Advertising over-fishing


in Economics, Politics, The environment

This evening, I was surprised to happen across a billboard advertisement condemning fisheries subsidies. It declared that: “Subsidies are fishing the world’s oceans to death” and “It’s time to cut the bait.” The sentiment is an accurate one, particularly when it comes to the operation of the subsidized fleets of the developed world in the waters of developing states. Still, it was interesting to see a public display about a subject that is of considerable interest to me, but seemingly ignored by most of the population. You do see a bit of lobbying through advertising in Ottawa; for instance, there are piles of backlit signs personally thanking Prime Minister Harper for supporting ethanol and biodiesel. It was good to see something advocating the protection of a common resource, rather than seeking rents for private enterprises.

I was curious who would be behind such an advertising campaign, but then I noticed the logo of the Sea Around Us Project at the bottom. They have been mentioned here fairly frequently before and do good work. Shifting Baselines – a favourite blog of mine – is run by a doctoral student associated with the project.

[Update: 13 January 2007] I finally got around to uploading the low quality photo of the ad I took on my phone.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan January 7, 2008 at 11:10 am

A short backgrounder (PDF) is available online.

. January 9, 2008 at 10:53 am

Via WSJ, Sir Nicholas Stern says he underestimated the risks of climate change in his influential report.

“We underestimated the flow of emissions from developing countries, especially China,” he said, observing that emissions of greenhouse gases from China over the next 25 years will equal the total emissions from the U.S. and Europe over the last century. Emissions from developing countries and developed countries must be capped, he said, but the ethics of allocating the pain are delicate. “If you’re consuming the goods, you can’t blame the location of the factory,” he argued.

Jennifer Jacquet January 9, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Hi Milan, Aren’t the ads sponsored by Oceana? I know Sea Around Us did the research behind them. Do you take a photo by any chance? I’ve only seen a photo of one in a subway station and I’d love to see another…

Milan January 9, 2008 at 5:01 pm


My main camera is off undergoing repairs. I did get a low resolution image on my phone, which I need to remember to copy to my computer and link from this post.

Before seeing the sign, I can’t recall having heard of Oceana. That said, fisheries are a passionate but secondary interest of mine.

Anon January 15, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Europe’s Appetite for Seafood Propels Illegal Trade

LONDON — Walking at the Brixton market among the parrotfish, doctorfish and butterfish, Effa Edusie is surrounded by pieces of her childhood in Ghana. Caught the day before far off the coast of West Africa, they have been airfreighted to London for dinner.

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