last week’s experiment, where you could change the size of the ships. Dirk is also mentioning the limitation of days at sea. This means that fishermen are only allowed to fish on a limited number of days, which will be discussed in the next step..

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