[MUD-Dev] [ECOSYSTEMS] Fishing in the real world

Adam Martin ya_hoo_com at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 31 09:40:12 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


Last week's BBC BluePlanet wildlife program was about fish stocks in
the oceans, and the effects of man learning to fish 99% of the ocean
(long-range fishing boats, deep-sea nets etc) as opposed to the
40%-odd that was possible up until less than a century ago.

  http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/programmes/tv/blueplanet/deep_trouble.shtml

Dr Callum Roberts, who was in the program as the resident expert on
fish-reserves and how they might solve the problems, mentioned that
from his research he believed that (IIRC) if 10%-20% of the world's
oceans were set aside as "nature reserves for fish" in the same
manner as the game-parks in Africa, or the nature-reserves in the US
and elsewhere, then existing fish stocks in the oceans would
receover, and would continue supplying enough food long-term for the
human race.

  http://www.york.ac.uk/depts/eeem/resource/roberts/roberts.htm

Another interesting point they made was about fish-farming/captive
stocks.  Probably most people are aware of this anyway, since these
problems have been known for decades, but although fish-farming
solves a lot of problems, it has the same problem with farming meat:
a huge amount of fish-food needs to be produced to feed each
farmed-fish, and the fish that we like to eat tend to be predatory,
hence requiring other fish as food. So the solution really just
moves the problem from one species of animal to a different one.
And at the same time is extremely high maintenance.

Although I would hope my point is obvious, I thought the clear
parallels with the problems (and some suggested solutions) of MMOG
ecosystems were interesting. Personally, within MMOGs I have tended
to prefer the "some breeding area which the creatures breed in with
one-way exits, or creature-only two-way exits enabling them to flee
from pursuers up until the point where there are too many of them
and they have to go out into the wide world" approach. This is very
similar to what is being suggested with nature reserves (although of
course that doesn't imply much about its relative effectiveness as a
MMOG solution, bearing in mind how much more control programmers
have over their world than humans have in real life).

Adam M
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