How much is deep sea fishing subsidized?

While the ecological impacts of fishing the waters beyond national jurisdiction (the “high seas”) have been widely studied, the economic rationale is more difficult to ascertain because of scarce data on the costs and revenues of the fleets that fish there. Newly compiled satellite data and machine learning now allow us to track individual fishing vessels on the high seas in near real time. These technological advances help us quantify high-seas fishing effort, costs, and benefits, and assess whether, where, and when high-seas fishing makes economic sense. We characterize the global high-seas fishing fleet and report the economic benefits of fishing the high seas globally, nationally, and at the scale of individual fleets. Our results suggest that fishing at the current scale is enabled by large government subsidies, without which as much as 54% of the present high-seas fishing grounds would be unprofitable at current fishing rates. The patterns of fishing profitability vary widely between countries, types of fishing, and distance to port. Deep-sea bottom trawling often produces net economic benefits only thanks to subsidies, and much fishing by the world’s largest fishing fleets would largely be unprofitable without subsidies and low labor costs. These results support recent calls for subsidy and fishery management reforms on the high seas.

Emphasis added, that is by Enric Sala,, via Anecdotal.


Maybe Don Trump can put a tariff on it? Tariffs are easy.

I have to say that is the dumbest, most stupid thing I have heard all week.

The West is paying fishermen to denude the oceans of fish while at the same time paying people to preserve fish stocks?

How did we end up in this mess? How did we end up with such appalling, short sighted, stupid politicians running the world?

The same way we have subsidies for tobacco farmers and massive taxes on cigarettes paying for tax-exempt tobacco-settlement bonds. A "mixed" economy encourages rent-seeking by all parties along the food-chain.

Indeed. Another reason for a small minimalist state. At least then the right hand of the Conservation bureaucracy might know what the left hand of the Agriculture bureaucracy is doing.

The "west" isn't the one subsidizing the fishing. It's Asia with fishing part of identity requiring fish in diet. Asia has a long history of aquaculture, but population growth and wealth increased demand greatly, while pollution and over fishing drive fleets as far as the Atlantic.

Spain is big in this area as well. But the US, while big, is half Spain which is 2/3 China, 2/3 Taiwan, 2/3 Indonesia, Korea.

Wait until you read about growing corn in the U.S. -

Especially when it is converted into ethanol, which the EIA then counts as part of America's petroleum production. Really - 'Petroleum includes more products than just crude oil. Petroleum includes refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, unfinished oils, and other liquids such as fuel ethanol, blending components for gasoline, and other refinery inputs.' And does the oil burned to plant, harvest, and transport the corn get subtracted from the petroleum total? Of course not - double counting has become an EIA specialty. Check into 'refinery gains' for another example of something from nothing - 'Refinery Processing Gain

The volumetric amount by which total output is greater than input. This difference is due to the processing of crude oil into products that, in total, have lower specific gravity than the crude oil processed. Therefore, in terms of volume, the total output of products is greater than input.' The amount of energy, however, remains unchanged between the barrel of crude and the increased volume that results from refining.

Once again you are exhibiting and Obsessive need to turn an unrelated topic into an attack on the US.

Uh... refinery gains are real. You don't science much, do you.

What government subsidies for fishing? Primarily fuel subsidies. Sala's study does refer to fuel subsidies but does not emphasize that the "government subsidies" repeatedly referred to are primarily fuel subsidies. He makes the point about fuel subsidies mostly indirectly: "The most profitable of the high-seas operations by China and globally were in the Northwest Pacific, where we estimate that fuel expenditures are only a fraction of those elsewhere because of the proximity to mainland China."

It's not altogether clear which industry is the target of the government largesse: the fishing industry or the fossil fuels industry. Even with the government subsidies, fishing is barely profitable if at all, which might suggest that the target is the fossil fuels industry.

I found this to be the main issue. I skimmed through the paper to see if I could find specific examples of governments subsidizing high seas fishing (since that is what the paper is about). I didn't find any examples of a specific subsidy for high seas fishing. The paper from which Sala, et al, get their subsidy data: " The analysis reveals that fuel subsidies constitute the greatest part of the total subsidy (22% of the total), followed by subsidies for management (20% of the total) and ports and harbors (10% of the total)." What I think Sala, et al, want to say is that there are subsidies that support the fishing industry (both direct, in the case of port and harbor construction, and indirect, in the case of fuel subsidies) indirectly increase inefficient high-seas fishing. Now why they didn't just say that (or point out that this would apply to fishing in national waters, as well) is beyond me.

By the same argument, fossil fuels are subsidized, but that argument doesn't hold much water if put on a level playing field with renewables.

I can totally see Trump watching Deadliest Catch and deciding to make a few changes in the industry, because he’s an expert

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