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.
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.
Shareholders in the world’s major publically-listed fishing companies are exposed to risk from overfished fish stocks, with many of these stocks underperforming or at risk of collapse, a new study reveals.
The report, produced by the Fish Tracker Initiative in collaboration with the Sea Around Us, states that 32 per cent of the 97 stocks targeted by fishing giants such as South Korea’s Dongwon Industries and Silla Co., Norway’s Austevoll Seafood, and Canada’s Clearwater Seafoods are overfished.
“This is an important finding because it matches the global average. Globally, at least 31 per cent of fish stocks are overfished and we would have thought that large publicly listed fishing companies like the largest 19 identified here, whose combined annual revenues exceed $4 billion, as well as institutional investors would not be exposed to this, but they are,” says Tim Cashion, a scientist with the Sea Around Us who led the fisheries research in the report.
Nature published, both in its print and online editions, a brief feature on the Sea Around Us’ paper “Global marine fisheries discards: a synthesis of reconstructed data,” which appeared in Fish & Fisheries last June.
According to the research, conducted by Dirk Zeller, Tim Cashion, Deng Palomares and Daniel Pauly, industrial fishing fleets have been dumping nearly 10 million tonnes of good fish back into the ocean every year for the past 10 years.
— Fiona David (@fiona_david) August 1, 2017