Report: World’s Oceans Continue to Suffer from OverfishingNewsroom
Overfishing does more damage to the world’s oceans than all other human activities put together, a special report from The Economist said.
The report said the biggest failure continues to be the regulation of fishing activities.
Although regulations have been in place, fishing is still governed by regional bodies. Some regulations are also limited to a particular type of fish species like the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas while others cover fishing in a particular area, such as the northeast Atlantic or the South Pacific Oceans.
There have been successes, as some fish stocks are now on an all-time high, but these successes are mostly limited, the report said. The overall record is disastrous with two-thirds of fish stocks on the high seas being exploited, the report warned.
Additionally, illegal fishing is worth $10 billion to $24 billion a year, and according to the World Bank, the mismanagement of fisheries costs $50 billion or more a year.
Adding to the woes of the industry is the lack of financial support that some regional bodies need to combat illegal fishing vessels. There is also no global registry of fishing vessels, making it hard to track down these fishing boats.
Moreover, regulations only cover members of a regional body, essentially enabling “outsiders” to use their vessels with impunity.
There are ongoing efforts to protect the world’s oceans, but much more has to be done.
The Economist in a separate report said countries need to improve the system of governance and that a global organization should be established within the United Nations.
This “world ocean organization” would then be able to streamline current regulations, the report said.
However, it remains to be seen if this initiative can muster enough support to make a world ocean organization become reality.