Industrial fishing fleets have doubled the distance they travel to fishing grounds since 1950 but catch only a third of what they did 65 years ago per kilometre travelled, a new study has found.
Researchers from from the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of Western Australia and the University of British Columbia mapped the growth and spread of industrial fisheries since 1950 and found that global trends were dominated by the heavily subsidized fleets of a small number of countries, increasing the total area fished from 60 per cent to 90 per cent of the world’s oceans.
“While most countries continue to focus their fishing efforts on local waters, Taiwan, South Korea, Spain and China have aggressively subsidized vessel and fuel costs to encourage their fleets to operate thousands of kilometres from their home ports,” said lead author David Tickler, a postgraduate student at UWA’s School of Biological Sciences.
Despite this geographical expansion, the catch rates of these fleets – as well as those of the other top 20 fishing countries – have declined dramatically from over 25 tonnes per 1000 kilometres travelled in the early 1950s to approximately 7 tonnes per 1000 kilometres travelled by 2014. Overall, these 20 countries are responsible for 60 million tonnes or 80 per cent of the global industrial fishing catch.
“These findings show that nowadays more fuel is being burned and more time is being spent at sea for every fish caught,” Tickler said. “These diminishing returns to fishing effort are a worrying indicator of the inability of fisheries to sustainably meet consumer demands and previous catch levels.”
The researchers also found that these historical expansions were most pronounced along the coasts and archipelagic waters of Southeast Asia, Africa, South America and the South Asian subcontinent.
“Essentially no waters other than those at the polar extremes are presently unfished to some degree,” said co-author Daniel Pauly, principal investigator of the Sea Around Us initiative at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. “But this continued expansion and concurrent intensification of fishing efforts has only contributed to the depletion of new areas of the ocean.”
According to the researchers, these findings are further proof that subsidies paid to industrial fishing fleets encourage inefficient and unsustainable uses of fisheries resources. “The data seem to indicate that we have reached the physical limits of expansion in capture fisheries. Industrial catches peaked in 1996, when the discovery of new stocks was no longer able to keep up with the declines in existing stocks,” said co-author Dirk Zeller, who heads the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean at UWA.
For Jessica Meeuwig, who leads UWA’s Marine Futures Lab and co-authored the study, the solution to these problems is obvious, “We have to accept that for fisheries to continue to support humanity into the future, we are going to have to allow the oceans some space and time to recover from over a century of unfettered industrial fishing.”
The Latest on: Industrial fisheries
via Google News
The Latest on: Industrial fisheries
What the dams provide can be replaced. Idaho’s wild fish would be gone forever.
on May 24, 2019 at 5:32 pm
And fairness dictates that she do the same relative to the other stakeholders affected by the dammed lower Snake, including the Native Americans; sport and commercial anglers ... accepting that we ... […]
Study suggests MPAs and fisheries closures can benefit highly migratory marine species
on May 24, 2019 at 12:06 pm
All of the species included in the study “are highly mobile, undertake long-distance horizontal movements through the pelagic environment, are currently exploited by commercial fisheries ... […]
How vets used fish skin to help save sweet Stella after a fire
on May 24, 2019 at 5:46 am
And even better, they get the skin from a commercial fish facility that processes the fish for food – meaning that the fish skin they are turning into lifesaving, medical grade graft material is a ... […]
Pacific Stevedoring, Glacier Fish buy most of Kimberly-Clark site in Everett
on May 23, 2019 at 4:25 pm
Pacific Stevedoring and Glacier Fish Co., on Thursday said they're buying 58 acres ... a hotel and 662,000 square feet of commercial and public gathering spaces. The hotel is scheduled to open this ... […]
Sores, lesions: Early fish kill in Neuse worries those who use the river
on May 23, 2019 at 2:50 pm
Scientists blame nutrient pollution from urban runoff, large industrial farms and waste water treatment plants. Dove says the fish by his dock are sending a message. "These fish are important," he ... […]
This iconic fish nearly disappeared from N.J. Now it’s coming back (and fishermen love it).
on May 23, 2019 at 6:44 am
No regulations existed when it came to the commercial harvesting of shad -- both in the river and out at sea -- and overfishing wore down the fish’s population. The shad disappeared. “Shad are like ... […]
Small-scale Danish fishermen push back against industrial fishing
on May 23, 2019 at 3:15 am
Most Danish fishing villages abandoned their traditional trade after Denmark privatised fishing quotas, allowing big industrial companies to buy ... researchers say can be followed by small-scale ... […]
Broad coalition applauds new bill banning industrial ocean fish farms
on May 22, 2019 at 5:48 am
WASHINGTON: A broad range of groups, including the Recirculating Farms Coalition and Friends of the Earth, applaud a new bill, the Keep Fin Fish Free Act (H.R. 2467), introduced by U.S. Congressman ... […]
Penguins and their chicks' responses to local fish numbers informs marine conservation
on May 21, 2019 at 1:59 pm
The researchers studied an endangered African penguin colony during a rare three-year closure of commercial fisheries around Robben Island, South Africa, and their findings are published today in the ... […]
via Bing News