In the role-playing game of Dungeons and Dragons, players create characters based on a variety of skill levels and races. They band together for adventures and campaigns seeking new weapons and magic or technologies that can help them in their quest. The game’s maps may indicate impassable areas. Some characters will fade away to make way for new players. Some adventures will require close cooperation while non-player characters can offer advice or issue challenges. The adventures are limited only by the imagination of the Dungeon Master and the players. The same is true of solving the global problems of illegal and overfishing where enforced boundaries, identifying and networking new technologies, and public-private partnerships will be required.
If there is a bright light – or, rather, a constellation of lights – to addressing this issue, it is the level of activity among think tanks, non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies, and others to analyze and provide recommendations. One example is Secure Oceans, a major report published in September by the Stimson Center’s Johan Bergenas and Ariella Knight. Currently comprised of 46 governments and organizations, the State Department’s Safe Ocean Network was established in 2015 to share knowledge, technology, information, and data. Its laudable goal is to end illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing by 2020.
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