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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Pacific Rim Research Program is a multicampus program established to encourage Pacific Rim research on the ten campuses of the University of California. It sponsors a competitive grants program that provides funds for University of California faculty and graduate students who do research on Pacific Rim topics in a variety of disciplines.

Cover page of Measuring the biological sustainability of marine fisheries: property rights, politics, and science

Measuring the biological sustainability of marine fisheries: property rights, politics, and science


While nearly everyone favors sustainability, few agree on what the term actually means. In the case of marine fisheries, what first appears simple – exploiting species at a level that does not diminish their productivity in the future – is confounded by the possible inclusion of social, cultural, and economic notions of sustainability, as well as the effects of fishing practices on the wider ecology (that is, on both non-target species and habitats) of the seas. These approaches are all important, but this paper will focus on measuring the biological sustainability

of targeted species, which must precede (but certainly not preclude) all other measures of sustainability. While determining what is sustainable is tricky, it is not difficult to find examples of biologically unsustainable fisheries.

From the dramatic collapse of the once prolific cod fisheries of New England and Eastern Canada to the decline of subsistence fisheries throughout the developing

world, marine fisheries are a classic case where the sustainable development of a resource has been the exception

rather than the rule. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO 2007), worldwide marine fish catches have declined over the last ten years and most marine capture fisheries are now either depleted or hovering at the brink of overexploitation.

In the United States, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS 2002) reports that almost one-third of U.S. fish stocks are overfished, or that 75% of U.S. commercial fish stocks are either overexploited or fully exploited. Some academics have suggested that the problem is even worse, estimating in the journal Science that since the advent of industrial fishing more than 90% of large predatory fish have been removed from the world’s oceans (Worm and Myers 2003). Subsequently, Nature published one extrapolation of current trends in loss of diversity and ecosystem function that predicted a global collapse of all commercial fisheries by 2048 (Worm et al 2006).

This research succeeded admirably in raising eyebrows,

as well as criticism. Fisheries scientist Ray Hilborn (2007a) depicts the 2048 prediction as “ridiculed by most fisheries scientists”, and describes similar studies, including the precipitous decline of large predatory fish, as “either outright wrong or serious distortions of reality” (citing, for example, Hampton et al 2005). In addition, pronouncements from agencies such as FAO that seem dire at first glance – such as listing the majority of fisheries

as either fully or overexploited – belie the fact that for many countries, full exploitation is the stated goal of fisheries policy. The list also says nothing about whether overfished stocks are recovering or not. Finally, Hilborn (2003) notes that in the U.S. context, most fisheries classified

as overfished are still producing significant catches, so that even if they were pessimistically producing only half of their potential yield, “U.S. production would [still] be at 84% of maximum” – which sounds very different

than 75% overfished or fully exploited.

The issue is not whether depletion is a widespread problem, but just how bad things have become, and what might be done to fix the problem. Part of this difference

of opinion stems from the fact that fisheries can be managed for economic, biological, or social objectives.

Not only are the criteria for success different in each of these cases, but also within similar fields, as is the case with fisheries scientists such as Hilborn and marine ecologists such as Myers and Worm. That social scientists are even less likely to agree on measures, let alone desired outcomes, only highlights the complexity of the issue.

Measuring performance is crucial to understanding which fisheries are being successfully managed. This paper will focus on biological sustainability, as it lies at the heart of the sustainable development of marine resources. It will address the ways that institutional and political causes of depletion and the uncertain nature of fisheries science have undermined measures of biological

Measuring the biological sustainability of marine fisheries: property rights, politics, and science

Michael De Alessi*

* Michael De Alessi, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley,

and a Senior Fellow at the Reason Foundation in Los Angeles.

Email: (replace =a= with @)


Measuring the biological sustainability of marine fisheries

sustainability; explore ways that success may be better measured; and conclude with a proposal for a new approach to measuring biological sustainability.

Cover page of Final Report of Summer Research 2007 Vietnam and Southeast Asia, June 6 – August 21

Final Report of Summer Research 2007 Vietnam and Southeast Asia, June 6 – August 21


The main objectives of my summer research were the following: • Conduct preliminary dissertation research on the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Biodiversity Corridor Initiative by gathering background information, testing current hypotheses, testing preliminary survey instruments and collecting preliminary data; • Gain experience in human rights related research as part of the Human Rights Fellowship; • Explore and assess potential of various field sites, institutional partners and data sources for my dissertation research; and • Collect GIS data to support further training at UC Berkeley

Cover page of Past tense forms and their functions in South Conchucos Quechua:

Past tense forms and their functions in South Conchucos Quechua:


Characterizations of tense in language generally focus on placement in time. This study demonstrates that tense forms in South Conchucos Quechua (SCQ) not only place past situations in time, they do much more. The research centers on discovering why one tense form, rather than another, is chosen at a given point in discourse.

