In their book Predictable Surprises, authors Max Bazerman and Michael Watkins define the eponymous phrase in their title as an "event or set of events that takes an individual or group by surprise, despite prior awareness of all of the information necessary to anticipate the events and their consequences."1 Among other such "surprises" in the recent past, such as the collapse of Enron, 9/11, and the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, the authors characterize the destruction of fisheries worldwide in modern times as "one of the most clear-cut predictable surprises that the natural environment has ever faced." Indeed, in the past quarter century, commercial fisheries in the Atlantic, the eastern Pacific, and the Mediterranean have essentially collapsed as a result of overfishing, despite repeated dire warnings from scientists and fishery experts, international agreements to manage fish stocks, and government attempts at regulation.
The Fight for Fish
The worldwide threat to the tuna fishery has migrated to Pacific island nations whose economic stability depends on the catch-potentially endangering U.S. national security interests in the region.
By Commander Andrew Norris, U.S. Coast Guard