If I ruled the World…

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Hvis jeg var statsminister…

Det sete afhænger som bekendt af øjnene, der ser, og de samme ting kan derfor antage mange forskellige former. Men det er naturligvis altid én selv, der har ret – som har det store overblik og kan gennemskue, hvordan det hele hænger sammen.

Og hvis man selv var statsminister, så skulle man hurtigt få skik på tingene. Det er en tanke, vi vist alle har leget med ind imellem – hvor godt alting ville være, hvis vi selv kunne bestemme det hele. Så ville der blive anderledes styr på tingene – stik modsat nu, hvor det hele jo bare sejler.

Det hæderkronede engelske magasin “The Field” har taget ideen op og introduceret en fast klumme, hvor mere eller mindre kendte mennesker får lov at komme til orde og fortælle, hvordan verden ville blive, hvis netop de var prime minister eller president of the United States.

I oktober sidste år kom så turen til min gamle ven og våbenfælle, Orri Vigfusson fra Island. Orri er efterhånden kendt verden over som vildlaksens talsmand – som ham, der om nogen måske vil kunne redde den vilde atlanterhavslaks fra udryddelse.

Orri er nemlig formand for den islandsk baserede North Atlantic Salmon Fund, der for private midler køber laksekvoter op og dermed sikrer, at atlanterhavslaksene kan vokse sig store langt til havs, inden de uhindret vender hjem igen for at sikre slægtens beståen.

The Field giver her Orri ordet:

“If I ruled the world it would be the answer to a longterm campaigner’s dream. I’m a practical man so I would not demand too much. But, at a stroke, I would be able to make the changes I believe the world must accept if fish stocks around the globe are to survive.

My ideas need not cost taxpayers a penny. Everything could be achieved through what I call “green capitalism”. The goal is the elimination of waste and a sustainable allocation of scarce resources. My friend, Bill McDonough, often talks about “saving the world through commerce”.

He says human endeavour is the only force big enough and fast enough to get done all the things that need to be done. I agree wholeheartedly. So, in my role as a benevolent dictator, this principle would be applied to the management of fisheries in all the oceans.

At present, the global ocean fishery industry has annual revenues of about US$100 billion but if subsidies are removed the industry is probably losing $10-20 billion a year. Most of this failure can be blamed on fisheries’ management regimes and on their reliance on a traditional “common property” approach.

From time immemorial, most of the world’s oceans have been an open hunting ground for all and sundry. For a great many generations, treating fish as common property worked well because the primitive equipment and little boats that the old fishermen used were quite incapable of denuding the seas.

We’ve come a long way since then. Take the modern purse seiner as an example. Such a vessel may be 250 ft long, 3,000 gross tonnes and capable of catching 2,600 tonnes of fish in a single cast.

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It’s surely time to abandon that idea completely. My alternative is a system of property rights, and the management of fisheries through private capital. I’d follow the proposals for global fisheries reform put forward by Professor Ragnar Árnason of the University of Iceland.

If global fisheries were managed along such lines, investors would enjoy high dividends, as we already know that property rights work when applied to the management offisheries. Rough calculations suggest that annual returns could be as high as $50 billion.

The proof comes from the way Iceland manages many of its fisheries by giving fishermen transferable quotas. These property rights have the virtue of combining high profits and conservation goals.

Fishermen who want to be high earners realise this requires large fish stocks, so they become concerned about maintaining a healthy ocean habitat. They also accept sensible harvesting levels that aren’t decided by politicians looking for votes.

It is essential that such a system is run by the smallest effective administrative structure and managed locally. The stakeholders are the fishermen themselves and they are empowered to supervise the state of the stocks. State involvement is kept to the minimum needed to protect stocks and set catches at sustainable levels, determined by scientific assessments of the size and structure of the target species.

Ecosystem protection must also be a priority and demands that the food chain is safe- guarded by controlling fishing methods. If trawling were damaging the habitat it would be banned and replaced by long-lining from smaller boats.

The senseless practice of industrial fishing would largely be stopped, as it creates great holes in the food chain. Decimate the capelin and sandeels to make animal feeds or fuel for power stations, and salmon, sea fish and sea birds all suffer from a lack of food.

Each year-class would be managed separately for all species, with the emphasis on maintaining the healthy stock of mature spawners that propels populations to success.

I would move towards optimum exploitation of the various age groups that can withstand fishing pressure. Scientific studies have shown that the most robust populations of fish are those that have been largely unfished.

Their most important characteristic is that they are all dominated by large numbers of the older and bigger fish that produce most eggs. This would work hand in hand with closing areas to allow shrinking fish stocks to recover and avoid the shameful waste of discards.

