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The High Seas and IUU Fishing


Osterblom, H and Bodin, O and Press, AJ and Sumaila, UR, The High Seas and IUU Fishing, Routledge Handbook of Ocean Resources and Management, Taylor and Francis, HD Smith, JL Suarez de Vivero, TS Agardy (ed), London, United Kingdom, pp. 232-240. ISBN 9781136294822 (2015) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: doi:10.4324/9780203115398


The high seas are the areas beyond national jurisdiction, offshore from the productive shelf areas, where most fisheries are operating (figure 15.1). However, decreasing fish stocks in many coastal areas Jackson et al. 2001, Christensen et al. 2003) have historically pushed fisheries operations further offshore and to new species. In the 1950s, only 9 per cent of global catches were taken from the high seas, whereas the corresponding number in 2010 was 12 per cent (Sumaila et al. 2015). Global and regional patterns of fishing are characterised by catches at increasing depths (Pauly et al. 2003, Morato et al. 2006, Villasante et al. 2012) and further from markets (Swartz et al. 2010). The deep sea beyond the continental shelf edges and away from individual nations' jurisdiction is thus becoming an increasingly important area for wild capture fisheries. Many of the species caught in these areas are long-lived, start reproducing late and have limited capacity to sustain commercial catches (e.g. Norse et al. 2012). It is also not uncommon that these species aggregate around deep-sea features such as hydrothermal vents or deep-sea corals, with high or unknown biodiversity values making them vulnerable to overfishing.

Although a large number of fisheries are licensed to operate in the high seas and have legitimate quotas, monitoring and enforcement is a problem for much of high seas fisheries (Norse et al. 2012). Compounding this problem is the problem of flags of convenience, the use of which is more prevalent on the high seas (Miller and Sumaila 2014).

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:illegal unregulated and unreported fishing, policy, high seas governance
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Press, AJ (Dr Tony Press)
ID Code:110033
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2016-07-12
Last Modified:2016-07-15

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