Billions lost as illicit fisheries trade hurting nations who can afford it least

More than eight million to 14 million tonnes of unreported fish catches are traded illicitly every year, costing the legitimate market between $9 billion and $17 billion in trade each year, according to new research.

In a paper published in Science Advances, researchers from the Fisheries Economics Research Unit and the Sea Around Us initiative, both based at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, as well as the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean at the University of Western Australia, looked at catch losses for 143 countries and found that significant amounts of seafood are being illicitly taken out of the food supply system of many countries, impacting the nutritional food security and livelihoods of millions.

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Recreational fishers catching more sharks and rays

Recreational fishers catching more sharks and rays

Hammerhead shark. Photo by Kris Mikael Krister, Wikimedia Commons.

Recreational fishers are increasingly targeting sharks and rays, a situation that is causing concern among researchers.

A new study by an international team of scientists reveals that recreational catches of these fishes have gradually increased over the last six decades around the world, now accounting for 5-6 per cent of the total catches taken for leisure or pleasure.

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Artisanal catch. Photo by Australa's Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Fisheries Department of Western Australia and Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean conduct data-limited workshop

Artisanal catch. Photo by Australa's Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Artisanal catch. Photo by Australia’s Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

On September 4, 2019, the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean research initiative at the University of Western Australia and the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development organized a data-limited stock assessment workshop for fisheries researchers and managers of the local state government.

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