Of course, the fate of the Atlantic salmon is still closest to my heart and there are two things that I would do to ensure its recovery. I would end all the remaining commercial fisheries that decimate mixed stocks of salmon, especially along the Scottish, Norwegian and Irish coasts. This is a mindboggling waste of salmon that could rebuild the Atlantic’s stocks.

A second great threat to salmon comes from fish farming. The aquaculture industry pro- vides a much-needed product that takes pressure off wild stocks of salmon but we do not want this at a cost that outweighs the benefit. Being in the fortunate position of ruling the world, I would order all salmon farm operations to be removed from coastal waters and estuaries and become land based.

If I were king, you can be sure I’d impose all of the changes I have outlined. But the saddest part of it all is that none of them really requires a king. All that is needed is for the existing governments of this world to shoulder their responsibilities and act for the greater good of what could be one of the most important ways of feeding their increasing populations.”

Orri Vigfusson – www.thefield.co.uk – Opinion

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Så vidt så godt, og når det drejer sig om atlanterhavslaksen, har Orri ganske givet ret. Men når det gælder vort hjemlige kystnære fiskeri, forholder tingene sig noget anderledes. Det har jo netop vist sig, at den frie og ukontrollerede handel med de omsættelige fiskekvoter noget nær har udryddet det hæderkronede kystfiskeri med mindre fartøjer og skånsomme redskaber.

Kvoterne er købt op af store både, som dermed bliver endnu større. Og større både kræver tungere redskaber, hvis de skal være rentable.

Trawlene bliver alt for store, fiskebestandene overfiskes, og bundmiljøet ødelægges af de tunge trawlskovle. De ålegræsbælter, som er altafgørende for mange af vore kystnære fiskearter i deres første leveår, pløjes op og ødelægges af trawlfiskere og muslingeskrabere. Idioti på højeste plan.

Hvis jeg var statsminister, ville jeg som noget af det allerførste indføre totalforbud mod enhver form for slæbende og skrabende fiskeri i de indre danske farvande, der slet ikke har format eller fysik til en så hårdhændet behandling.

Det ville på ganske kort tid føre til en markant opblomstring af stort set alle fiskearter – med torsken som den mest synlige. De nye torsk ville få travlt med at rydde op i de alt for mange krabber, som i dag næsten ikke har nogen fjender tilbage. Det ville være fantastisk.

Dernæst ville jeg indføre tiltag, som ville bringe den invasive kinesiske skarv ned på halvdelen af dagens bestand. Fra knap 40.000 til 20.000 ynglepar. Det ville betyde en markant formindsket prædation på alle fisk i de indre danske farvande – stallingerne også i kolde isvintre, hvor skarverne søger op i de stadig isfri vandløb for at fouragere.

Endelig ville jeg tilføre fiskerikontrollen så mange midler, at de med held ville kunne opretholde det forbud mod nedgarn i den 100 meter garnfri zone, som vi har haft i mange år.  Men som i vid udstrækning ikke overholdes, da risikoen for at støde på fiskerikontrollen i dag er minimal.

Det ville gavne havørredbestanden meget og derigennem tilføre turisthvervet mange tiltrængte kroner. Som det er i dag, går de sorte penge ned i et fåtal kriminelle garnfiskeres velpolstrede lommer.

Hvis jeg var statsminister, ville Danmark igen blive det yndige land, som det intensive industrilandbrug har formået at ødelægge på ganske få årtier. Jeg ville nemlig straks tvangsomlægge alt dansk landbrug til økologisk drift og udstykke de få storbrug på mange flere og mindre hænder.

Økologisk landbrug egner sig i sagens natur ikke til storbrug. Der er i stedet brug for dedikerede landmænd, som gider bruge tid på markerne i steder for bag computerskærmen. Som vil udføre arbejdet selv i stedet for at lade maskinstationerne gøre det beskidte arbejde.

Hvis jeg var statsminister, ville jeg samtidig stoppe den lukrative svineproduktion, hvis svin alligevel køres syd for grænsen for at blive slagtet til billigere priser her. Med lukning af danske slagterier som følge.

Der skulle indføres den afgift på transport af slagtesvin, som den nuværende regering havde lovet, men som den siden opgav igen. Og det skulle være slut med fordækte statstilskud til etablering af danskejede svinefarme i fattige østlande, hvor miljø er en by i – nå ja, Rusland.

Hvis jeg var statsminister, skulle den massive udbringning af gylle nedbringes til et minimum, og resten af gyllen skulle omdannes til biogas. Slut med overfyldte tanke og gylle, der nærmest i panik bringes ud på stadig frosne marker. Af maskinstationer, hvis medarbejdere enten ikke kan se, når jorden er frosset og gyllen derfor løber af. Eller bare er ligeglade med det.

Hvis jeg var statsminister, ville Danmark igen blive et dejligt land.

Men så var man jo nødt til at stille op…

© 2012 Steen Ulnits