More than half the world’s fisheries are overexploited, and small-scale fisheries, the kind that disproportionately feed the world’s hungry (think of reef-fish which are decimated by industrial-sized fishing vessels) have it the worst according to a new study published last week by researchers at the University of California and the University of Washington.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Fisheries are not doomed to collapse. Quite the opposite. The same study argues that simple conservation measures — from setting fishing quotas to protecting habitat — could actually increase fishery yields by up to 40 percent.
This news comes at an important time, as the world’s population is set to hit 9 billion people by 2050 and demand for protein is rising. Currently, one billion people go to bed hungry every night, and more than 400 million of them live in major fishing countries.
It might seem counterintuitive that imposing strict limits on how much we fish could actually increase the amount of fish we are able to take out of th... Read more