Saturday, November 25, 2006

Not enough fish in the sea

3. What is the state of fishery resources?

3.1 The quantities fished in seas and oceans increased from 1998 to 2000, and stabilized at a slightly lower level since 2001 (84 million tonnes). This slight decrease is mainly due to lower catches in the Southeast and Northwest Pacific, but trends vary greatly between regions. Tuna is the single most important exploited resource in the high seas, particularly in the Pacific Ocean. More...

3.2 In many areas, traditional stocks have been depleted and less valuable species are being targeted by fishers. About half of all monitored stocks are now fully exploited and another quarter are overexploited, depleted, or slowly recovering. The remaining quarter are under- or moderately exploited. Available data leads to the conclusion that the global maximum potential for marine capture fisheries has been reached and that restrictive management measures are needed. More...

3.3 Fishery policies and management have usually focussed on single fishery stocks. Growing concerns about ecosystems have prompted a call for increased research into processes that affect, or are affected by, fisheries. Much more needs to be known about interactions with habitats, aquatic communities, land-based activities, climatic changes, and so on. However, the current state of fishery resources and their ecosystems allows little room for delay in management actions that should have been taken in the last three decades. More...

3.4 Fish stocks in inland waters are more difficult to monitor and very few countries can afford to supply complete data. Inland fishery resources are often undervalued and under threat from unsustainable fishing activities as well as from habitat alteration or degradation. Many river basins, especially in developing countries, support intensive fisheries, and in many cases catches are increasing. Inland fish are considered to be the most threatened group among all the vertebrates used by humans. Nevertheless, efforts have been made in many areas to enhance fish stocks in inland waters. More...

 

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