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Most fisheries management regimes lag behind international standards

Washington, Tue, 23 Jun 2009 ANI

Washington, June 23 (ANI): A new study, which provides the first global evaluation of how management practices influence the sustainability of fisheries, indicate that most fisheries management regimes are lagging far behind standards set by international organizations.


The study assessed the effectiveness of the world's fisheries management regimes using evaluations from nearly 1,200 fisheries experts, analyzing these in combination with data on the sustainability of fisheries catches.


The results indicate that most fisheries management regimes are lagging far behind standards set by international organizations, and that the conversion of scientific advice into policy, through a participatory and transparent process, plays the most critical role in determining the sustainability of fisheries.


"The world's fisheries are one of the most important natural assets to humankind," said lead study author Camilo Mora, a Colombian researcher at Dalhousie University and the University of California San Diego.


"Unfortunately, our use of the world's fisheries has been excessive and has led to the decline or collapse of many stocks," he added.


"The consequences of overexploiting the world's fisheries are a concern not only for food security and socio-economic development but for ocean ecosystems," said Boris Worm, a professor at Dalhousie University and co-author of the paper. "We now recognize that overfishing can also lead to the erosion of biodiversity and ecosystem productivity," he added.


Mora and his colleagues analyzed a set of attributes upon which country-level fisheries could be evaluated.


They pinpointed six parameters, including the scientific quality of management recommendations, the transparency of converting recommendations into policy, the enforcement of policies, the influence of subsidies, fishing effort, and the extent of fishing by foreign entities.


To quantify those attributes the researchers developed a questionnaire designed to elicit worst- to best-case answers.


Nearly 1,200 evaluations were used in the study.


The responses of the surveyed experts were compared to, and found to be in accordance with, empirical data, supporting the validity of the data obtained in the study.


The results of this global survey showed that 7 percent of all coastal states carry out rigorous scientific assessment for the generation of management policies, 1.4 percent also have a participatory and transparent process to convert scientific recommendations into policy, and less than 1 percent also implement mechanisms to ensure the compliance with regulations.


No one country was additionally free of the effects of excess fishing capacity, subsidies or access to foreign fishing.


"Perhaps the most striking result of our survey was that not a single country in the world was consistently good with respect to all these management attributes," said Mora. (ANI)


Read More: Dalhousie

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