Lean and the fishing industry

This could be just verbal diarrhea, but I was watching Autum Watch last night and it struck me that the issues with over fishing and the fishing industry as a whole have a lot to do with all the waste inherent with manufacturing processes that use economies of scale to maximise profits. There is waste all over the industry:

  • The wrong fish get caught and killed then thrown overboard
  • Same again for fish the wrong size
  • Then fish go off or get damaged as they try and increase efficiency by doing bigger catches
  • Then fish don’t get sold because of changes / floods in the market (another trawler comes in at the same time)

I’m sure there are a lot more and I’d love to know the ratio of fish that make it to one’s plate with number caught.  Anyway people tend to think that the only alternative is some tree hugging world where you actually catch the fish yourself.  Toyota have shown that there are alternatives that are highly profitable, consumer driven and extremely effective. So the question is could Lean be applied to the fishing industry?  Could we have a pull system? And what size buffers or queues would we need for it to work?

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