Fishbanks simulator assignment
. In this assignment you will work as fishermen in a simulator from MIT called “Fishbanks”
After completing this exercise be sure to post your final screen shot to your discussion posting!
1. Explain what happened during your simulation. How far did you get? What was your final asset count, bank balance, number of ships, profit, etc.?
Now, let’s assume that you’re starting a new fishing business (not Cod as they are fished out in New England). Discuss the potential customers for this product/service. Remember you could be doing this anywhere in the world.
2. Based on the nature of the product/service, recommend at least 3 possible social media to use in marketing the product/service. Describe your recommendations and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
3. How would you ensure long-term sustainability in your new endeavor? What kinds of technology might you use to help you accomplish this?
If you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t reviewed the story on Chinese fishing, please do so NOW!
Fishbanks is a dynamic, multi-player game that will allow us to compete with other fishing teams. Teams
seek to maximize their net worth in an open-access fishery. The simulation interface provides teams with
information about current competitive and resource conditions. During each round, teams make two
types of decisions: (1) they can change the size of their fleet by buying, selling, or ordering ships, and (2)
they decide how to use their fleet by sending their ships to the deep-sea fishery, the coastal fishery, or
keeping them in the harbor. Players can also try to negotiate agreements to manage the fishery more
sustainably and equitably.
In this assignment we are not playing in teams, but rather individuals, so you can personally go into the
system anytime night or day and run through the simulator. Be sure to review the instruction video!
You start with 3 ships and have the opportunity to buy more each year (each round = 1 year). The goal is
to maximize your profits and total assets over 23 years/rounds.
Fishbanks creates the opportunity for you to learn about business strategy and the fundamental lessons
about the sustainable management of renewable resources. These lessons include:
Resource Dynamics: Renewable resource stocks are reduced as extractors harvest the resource or as a
result of inadvertent so-called Ã¢â‚¬Å“side effectsÃ¢â‚¬Â of other economic activity (e.g., sewage dumped in a river,
greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere). To be sustainable, resource extraction and
degradation must be balanced by regeneration and renewal: fish can be taken no faster than they
reproduce, trees can be cut no faster than new ones grow, carbon dioxide can be emitted into the
atmosphere no faster than it is removed. Regeneration and renewal for many important resources,
including fish and other fauna, forests and other flora, fresh water, and the climate, are not constant,
but depend on the state of the resource. For biological resources such as fish and forests, the level of
the resource is limited by the carrying capacity of the ecosystem that supports it. Prior to extraction by
humans, the resource stock will be near the maximum level the ecosystem can support. As extraction
rises, regeneration will tend to rise as each remaining organism has more food, space and other
resources it needs to reproduce. The ecosystem compensates for extraction– the more you take, the
more grow back. However, when the resource becomes sufficiently depleted, regeneration peaks and
fallsÃ¢â‚¬â€at some point there are simply too few fish remaining for reproduction to offset extraction. Now
the dynamics shift: the more you take, the fewer grow back. The smaller the remaining resource stock,
the smaller the rate of regeneration, further lowering the stock in a vicious cycle that can rapidly lead to
The Tragedy of the Commons: Historically, a Ã¢â‚¬Å“commonsÃ¢â‚¬Â was the common pasture on which any villager
could graze their livestock. In contrast to private property, such Ã¢â‚¬Å“common poolÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“open accessÃ¢â‚¬Â
resources can be used by anyone. If the resources were managed to maximize total profit or social
welfare, extraction would be limited to no more than the maximum sustainable yield. However,
common pool resources are subject to overexploitation; it is rational for each extractor to expand their
take as long as it is profitable to do so. Combined with resource dynamics (see above), the result is often
the destruction of the resource. The tragedy arises not merely because the resource is destroyed, but
because the resource is destroyed as a consequence of each individualÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pursuit of self-interest. The
profits from taking one more fish or cutting one more tree benefit the individual extractor today while
the costs of reduced future harvest are borne by all. An individual who stops harvesting simply allows
others to take a little more, with no change in the outcome, so it is not rational to reduce your own take.
