Friday, November 23, 2007

The Vagaries of International Co-Operation

Everyone knows that the effort to halt global warming will depend on real co-operation among the nations of the world, particularly on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

It seems the logical, even sane thing to do but that's not enough to get the industrialized nations to pull together and do the right thing.

To understand what lies ahead, take a look at efforts to keep the Atlantic, blue fin tuna stocks from collapsing. Canada and the US complain that too many blue fin are being taken from the waters off Europe and Africa.

There's an organization to deal with this very problem, the International Committee on the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna. It represents 45-nations from North America, Europe and Africa. ICCAT has been a dismal failure at getting the Europeans and Africans to stop overfishing the tuna stocks. Scientific evalutations and quotas are simply ignored.

What's coming is a repeat of what has already happened and is happening to other species - collapse. When that happens the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species kicks in and shuts down the fishery entirely.

Canada and the US want a managed, sustainable blue fin fishery but it's just not happening.

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