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Ending overfishing while catching more fish


Zhou, S and Smith, ADM and Knudsen, EE, Ending overfishing while catching more fish, Fish and Fisheries, 16, (4) pp. 716-722. ISSN 1467-2960 (2015) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2014 CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Wealth from Ocean. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.1111/faf.12077


The world's seas and oceans are a vital source of animal protein from fishing and a major contributor to global food security. It has been argued that global wild-catch production has reached its limit, and there is concern that many species are overfished. Concerns are also mounting about the state of marine ecosystems and the ecological impacts of fishing on them, with increasing efforts to protect marine biodiversity. Fisheries appear to be at an impasse demand for seafood is rising but so is concern about the impacts of fishing. However, through a simple analysis, we show that global exploitation rates are well below long-term sustainable levels at a whole ecosystem level. The oceans can support considerably higher sustainable catch than currently harvested. Overfishing has happened but only to a small fraction of species as a result of intensive and selective fishing. Shifting fishing effort away from highly targeted stocks towards currently underutilized species would reduce pressure on overfished species, result in fewer adverse ecosystem effects of fishing and increase overall fisheries production. This shift requires significant changes to our views about seafood, particularly in the developed world. We suggest ways in which this paradigm shift could happen and the range of expertise that would be required to achieve higher global yields with less ecological impact.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biodiversity, ecological function, ecosystem structure, over-capacity, social benefit, sustainability
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Smith, ADM (Dr Tony Smith)
ID Code:118450
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Directorate
Deposited On:2017-07-12
Last Modified:2017-08-29
Downloads:185 View Download Statistics

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