Saturday, December 8, 2012

Status of Unassessed Fisheries

          Only 20% of the world's fisheries are formally assessed. In order to better manage the marine systems, the status of global fisheries must be evaluated.  By being more informed of the fisheries worldwide, sustainable fishing could be driven toward its potential to achieve ecosystem recovery.

          The model and data used for formal assessments include structural population model and local knowledge. In this study, Costello et al. developed a method that uses the marine species' life history, catch, and fishery development analysis. It was found that the large unassessed stocks are performing at a level that is close to those of developed countries. However, small unassessed fisheries were found to be poorly managed and are impacted by a comprised local ecosystem.

          The authors encourage solutions that emphasize more on territorial user right fisheries (TURFs) and co-management instead of individual transferable quotas. This is because it is often difficult to monitor local activities and implement quotas. TURFs also provide the additional benefit of preserving physical integrity of fishing areas.

Costello, C., Ovando, D., Hilborn, R. , Gaines, S. D., Deschenes, O., & Lester, S. E. (2012). Status and   solutions for the world's unassessed fisheries. Science, 338, 517-520.

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