fisheries management

July 18, 2012

A Turnaround plan for fisheries

Rashid Sumaila

Global fisheries currently lose about US$13 billion per year, largely owing to overfishing. Rashid Sumaila (2009) and his colleagues estimate that if governments invested in rebuilding them, fisheries could produce about US$54 billion per year. They also estimate that the benefits would begin to surpass the cost of the investment in as few as 12 years. “If the environmental and sustainability reasons alone can’t convince global governments to take action, the financial incentives should,” Sumaila says.

April 17, 2012

The value of small fish

P. Dee Boersma, David Conover , Selina Heppell

A group of scientists including Dee Boersma (2000), David Conover (2005), and Selina Heppell (2006) is urging significant reductions in global catches of small ocean fish such as anchovies and sardines. These "forage fish" are prey for a wide range of bigger fish, sea birds, and marine animals that depend on them for survival. They are also more than twice as valuable to commercial fishers if they remain in the ocean and are eaten by higher-value fish than if they are caught directly. Forage fish make up 37% of the world’s marine fish catch and are mainly used to feed farmed fish and livestock. The group recommends cutting forage fishing by half in many parts to prevent their populations from collapsing.

January 31, 2012

Fisheries: impacts on economies and oceans from 'invisible workforce'?

Rashid Sumaila

photo: Mumbo jiggy

The number of people worldwide whose livelihoods depend on marine fisheries is 260 million, a figure 1.75 times larger than previously thought, according to new research by Rashid Sumaila (2009) and a colleague. Their study, which covered 144 coastal countries, included many small-scale fishing operations that had not been counted before, among them unlicensed fishers. The revised figure suggests larger impacts on fish stocks from fishing -- and possibly on the world's economies, if fish stocks crash, the authors say.

January 12, 2012

Fish banks: a solution to overfishing?

Enric Sala

photo: Richard Ling

Fish banks -- marine reserves where no fishing can ever take place -- can be an effective, economical means of reversing the effects of overfishing. Enric Sala (2005) describes how marine reserves have helped fish populations in various areas around the world recover at remarkable rates and generated economic benefits for fishing and tourism. Given the past difficulties of creating national and international ocean policy, and the low cost of creating marine reserves, local communities should be empowered to develop and manage them, Sala says.