The first Finet paper discussion started with the article “The impact of subsidies on the ecological sustainability and future profits from the North Sea fisheries”, by J.J. Heymans and others, and published on PLoS One in May 2011.
This article examines the impact of subsidies on the profitability and sustainability of fisheries using an ecosystem model and examining possible effects of elimination of the subsidies.
The results show that the hypothetical removal of subsidies would have an unexpected increase in profitability for fisheries, despite the reduction of revenues and of catches. This would also positively impact on the biomass of some important fish stocks.
Overall, the paper was considered interesting for the methods (the bio-economical modelling framework) and for the topics, which we thought is worth further investigation and discussion.
However, we agreed that there was some confusion in the way the article is structured and written, and it is not really easy to follow if you are not familiar with the topic. We felt that more information (e.g., on the subsidies and on their concrete aims), as well as more in depth discussion and detailed explanations, could have helped the understanding of this paper.
Until the next discussion!