Ocean fish numbers on ‘brink of collapse,’ WWF reports – Thompson Reuters via CBC

Stocks of group that includes tuna, mackerel, bonito down 75 per cent since 1970

While I hate to post really dire news, this article is important because we (all countries) subsidize fishing in many ways, which needs to change to make any difference in the oceans. Many of us have pushed for creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and some have been created, but many more are needed. The NW Tribes, while not entirely supportive of MPAs have done a huge amount of good work in trying to re-establish habitat and lead the way forward in salmon protection here in the Northwest and on the Peninsula in particular. Many fishing groups are very supportive and have helped in a variety of ways, while a few remain unconvinced. It’s interesting that in my interviews with “old timers” who have lived and fished here from the 30s on, almost all of them, including the ones that I would consider the least friendly to “environmental” labels, supported a moratorium on fishing for a 10 year period to restore stocks.

Now it’s time to get our government to really push harder to convince the global community to protect the oceans outside the 50 mile limit. According to this article, we don’t have much time left to do something significant.

The amount of fish in the oceans has halved since 1970, in a plunge to the “brink of collapse” caused by over-fishing and other threats, the WWF conservation group said on Wednesday.


One Response

  1. Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) have a good record in restoring threatened populations of fish, allowing habitat to recover from human activities, and in ensuring that fishermen in the long-term have fish to catch

    However, as observers have noted, many fishermen (recreational, commercial, and tribal) oppose the creation of MPA’s due to concerns about the negative economic and social impacts of the reduction of local fishing areas. Indeed the benefits of MPA’s are frequently spread among many stakeholders, yet the costs can be concentrated on a small group or community.

    Failure to take the local social and economic contexts into consideration in the design and implementation of an MPA can lower levels of support and compliance with the regulations, and impact the effectiveness of the MPA.

    It is another case of long-term good for the resource and the community versus the fear of short-term economic losses. These short-term losses need to be taken into account in some way.

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