Stupid or what ?

What we have been doing is bloody stupid.

Bob MayThis was the concluding sentence of a short section on managing fish stocks within a longer radio interview with Bob May, a famous mathematician, who around 50 years ago was modelling the population of fish using chaos theory.

The only thing that has really changed in those 50 years is that the chaos has moved out of the mathematics and into fisheries management – what the EU, its fisheries ministers and all national governments are doing to sea fish stocks is as he suggests – bloody stupid.

Waters such as the Clyde have been subjected to a tremendous of research – in the longer interview Bob May explains how this introduces excessive complexity and can actually prevent any progress being made.

Given the state of the Clyde, one can only agree and suggest it’s time Mr Lochhead and Marine Scotland stopped analysing, got their act in order and started doing something – wishful thinking ? – probably given the track record of governments and civil servants to date.

Early in his career, May developed an interest in animal population dynamics and the relationship between complexity and stability in natural communities. He was able to make major advances in the field of population biology through the application of mathematical techniques.

May eventually became Lord Robert May, Baron of Oxford, chief scientific adviser to the government of England, and president of the Royal Society.

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