New technology allows fleets to double fishing capacity -- and deplete fish stocks faster

New technology allows fleets to double fishing capacity — and deplete fish stocks faster

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Technological advances are allowing commercial fishing fleets to double their fishing power every 35 years and put even more pressure on dwindling fish stocks, new research has found.

Researchers from the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia analyzed more than 50 studies related to the increase in vessels’ catching power and found that the introduction of mechanisms such as GPS, fishfinders, echo-sounders or acoustic cameras, has led to an average two per cent yearly increase in boats’ capacity to capture fish.

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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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Clockwise from top left: Matthew Ansell, MSc student;  James Hehre, Associate & Programme Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Dirk Zeller, Director Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean; Jessica Meeuwig, Director Marine Futures Lab;  Gabriel Vianna, Postdoctoral Fellow; Rachel White, Researcher; Hanna Jabour Christ, Associate & Communications and Data Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Lincoln Hood, Senior Researcher; Amy McAlpine MSc Student.

The Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean is growing!

Clockwise from top left: Matthew Ansell, MSc student; James Hehre, Associate & Programme Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Dirk Zeller, Director Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean; Jessica Meeuwig, Director Marine Futures Lab; Gabriel Vianna, Postdoctoral Fellow; Rachel White, Researcher; Hanna Jabour Christ, Associate & Communications and Data Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Lincoln Hood, Senior Researcher; Amy McAlpine MSc Student.

Clockwise from top left: Matthew Ansell, MSc student; James Hehre, Associate & Programme Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Dirk Zeller, Director Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean; Jessica Meeuwig, Director Marine Futures Lab; Gabriel Vianna, Postdoctoral Fellow; Rachel White, Researcher; Hanna Jabour Christ, Associate & Communications and Data Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Lincoln Hood, Senior Researcher; Amy McAlpine MSc Student.

The Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean, founded in 2017 at the University of Western Australia and led by Dr. Dirk Zeller, is starting to grow.

A while back, former members of the Sea Around Us at UBC, Lincoln Hood and Rachel White, followed a tern flock and moved southwards to work with Dr. Zeller on establishing the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean, and to initiate the newest round of updated and improved catch reconstruction database for all maritime countries around the Indian Ocean.

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