Perverse Incentive Jujitsu

Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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9 Responses

  1. Invasive fish species are a big problem in much of the country. Here in KY we have a problem with big head carp in certain lakes. Our state-sponsored hunting & fishing program just did a special last week where they tried to encourage sportsmen to catch as many of these as possible. The host of the show showed how to clean and cook them which was an effort to dispell the notion that carp tastes bad. He said it was delicious. I for one am ready to try bowfishing them later this year. At 40+ pounds that’s good fun.

    I guess my round-about point is that sometimes even endangered species can be problematic in the wrong habitat.Report

  2. North says:

    I think that encouraging the eating of invasive species is actually a good idea.
    In order to be a successful invasive species the fish in question have to be prolific, tough, easily multiplying and omnivorous. The very characteristics that make them excellent invaders would also make them an excellent food fish and would make them difficult to hunt to extinction.
    Also important to keep in mind is that fish consumption is roughly as high as it’s going to be. Adding another fish to the menu will have at least a slight negative impact on the amount of demand for other species. If by encouraging the consumption of a prolific nuisance fish means that we produce any amount of easing of the pressure on endangered fish species then that’d be mightily useful.

    Finally if you can get people to fish the damn things for free then you have hopes of not having to pay people to fish for the things and that’s mighty handy in these times of tightening budgets.

    Frankly I don’t see the downsides.Report

  3. Jim says:

    “It could well be that the stable equilibrium we’re headed toward is a unitary ecosystem”

    You’d be amazed at how hard this would be to accomplish. Many plant species from one place simply fail to reporduce in identical climates elsewhere, usually because of insurmputable differnences in the soil. This is the case for instance with Douglas fir, which by now should cover most of Britain. Meanwhile in the douglas fir’s home ecosystem metasequoia fails to naturalize, wher eit should become an out of control weed. In fact differences like these are one of the engines of speciation – in California very complex geology intersecting with very complex microclimate patterns has lead to lots of speciation in a number of genera.

    Of course there are many examples of invasive plants, and as many of invasive animals. But given a little tiem they will radiate into new species. And that will mean some endemic species bite it. But it’s not like humans invented this. Look up the Great American Exchange. when the continents connected a huge number of South American species went under.Report

  4. I never really understood why the Hebrews and Egyptians never just harvested and ate the locusts when they brought plague upon the wheat crop.Report