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Winners and losers in a world where the high seas is closed to fishing


Sumaila, UR and Lam, VWY and Miller, DD and Teh, L and Watson, RA and Zeller, D and Cheung, WWL and Cote, IM and Rogers, AD and Roberts, C and Sala, E and Pauly, D, Winners and losers in a world where the high seas is closed to fishing, Scientific Reports, 5 Article 8481. ISSN 2045-2322 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivatives 4.0 Internation

DOI: doi:10.1038/srep08481


Fishing takes place in the high seas and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of maritime countries. Closing the former to fishing has recently been proposed in the literature and is currently an issue of debate in various international fora. We determine the degree of overlap between fish caught in these two areas of the ocean, examine how global catch might change if catches of straddling species or taxon groups increase within EEZs as a result of protection of adjacent high seas; and identify countries that are likely to gain or lose in total catch quantity and value following high-seas closure. We find that <0.01% of the quantity and value of commercial fish taxa are obtained from catch taken exclusively in the high seas, and if the catch of straddling taxa increases by 18% on average following closure because of spillover, there would be no loss in global catch. The Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, would decrease from 0.66 to 0.33. Thus, closing the high seas could be catch-neutral while inequality in the distribution of fisheries benefits among the world's maritime countries could be reduced by 50%.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:global fisheries, management, high seas, tuna
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Social impacts of climate change and variability
UTAS Author:Watson, RA (Professor Reginald Watson)
ID Code:98605
Year Published:2015
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP140101377)
Web of Science® Times Cited:94
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-02-20
Last Modified:2017-11-04
Downloads:243 View Download Statistics

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