12 February 2015
Source: UBC News
Closing the high seas to commercial fishing could distribute fisheries income more equitably among the world’s maritime nations, according to research from the University of British Columbia (UBC).
The analysis of fisheries data indicates that if increased spillover of fish stocks from protected international waters were to boost coastal catches by 18 per cent, current global catches would be maintained. When the researchers modelled less conservative estimates of stock spillover, catches in coastal waters surpassed current global levels.
“We should use international waters as the world’s fish bank,” says Rashid Sumaila, director of the UBC Fisheries Economics Research Unit and lead author of the study. “Restricting fisheries activities to coastal waters is economically and environmentally sensible, particularly as the industry faces diminishing returns.”
The findings appeared today in Scientific Reports, published by Nature Publishing Group and will be presented February 13 at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).