The data studied consist of over five hours of naturally occurring spoken language. In-depth analysis is presented of four narrative segments, chosen for the richness of tense variation they display. While the data are primarily examined qualitatively, quantitative and prosodic analyses also contribute to understanding the uses of the tense forms.

The analysis of the data reveals a multi-faceted answer to the research question. Several SCQ tense forms place events relative to each other in past time. Choices between two of the past tense forms are further determined by evidentiality. That is, one form is used when the source of evidence is firsthand or when the situation is discussed from the speaker’s perspective, while another is used with secondhand information or when the speaker is giving a reported perspective.


Additionally, as happens in other languages with grammaticized degrees of temporal remoteness (Fleischman 1989), tense is used metaphorically to express distance along other axes. In SCQ, the temporal expression of distance has been co-extended to indicate narrative structure and to express affect. SCQ tense forms placing events in the more distant past are used with the parts of the narrative that are peripheral (the orientation, side remarks and resolution) and that convey little affect from the speaker. Tense forms placing events closer to the present are used with the parts of the narrative that are critical to the storyline (the abstract, complicating action and climax) and convey positive or very positive affect. A tense form that places events in the more distant past conveys negative affect in these central parts.

This work shows that inflectional tense, which might be expected to do no more than encode sentence-level temporal distinctions, can be used in spontaneous speech for functions well beyond the sentence.


Cover page of How Godzilla Ate Pittsburgh: The Long Rise of the Japanese Iron and Steel Industry, 1900–1973

How Godzilla Ate Pittsburgh: The Long Rise of the Japanese Iron and Steel Industry, 1900–1973


From the 1890s to as late as 1960, industrial policy provided vital aid to the development of the Japanese iron and steel industry. Japanese industrial policy proved successful in steel even though public support was much prolonged, subject to political influence, and based on limited forecasting power ex ante, particularly with regard to recurrent raw material problems. Policy success in steel within different time periods suggests that specific targeting mechanisms were less important than the prevalence of market failures within a context of underdevelopment, broad support for industry, and dedicated and capable governmental bureaucracy. By implication, industrial policy in recent years faced greater difficulties insofar as it attempted narrower targeting and operated in a more mature economy.




This article presents a case study of relations between Japanese teachers and Peruvian parents at a public elementary school in central Japan. Using interviews and participant observation, this critical account reveals how some teachers, frustrated by the challenges of teaching an increasingly foreign student body, blame problems at the school on Peruvian parents’ limited language skills and cultural differences. Amid these complaints, various structural factors hinder the efforts of Peruvian parents and children, including poor language support and ineffective remedial language instruction. This account also examines the ways parents’ class position and immigrant status influence their acquisition of the social and cultural capital necessary for the parents to more effectively participate in their children’s education in Japan.

Cover page of Phylogenetic signal in plant pathogen–host range

Phylogenetic signal in plant pathogen–host range


What determines which plant species are susceptible to a given plant pathogen is poorly understood. Experimental inoculations with fungal pathogens of plant leaves in a tropical rain forest show that most fungal pathogens are polyphagous but that most plant species in a local community are resistant to any given pathogen. The likelihood that a pathogen can infect two plant species decreases continuously with phylogenetic distance between the plants, even to ancient evolutionary distances. This phylogenetic signal in host range allows us to predict the likely host range of plant pathogens in a local community, providing an important tool for plant ecology, design of agronomic systems, quarantine regulations in international trade, and risk analysis of biological control agents. In particular, the results suggest that the rate of spread and ecological impacts of a disease through a natural plant community will depend strongly on the phylogenetic structure of the community itself and that current regulatory approaches strongly underestimate the local risks of global movement of plant pathogens or their hosts.

Cover page of The design of environmental regimes: Social construction, contextuality, and improvisation

The design of environmental regimes: Social construction, contextuality, and improvisation


While much of the literature on environmental regimes has focused on effectiveness, this article takes a new look at a lesser-studied topic, the evolution of regime design. Understanding how regimes differ in design, and how various factors and processes shape such design, is important if we are to more carefully craft these regimes. We should also pay close attention to the formative role of social construction and context. Focusing on transboundary marine programs, we see that their designs basically follow a common template, namely that of the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) Regional Seas Programme. However, the action of context (i.e., local actors and political processes) can modify these designs away from the common template. The extent to which these programs begin to differentiate from each other may be an important sign of program maturity and responsiveness to context. In this article, we examine a set of transboundary marine programs to uncover what the important dimensions of differentiation are. Then, we focus on one specific program, the SSME (Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion) and closely trace how its specific form and organization came about. The analysis is informed by a model of institutional coherence that portrays institutions as the product of multiple generative mechanisms (e.g., social construction, ecological fit, and others). While it is premature to make definite judgments about the relative merits of competing regime designs, the work provides us with a new mode of analysis that can provide helpful directions for institutional assessment.