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Policy instruments in the fishery sector come under two general headings ones that are encouraging capital investment and greater catches and those acting against overcapitalisation and overcapacity trying to reduce catches Control of fishing effort has been the major problem in fisheries management since the mass mechanisation of the worlds fishing fleets after World War two and there have been large volumes of work dedicated to the reduction of fishing effort and attaining the holy grail of sustainable fisheries Fishing effort can be controlled using several different methods coming under many different guises but all fundamentally aim for a reduction in fish catches through monetary or physical means The use of tax to reduce effort is based on adding an extra cost to the fisherman Hence curtailing the amount of fishing pressure he can apply on a fish stock by reducing his profit and lowering his returns for every extra unit of effort added in effect reducing his net income The main criticisms for the use of taxation in the controlling of fishing pressure are its slowness to be implemented its associated political problems and its inability to be flexible in a dynamic system like fisheries The implementation of a tax on any part of a society takes time too much time if the fishery being managed runs on a one or two year cycle leading to a situation where when the legislation is finally drafted the fishery is extinct This is a social question and in this form involves politics this involvement could seriously curtail the effectiveness of a tax as its implementation might be politically undesirable tax is rarely desirable If the measures are applied in a reduced form or levied in a broad pursuit of policy objectives the outcome could be more social problems caused then biological problems fixed The main argument levelled against the use of a tax is its inability to change quickly to fluctuations in
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