Seafood is one of the highest valued food items traded among countries around the world. Seafood exceeds the trade value of sugar, maize, coffee, rice and cocoa combined. But where is this seafood going and who is most benefiting?
For the past ten years, Sea Around Us has been constructing a more accurate view of world fishery catches, finding, among other things, that 30% of catch goes unreported. Now the work of 400 researchers from 273 countries, led by Daniel Pauly and Dirk Zeller, has been compiled in a comprehensive 520-page book called the Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries.
Mexico needs to rethink environmental protection budget cuts, prioritize ecologically-sustainable human development
By Andrés M. Cisneros-Montemayor
Mexico recently released its budget for 2017, and among the top five largest cuts were environmental protection (down by 37%), culture (-30%), and education (-11%). Political rhetoric aside, these cuts reflect a continuing view of these issues as minor, long-term, or otherwise less important or pressing. The problem is, these views also directly contradict a growing recognition in international policy of the importance of the environment, culture and education, in and of themselves, but also as part of an interdependent suite of human development goals.
By Wilf Swartz, Nereus Program Manager/Research Associate
Japanese call it shun (旬), the seasonality of food. It refers to the time of year when a specific type of food is at its peak, either in terms of harvest or flavour. It is not unique to Japanese culture, as The Byrds reminded us in the mid-1960s with their, now classic, rendition of “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season).”
OceanCanada Research Director Rashid Sumaila and his collaborators from the UBC Global Fisheries Cluster (Sea Around Us and the Nereus Program) have published an updated estimate of global fisheries subsidies in the international journal Marine Policy. The researchers found that the global fishing industry is being supported by $35 billion yearly in government subsidies, the majority of these, upwards of $20 billion annually, promote increased capacity that can lead to harmful impacts such as overfishing.
Ask an Expert: What impacts will the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have on the trade of fish and seafood?
On October 5th, twelve countries reached an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would create the world’s largest free-trade zone. The countries involved — Canada, Japan, the USA, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Vietnam, Australia, Peru and Malaysia — represent 40 percent of the world’s economy. The TPP would see tariffs on fish and seafood being eliminated, allowing for potentially more exports and imports between partnering countries, and new environmental and labour standards put in place.
By Lisa Maria Dellmuth, Senior Nereus Fellow
Stockholm Resilience Centre
It is common practice among Western democratic societies to supply art and cultural goods on a public basis. This practice has led many politicians to view art and culture as political instruments in promoting pro-environmental norms. A prime example is the current debate in Europe about whether state involvement in art and culture implies that cultural activities should advocate the idea of ecologically sustainable development.
William Cheung, Co-Director of the Nereus Program and Principle Investigator, and Rashid Sumaila, Director of the UBC Fisheries Economics Research Unit, have been published in Marine Ecology Progress Series on “Economic incentives and overfishing: a bioeconomic vulnerability index”.
When you find a fish at a decent price, there’s more than meets the eye. Behind that price tag lies a whole supply chain that remains untraceable and unseen to the average consumer, which can create the illusion of sustainable practices.
Wilf Swartz, Research Associate with the Nereus Program, is calling for a more transparent system— as well as increased public awareness and corporate social responsibility surrounding sustainability.
Ecosystem management that ignores “taboo tradeoffs” is likely to fail A new approach to reveal “taboo” and “tragic” tradeoffs may protect marginalized people and improve conservation success. Imagine the dilemma…