Misperceptions of Feedback: Research shows people do not understand the basic dynamics of resource
accumulation, nor the feedback processes that control extraction and regeneration. Further, extractors
and policymakers often have poor knowledge of the ecological relationships governing regeneration and
resource levels. Stock levels, regeneration, and even harvest rates are often known imperfectly. There
are long delays in estimating and reporting resource stocks, harvests and regeneration. Thus, even if
fisheries were fully privatized, thereby eliminating the incentives for overexploitation that create the
Tragedy of the Commons, extractors will likely overharvest. Experiments show exactly this with
simulated fisheries: participants operating a fully private fishery still over expand their fleets,
overharvest, and lose money. Further, there are delays in building up extraction capacity, and
investments in capacity are often long-lived and largely irreversible, particularly because entire
communities and economies grow up around the extractive activity. Political interests in continued
extraction build up, cause opposition to and delays in the implementation of government policies or
industry self-regulation to preserve the resource. Many open access resources involve extractors from
different communities and nations, leading to additional delay while laws are debated and treaties
negotiated. Misperceptions of the feedbacks governing resources, poor information, long delays and
irreversible commitments often doom the resource and the communities dependent on it. By the time
the community discovers that they are harvesting unsustainably, it is often too late.
Successful Governance of the Commons Is Possible: While the barriers to successful management of
common pool resources described above are formidable, it is possible for communities to self-regulate
and govern their common resources sustainably. Political scientist Elinor Ostrom has documented many
examples and analyzed the conditions for successful governance, winning the Nobel Memorial Prize in
Economic Sciences in 2009 for her work (see e.g. Ostrom 2009, Ostrom et al. 2010, Ostrom and Hess
2007). Successful management of the commons has been documented on a variety of scales, from local
communities such as individual fishing villages to the public provision of community services such as
police, firefighting, education, and libraries, to global agreements such as the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty,
which bans atmospheric atomic weapons tests, and the Montreal Protocol, which limits production of
halocarbons that destroy stratospheric ozone. Governance can be initiated and maintained by informal
relationships among community members, but often, and particularly for larger resource systems with
more and more diverse actors, it requires institutionalizing agreements, monitoring methods,
enforcement mechanisms and other policies in formal laws and regulations (at local, state/provincial,
national or international levels). Such agreements enable communities to act collectively to improve
The bottom line in all of this is that every business has to be sustainable to continue to survive, and
through proper governance, we can ensure this happens. IT and Management Information Systems can
play a big role in this, be it providing new technologies or data analysis to track trendsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.it really is
unlimited as to what we might come up with.
Having watched the instruction video you now know how to play the game. This is the official video for
how the game is played. There are other videos on YouTube but we are not sure of the accuracy of
these although other classes have used them.
Note that the video shows the game in multiplayer mode where teams are competing against each
other. In your scenario you are simply playing as an individual.
Log into the simulator at https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/simulations/fishbanks/Pages/fishbanks.aspx
Click the Play as individual link and at the next screen you are prompted to enter a name. Enter your first
name, last name or a nickname. It really doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter. This is the next screen you will see:
Click the revise button to move to the next screen
There are basically two components to this, (1) an auction day where you can buy and sell ships (this
doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen often), and (2) fishing days, where we send our ships out to the coastal or deep waters
to fish and we also have the opportunity to purchase new ships.
In the single player mode, the system prompts you to buy or sell but it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work (this is really only
used in multiplayer mode) so just hit the proceed button when you see this. You start with this in the
first round and it comes back at the start of each subsequent round.
Next you need to make decisions. You can see on the bottom right of the blue screen that your expected
profit per ship is 250 (this is in thousands) if you send them deep, and only 150 if you send them to the
coast, so to start with you might want to send your 3 initial ships deep, as I have done here (bottom left
circle). You can also buy more ships (bottom middle circle). This is always a good idea; more ships more
catch more profit. Once you have made these two decisions, hit the proceed button far right, bottom.
After hitting proceed (above) youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be back to the auction screen. As previously mentioned, just hit
proceed as there is no auction.
Now you can see that we are in year 2 (top left circle). The value of our ships has increased and our total
assets (top right circle) went from 1,500 to 2,364 (all numbers in thousands).
We now have 5 ships (bottom left circle), the option to buy 3 more (middle circle), and after we make
our selections here (keep 5 deep, put some on the coast, buy more ships) we hit proceed to continue to
year 3, and so on as we try to get through 23 years of this.
The game has the potential of 23 rounds, each round consisting of orders/allocationsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦..see how far
you can get.
When you finish, post a screen shot of your final round to the discussion board along with the discussion
board requirements. To do this, take a screen shot, save it to your computer, follow these instructions:
1. Add a new topic and give it a name
2. Click on the add image button (circled in red above)
3. Click on browse repositories
You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need a description so you can check the box circled above.
4. Choose file that you saved on your computer, then follow the steps to save it to your post.
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