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.
“After climate change, fishing is the biggest impact humans will have on the oceans. But we have very a limited understanding of what happens beyond the horizon. It’s out of sight,” says David Kroodsma, Global Fishing Watch Research Program Manager at SkyTruth. “Global Fishing Watch allows us to see where the fishing is happening and how much. This will lead to whole hosts of answers to questions about how we manage our oceans.”
We know the oceans are quickly changing; we are at a point in time where very different future oceans could be laid out in front of us.
Nereus Program Alumnus Andrew Merrie, Stockholm Resilience Centre, is curious about how those futures might differ. Using an innovative method called science fiction prototyping, he’s devised a set of four radical futures for global oceans and fisheries. Two of the scenarios represent more utopian futures, the other two are more dystopian. They are written as speculative fiction in different, engaging narrative styles: a travel magazine article, an obituary, the transcript of a “TED”-like talk, and a series of recovered journal entries.
Global fisheries could lose approximately $10 billion of annual revenues by 2050 if climate change continues at current rates, and countries most dependent on fisheries for food and livelihoods will feel more of the effects, finds new Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program research published today in Scientific Reports.
Closing the high seas to fishing could increase fish catches in coastal waters by 10%, compensating for expected losses due to climate change, finds a new Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published in Fish and Fisheries.
The high seas are those areas of the ocean outside the jurisdiction of countries; the high seas cover nearly two thirds of the ocean’s surface. These results could be seen by 2050 relative to 2000 and cooperatively managing the high seas fisheries would have similar effects.
Up until the 1960s, the open-ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) was one of the last frontiers of fisheries exploitation. The magnitude and inaccessibility of open-ocean ecosystems, as well as technological constraints, deterred fisheries from operating intensely in them. However, open-ocean fisheries expanded exponentially from the 1960s through the 1980s and 1990s, at which point global fish catches peaked, plateaued and possibly began to decline.
One of the most significant – and increasingly bitter – international disputes of recent years has engaged legal claims over maritime territory in the South China Sea. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (UNCLOS), to which the main protagonists are parties, states are entitled to claim an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) conferring sovereign rights and jurisdiction up to 200 nautical miles of maritime space from their coasts. In the South China Sea, however, this position has been complicated by historical claims over a series of small islands and reefs within the southern section of this area.
Towards an integrated database on Canadian ocean resources: benefits, current states, and research gaps
“Towards an integrated database on Canadian ocean resources: benefits, current states, and research gaps” was recently published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, authored by Nereus Fellow Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor (UBC), Director of Science William Cheung, and OceanCanada Director Rashid Sumaila (Nereus Honorary Research Associate).
Five key aspects of sustainable aquaculture: Can aquaculture help tackle global food security, especially in Africa?
by Muhammed Oyinlola, Nereus Fellow
Aquaculture, the farming of aquatic species, is gradually becoming an important aspect of solving the challenge of global food security. The supply of seafood from fisheries is declining; fish stocks can only be increased if we reduce our fishing pressures, yet governments continue to subsidize the fishing industry for us to fish more. Hence, the open window we have is aquaculture. My argument is that we need to change from hunting in the ocean to farming the oceans just the way we changed hunting on land to producing animal protein by farming. Can aquaculture be our best option to increase the seafood supply for the world’s ever increasing population?
What effects will Brexit have on the UK’s fishing industry? Uncertainties facing policy, science and society.
In the lead up to last week’s referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union, immigration often seemed to be at the forefront at the debate. But the fishing industry was also a hot topic, even leading to demonstrations and bitter exchanges on the impact of EU membership, including from boats on the Thames. With the UK voting to leave the EU, there is a lot of uncertainty for the future of fisheries. Here are some areas, affecting policy, science and society, where the impacts may be felt.