Menhaden fisheries in Louisiana, USA. Photo by Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State University, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Fishing companies lose millions of dollars every year and they don’t know it

Menhaden fisheries in Louisiana, USA. Photo by Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State University, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Menhaden fisheries in Louisiana, USA. Photo by Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State University, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Fishing companies operating worldwide are missing between $51 billion and $83 billion in unrealized net economic benefits every year due to the overexploitation and underperformance of fish stocks. For these fishing companies, that means they are spending too much and getting fewer fish, revenues and profits than they could.

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Photo by ILO.

Modern slavery promotes overfishing

Labour abuses, including modern slavery, are ‘hidden subsidies’ that allow distant-water fishing fleets to remain profitable and promote overfishing, new research from the University of Western Australia and the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia has found.

By combining fisheries data from the Sea Around Us initiative at UBC with country-level data on modern slavery, the researchers found that countries whose fleets rely heavily on government subsidies, fish far away from home ports, and fail to comprehensively report their actual catch, tend to fish beyond sustainable limits and are at higher risk of labour abuses.

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Catches global

Pauly and Zeller explain the making of the Sea Around Us database

via GIPHY
 

The Sea Around Us’ Daniel Pauly and Dirk Zeller have just added a new publication to their long list of items in the literature. In this case, it is a chapter in the recently published book World Seas: An environmental evaluation. Vol. III: Ecological issues and environmental impacts, edited by Charles Sheppard.

In “The making of a global marine fisheries catch database for policy development,” Pauly and Zeller give a detailed account of the process of creating the Sea Around Us’ global catch database that builds on and addresses the deficiencies of the database created and maintained by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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Atlantic cod. Photo by Hans-Petter Fjeld, Wikimedia Commons.

Half of Russian catches in the Barents Sea thrown overboard

Atlantic cod. Photo by Hans-Petter Fjeld, Wikimedia Commons.

Atlantic cod. Photo by Hans-Petter Fjeld, Wikimedia Commons.

Russian fishing fleets operating in the Barents Sea dumped 42.7 million tonnes of good fish back into the ocean over the past 65 years according to new research. Thankfully, fishing practices have improved in recent years.

The study by researchers with the Sea Around Us at the University of British Columbia, and the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean at the University of Western Australia, reveals that 55 per cent of the total catch taken by Russian fishers from the Barents Sea was discarded due to poor fishing practices and inadequate management.

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Distant water expansion

Industrial fisheries’ expansion impacts 90 per cent of the global ocean, causes massive catch decline

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 from the Sea Around Us research initiative at the University of Western Australia and the University of British Columbia has found.

By mapping the growth and spread of industrial fisheries using the Sea Around Us data, the researchers found that these global trends were dominated by the heavily subsidized fleets of a small number of countries that have increased the total area fished from 60 per cent to 90 per cent of the world’s oceans.

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