Fishing for Answers: Making Sense of the Global Fish Crisis
by Yumiko Kura, Carmen Revenga, Eriko Hoshino and Greg Mock
Publisher: World Resources Institute
Fishing and the places where fish live hold a special place in each of our lives. We are recreational fishermen and environmentalists who get joy from simply being on the water — sparkling brook or the restless ocean. We have each seen waters we love damaged by overuse, too little care, and the effects of pollution. We have seen the conflicts among recreational fishermen, commercial fishermen, conservationists, regulators, and scientists grow. No aquatic ecosystem is immune from the forces that contribute to overfishing and degradation of habitat.
Given our personal experience we found Fishing for Answers: Making Sense of the Global Fish Crisis compelling. This report is a much needed contribution to the ongoing debate about the scale of and response to the “global fisheries crisis.” The current alarming rates of fish stock depletion and degradation of aquatic ecosystems serve none of those who has a stake in the fate of the oceans, rivers, and lakes, and the vast resources that they contain. None of us wants to contemplate a time when our world’s rivers and seas are drained of the richness and abundance of life that sustains not only our fishing pastime, but more importantly the lives of millions of people who depend upon fisheries for their food source and livelihood.
CHAPTER 1. WHY CARE ABOUT FISH?
How Important is Fishing?
Is There Really a Fisheries Crisis?
Can Fisheries be Managed Sustainably?
CHAPTER 2. THE COMPLEX WORLD OF FISHING
Capture Fishery Categories
Fishing Environments: Marine and Inland Environments
Fishing Gears: Active and Passive Gears
CHAPTER 3. ARE WE RUNNING OUT OF FISH?
How Widespread is the Crisis?
What is the Current Status of Marine Fish Stocks?
What about the Condition of Freshwater Fish Stocks?
CHAPTER 4. HOW DO WE CATCH, USE, AND TRADE FISH?
Who are the Top Fish Producing Nations and What Types of Fish are Produced?
What Fish do the Top Fishing Nations Harvest From the Wild?
Which Nations Consume the Most Fish and What Fish do they Eat?
How Important is the International Fish Trade?
Overview of the Top Traded Fish Products
What are the More Recent Additions to the Fish Trade?
CHAPTER 5. HOW IMPORTANT IS SMALL-SCALE FISHING?
How Large is the Small-Scale Fishing Sector?
How Much do Small-Scale Fishers Catch?
Are Industrial Fleets Displacing Small-Scale Fishers?
Can Co-Management Help Sustain Small-Scale Fisheries?
CHAPTER 6. THE ROLE OF AQUACULTURE: IS IT HELPING TO SUSTAIN FISHERIES AND FEED THE POOR?
What is Aquaculture?
How Significant is Aquaculture in Global Fisheries Production?
The Aquaculture Dilemma: Is It Positive or Negative for Both People and Ecosystems?
Is Aquaculture Helping to Reduce the Pressure on Wild Stocks?
Is Aquaculture Helping to Feed the Poor?
Is Aquaculture Taking Food Away from the Poor?
Toward Sustainable Aquaculture
CHAPTER 7. HOW DOES FISHING AFFECT ECOSYSTEMS?
Bycatch, Discards, and High-Grading
Bycatch of Dolphins, Seabirds, Turtles, and Sharks
Alteration of Community Structure: Are We “Fishing Down the Food Web?”
Habitat Degradation by Fishing Gear and Practices
CHAPTER 8. HOW DOES THE GLOBAL FISH TRADE AFFECT SUSTAINABILITY?
Does Increased Trade Accelerate the Depletion of Fish Stocks?
Do International Trading Rules Undermine Sustainable Fishery Management?
CHAPTER 9. MANAGING FISHERIES AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL
What is the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea?
What is the UN Fish Stocks Agreement?
What is the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries?
Has the FAO Code of Conduct Been Effective?
What Role do Regional Fisheries Bodies Play in Managing Fish Stocks?
Tackling Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing
Flags of Convenience and IUU Fishing
IUU Regulations and Monitoring: FAO’s Compliance Agreement
CHAPTER 10. CONFLICTS BETWEEN SECTORS: RIGHTS TO FISH
AND THE FISHING ENVIRONMENT
CHAPTER 11. WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT FISHERIES MANAGEMENT?
SUCCESSES, FAILURES, AND PROMISING APPROACHES
Managing Fishing Effort
Managing the Level of Catch
Restrictions on Size, Season, and Fishing Zones
Applying the Ecosystem Approach
Integrated River Basin Management: An Ecosystem Approach to
Freshwater Resources and their Fisheries
Can Marine Reserves Help Marine Fish Stocks Recover?
Some Management Conclusions
CHAPTER 12. HOW DO WE PRODUCE FISH SUSTAINABLY?
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS