Naturally as humans, we tend to abuse any resource we can get our hands on. We exploit most of our planets natural resources (but that’s another story), as well as over consume many species that benefit us. Currently it is estimated that over 75% of the world’s fish stocks are being fished faster than they can be replenished, and that if we fail to change our ways we could be facing a global fish collapse by the year 2050. Looks like we could be eating jellyfish before we know it.
However, in light of this dooming news, there may be a solution. Recently Dr.Varkey, a Postdoc working on resource management from the University of British Columbia, has developed a method to help solve this issue. By analyzing coral reef communities in Raja Ampat (Indonesia), she has created a model that analyzes a bunch of different local factors and produces an outcome that is suited for both the community, and the fish.
To understand how this model works, we have a podcast performed by Dr.Varkey. She will help simplify the different complications of the model, so we can get a better grasp as to how this model works.
Now that we understand how this model works, we can begin to see its many capabilities. Especially for smaller communities that rely heavily on fishing as a means of revenue, being able to balance the peoples needs and conservation can be extremely difficult. Like we heard Dr.Varkey explain, it can take everyone’s interests into account, and produce a result that is equally fair to everyone, while also conserving fish populations.
To understand more as to how this affected the community of Raja Ampat, as well as the conflicts between fisheries and conservation, feel free to watch this video to learn more about the community of Raja Ampat.
Now that we have seen how this model works, and how it can solve conflicts between different groups in a community, we can see the potential of this model in different ecosystems. Not only are the capabilities of this model powerful, but essentially it can be applied anywhere. Simply by deconstructing the model and recreating it for the desired ecosystem, we could apply it to any community where conservation is an issue. Locally, we could apply this model to sockeye populations, which reached populations so low in 2009 that salmon fisheries ended up closing.
Failure to change our current ways of exploitation could lead to a future without fish. Applying Dr.Varkey’s model could prove to be a simple method in reducing our over consumption of fish, leading to a more sustainable future.
Otherwise, we may be enjoying a lot more jellyfish in the near future.
-Raymond Quan, Madeleine Tsoi, Leticia Munoz, Tony Caputo