Less money, more problems – getting fisheries right

Sustainable marine fisheries seem to tick all the boxes. They can fill your belly, fill your wallet, and do it all for a fraction of the carbon emissions generated by conventional agriculture. Getting marine fisheries “right” could also help to reduce the loss of biodiversity in the ocean, and increase equity among coastal populations.

Photo by Duangphorn Wiriya, from Unsplash.

No surprise then that one of the Sustainable Development Goals is dedicated to “Life Below Water” and that ocean issues have occupied such a prominent position in recent international policy documents. It is perhaps more surprising that official development assistance (ODA) for fisheries decreased by over 20% from 2010-2016, and fell by 53% in Oceania where many of the world’s most vulnerable and fish-dependent countries are located.

An 83% drop in funding for fisheries research suggests a misalignment of ODA allocations and international commitments, including for science-based management of fisheries. More thoughts on the complexities of this funding landscape, good examples, and potential next steps are shared in this article from The Conversation.