Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Best Hope At Sustainable Fisheries' Short-changed By Conservation Efforts, Researchers Argue

Date:
August 26, 2008
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Small scale fisheries produce as much annual catch for human consumption and use less than one-eighth the fuel as their industrial counterparts, but they are dealt a double-whammy by well-intentioned eco-labelling initiatives and ill-conceived fuel subsidies, according to a University of British Columbia study.

Comparison of large- and small-scale fisheries.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of British Columbia

Small scale fisheries produce as much annual catch for human consumption and use less than one-eighth the fuel as their industrial counterparts, but they are dealt a double-whammy by well-intentioned eco-labelling initiatives and ill-conceived fuel subsidies, according to a University of British Columbia study.

Related Articles


Small-scale fisheries are characterized as fishers operating in boats 15 metres or shorter.

“They are our best hope at sustainable fisheries,” says Daniel Pauly, Director of the UBC Fisheries Centre and co-author of a study published in the current issue of the journal Conservation Biology.

The study shows the amount of subsides large-scale, industrial fisheries receive versus small-scale, coastal fisheries. For instance, the average large-scale fisherman receives nearly 200 times the fuel subsidy that the average small-scale fisherman receives.

“This is because small scale fisheries employ more than 12 million people world-wide, compared to half a million in the industrial sector,” says Jennifer Jacquet, study co-author and a PhD Candidate in the UBC Fisheries Centre. “And because small-scale fisheries use less fuel to catch fish.”

“Small-scale fisheries use fishing gear that are more selective and far less destructive to deep sea environments,” says Jacquet. “As a result they discard very little unwanted fish and almost all of their catch is used for human consumption.”

Large-scale fisheries, on the other hand, typically do not target species for direct human consumption and discard an estimated 8-20 million tonnes of unwanted dead fish each year and reduces another 35 million tonnes of their annual catch to fishmeal.

Over the past decade, market-based sustainable seafood initiatives such as eco-labelling have been the predominant strategy for curtailing demand of dwindling fish stocks. The U.S. conservation community alone invested $37 million between 1999 to 2004 to promote certification and “wallet cards” to encourage consumers to purchase seafood caught using sustainable practices.

“For the amount of resources invested, we haven’t seen significant decrease in demand for species for which the global stocks are on the edge of collapse,” says Pauly. “Market-based initiatives, while well-intentioned, unduly discriminate against small scale fishers for their lack of resources to provide data for certification.”

Furthermore, small fishers simply can’t compete on the open market with large fleets. Rashid Sumaila, also of the UBC Fisheries Centre, estimates that governments worldwide subsidize $30-34 billion a year in fishing operations, of which $25-27 billion go to large-scale fleets.

“It’s an unfair disadvantage that in any other industry would have had people up in arms,” says Jacquet. “But small-scale fishers are often in developing countries and have very little political influence.”

Pauly and Jaquet say eliminating government subsidies is the most effective strategy towards significantly reducing pressure on vulnerable global fish stocks.

“Without subsidies, most large-scale fishing operations will be economically unviable,” says Jacquet. “Small scale fishers will have a better chance of thriving in local markets, and global fish stocks will have an opportunity to rebound.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "'Best Hope At Sustainable Fisheries' Short-changed By Conservation Efforts, Researchers Argue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825194318.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2008, August 26). 'Best Hope At Sustainable Fisheries' Short-changed By Conservation Efforts, Researchers Argue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825194318.htm
University of British Columbia. "'Best Hope At Sustainable Fisheries' Short-changed By Conservation Efforts, Researchers Argue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825194318.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins