Fish at the Cholula market. Photo by Giulian Frisoni, Flickr.

World Oceans Day: Paying attention to marine fisheries

World Oceans Day happens to fall on the same month as the Sea Around Us’ anniversary month.

Initially proposed by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008, this day celebrates the ocean and its importance for all living creatures.

World Oceans Day provides also an opportunity for researchers, policymakers, and environmentalists to highlight the most urgent issues affecting the planet’s largest waterbody.

Since this June the Sea Around Us is celebrating not only World Oceans Day but also its 20th Anniversary, it seemed appropriate to reflect on the importance of paying attention to marine fisheries.

Fisher, Solomon Islands. Photo by Jan van der Ploeg, WorldFish, Flickr.

The importance of coastal fisheries

Fisher, Solomon Islands. Photo by Jan van der Ploeg, WorldFish, Flickr.

Fisher, Solomon Islands. Photo by Jan van der Ploeg, WorldFish, Flickr.

The Sea Around Us’ Deng Palomares and Daniel Pauly have just added a new item to their long list of publications: a chapter in Elsevier’s book Coast and Estuaries: The Future.

In their contribution, titled “Coastal fisheries: the past, present and possible futures,” Palomares and Pauly highlight the importance of coastal fisheries by pointing out that they made up 55 per cent of global marine fisheries catch from 2010 to 2014.

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Pellizar 133. Photo by O roxo Flickr.

Carbon dioxide emissions from global fisheries larger than previously thought

Pellizar 133. Photo by O roxo Flickr.

Pellizar 133. Photo by O roxo Flickr.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the fuel burnt by fishing boats are 30 per cent higher than previously reported, researchers with the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia and the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean at the University of Western Australia have found.

In a study published in Marine Policy, the scientists show that 207 million tonnes of CO2 were released into the atmosphere by marine fishing vessels only in 2016. This is almost the same amount of CO2 emitted by 51 coal-fired power plants in the same timeframe.

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