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Classroom Resources: Fish Futures

By Rex Dalton
July-September 2006 (Vol. 7, No. 3)

Note: see print edition for article

Discussion Questions

  1. Sugihara believes that conservation of fish populations can occur by “providing people with the means to make moneyÖfor the worldwide catch and sale of fish.”  What is the basis for this belief?  What are the possible objections to this belief?
  2. What are the benefits and risks of linking conservation goals to economic return on resource harvesting?
  3. If fisheries biologists, who set quotas on fish, do not have a background in the math used by Sugihara, what do you think would be necessary for them to adopt his methodology?
  4. Why should interdisciplinary research such as Sugihara’s be considered “too far out of the box” and difficult to win grants for?

Websites for Further Information

Marine Fisheries in the News

Peer-reviewed Literature

  • Sugihara, G. 1980. “Minimal community structure: An explanation of species abundance patterns,” American Naturalist 116:770-787.
  • Sugihara, G. and R.M. May. 1990. “Nonlinear forecasting as a way of distinguishing chaos from measurement error in time series,” Nature 344:734-741.
  • Hsieh, C. et al. 2005. “Distinguishing random environmental fluctuations from ecological catastrophes for the North Pacific Ocean,” Nature 435:336-340.

Key Concepts

  • Fisheries management
  • Fishing quotas
  • Futures markets
  • Economic value
  • Marine conservation
  • Mathematical modeling
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