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How to make global fisheries worth five times more

Date:
July 13, 2012
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Rebuilding global fisheries would make them five times more valuable while improving ecology, according to a new study.

UBC fisheries economist Rashid Sumaila says global fisheries could be worth five times as much if steps were taken to rebuild them.
Credit: Photo by Martin Dee, UBC

Rebuilding global fisheries would make them five times more valuable while improving ecology, according to a new University of British Columbia study, published July 13 in the online journal PLoS ONE.

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By reducing the size of the global fishing fleet, eliminating harmful government subsidies, and putting in place effective management systems, global fisheries would be worth US$54 billion each year, rather than losing US$13 billion per year.

"Global fisheries are not living up to their economic potential in part because governments keep them afloat by subsidizing unprofitable large scale fishing fleets with taxpayer money," says study lead author Rashid Sumaila, a fisheries economist and director of the UBC Fisheries Centre. "This is like sinking money into a series of small, cosmetic fixes in an old home rather than investing in a complete, well thought-out renovation that boosts the home's value."

Despite the US$130- to US$292-billion price tag for transitioning global fisheries, the study's authors estimate that in just 12 years, the returns would begin to outweigh the costs and the total gains over 50 years would return the investment three- to seven-fold.

"We should be getting more from our fisheries, rather than less," says Sumaila. "If the environmental and sustainability reasons alone can't convince global governments to take action, the financial incentives should."

"This study shows that politicians can no longer use the excuse that rebuilding fisheries is too expensive," says Daniel Pauly, principal investigator of UBC's Sea Around Us Project and a study co-author. "Not only is rebuilding better for the economy, it's better for ecology."

In addition to eliminating harmful subsidies, new policies would need to address poor regulation, particularly on the high seas, and illegal fishing.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Sumaila UR, Cheung W, Dyck A, Gueye K, Huang L, et al. Benefits of Rebuilding Global Marine Fisheries Outweigh Costs. PLoS ONE, 2012 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040542

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "How to make global fisheries worth five times more." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120713223937.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2012, July 13). How to make global fisheries worth five times more. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120713223937.htm
University of British Columbia. "How to make global fisheries worth five times more." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120713223937.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

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