What is Overcapacity in Fisheries, and what does it looks like? / by Francisco Blaha

Although the word 'capacity' is frequently used to describe capabilities, competencies, or skills, in fisheries discussions the term 'capacity' may also be used to describe several other categories of specialized issues that reflect the relationship between the concept of capacity, the harvesting of fish by fishing vessels, and the biological concept of fishing mortality (the killing of fish). Because the management implications of these different definitions can be significant, it is extremely important to be very clear about what sort of capacity is being discussed.

 China, source  here

China, source here

Concepts relating to fish harvesting capacity are not as clearly understood by fishery managers as the biological concept of overfishing, and much of this confusion arises because many times the terms 'overcapacity' and 'excess capacity' are incorrectly used as synonyms and even though they are quite different. To make matters even more confusing, the concepts of excess capacity, overcapacity, overfishing and overcapitalization are closely related, yet different.

 1 image, 10000 boats... Peru

1 image, 10000 boats... Peru

To accommodate these two perspectives, FAO has adopted a definition of fishing capacity that is: the amount of fish (or fishing effort) that can be produced of a period of time (e.g. a year or a fishing season) by a vessel or a fleet if fully utilised and for a given resource condition.

 Peru

Peru

Measuring overcapacity – either quantitatively or qualitatively - provides fishery managers with information on the ability of a fishing firm or industrial fleet to harvest the target level of capacity at its lowest cost for a given desired stock abundance level. It can be measured at the target levels as well as at economically efficient levels of production.

  China, source   here

China, source here

Assessing overcapacity is of critical importance because overcapacity is a harmful, longrun phenomenon that does not self-correct itself and will persist indefinitely if not addressed.

 Peru

Peru

If this is all to technical... just let the images speak for themselves... you don't need to be fisheries person to know what overcapacity look like.

 India

India