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Boris Worm and Ray Hilborn: Rebuilding Global Fisheries | Science

by P&P

From the study by Worm, Hilborn and 19 co-authors:

In an attempt to unify our understanding of the global fisheries situation, we compiled and analyzed all available data types, namely global catch data, scientific stock assessments, and research trawl surveys, as well as data on small-scale fisheries. ...

Ecosystems examined in this paper account for less than a quarter of world fisheries area and catch, and lightly to moderately fished and rebuilding ecosystems comprise less than half of those. They may best be interpreted as large-scale restoration experiments that demonstrate opportunities for successfully rebuilding marine resources elsewhere. ...

In fisheries science, there is a growing consensus that the exploitation rate that achieves maximum sustainable yield (uMSY) should be reinterpreted as an upper limit rather than a management target. This requires overall reductions in exploitation rates, which can be achieved through a range of management tools. Finding the best management tools may depend on the local context. Most often, it appears that a combination of traditional approaches (catch quotas, community management) coupled with strategically placed fishing closures, more selective fishing gear, ocean zoning, and economic incentives holds much promise for restoring marine fisheries and ecosystems.

For news coverage, take a look at this piece in the Gloucester Daily Times.

[Update: A couple of links to Ecotrust work on Marine Spatial Planning and research on catch quotas.}

Tags: oceans

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  • The work refers to "Finding the best management tools" Danish minister of fisheries has proposed - not a new tool, but a new principle using fishers own incentive to safeguard the fish. This can be seen at www.fvm.dk/yieldoffish

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