Management Effectiveness of the World’s Marine Fisheries
This survey of fisheries experts sought to assess the current effectiveness of fisheries management. It says that fisheries supply at least 15% of all animal protein consumed by humans, employ nearly 200 million people, and generate about $85 billion per year. Researchers also found that 28% of world fishery stocks are over-exploited or collapsed and 52% are fully exploited.
In this study of 1,188 fisheries, researchers conclude that global management of fisheries lags behind international guidelines that are in place to minimize the effects of over-exploitation. Only a few fisheries are well-positioned to make management recommendations and convert those to policies that are in compliance with regulations.
The ability to convert scientific advice into policy plays a critical role in the sustainability of fisheries. According to the report, these findings highlight the “vulnerability of the world’s fisheries and the urgent need to meet well-identified guidelines for sustainable management.”
Specifically, this research found that:
- Only 7% of all coastal states carry out rigorous scientific assessment for the generation of management policies
- 1.4% also have a participatory and transparent process to convert scientific recommendations into policy
- Less than 1% also implement mechanisms to ensure compliance with regulations. No one country was free of the effects of excess fishing capacity, subsidies, or access to foreign fishing
No country was found to be consistently good on all fisheries management attributes. According to researchers, “overfishing can lead to the erosion of biodiversity and ecosystem productivity.”