The value of potential can be seen as a function of the sustainability of the oceans.
FIRST, THE bad news: The world’s fisheries, which feed billions of people, are in serious decline. The authors of a study released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined 4,713 fisheries, accounting for 78 percent of the world’s annual catch, and found that only a third were in decent biological shape. But there is good news: It is possible to reverse this trend, and in a surprisingly short amount of time.
Rather than simply looking at the world through the eyes of profit and loss accounting, it is necessary to adapt an asset based approach. By using this asset based approach, environmental and social capital can be taken into account when evaluating the value of the commons. This view achieves brings sustainability into the accounting equation and leads to the solution for the tragedy of the commons.
Positive and negative actions are broken down into ecosystem services. In the absence of humans, most of these services have positive effects (such as trees transforming CO2 into oxygen). However, humans cannot transform their actions into net positive ecosystem services on their own. The Seafood Commons shall educate the industry as a whole with the goal of achieving positive ecosystem services and sustainably turning natural capital into financial capital. An increase in net positive ecosystem services can be seen as a form of potential energy. When the oceans are of high potential (cleaner water, healthier fish, etc...) then more profit (such as catch and shipping) and be drawn from them.
According to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, future trajectories of all fisheries can be described with the following equation and graph:
Bt+1=Bt+( (ϕ+1) / ϕ ) gBt(1−(Bt/K)ϕ)−Ht
B = Biomass.
K = Carrying capacity.
Φ = growth parameter. Setting to 0.188 simulates B at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) at 40% of K.
Ht = Harvest at year t.
g = Maximum sustainable yield / Biomass at maximum sustainable yield.