Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


'Best hope at sustainable fisheries' short-changed by conservation efforts: UBC researchers

Small scale fisheries produce as much annual catch for human consumption and use less than one-eighth the fuel as their industrial counterparts, but they are dealt a double-whammy by well-intentioned eco-labelling initiatives and ill-conceived fuel subsidies, according to a University of British Columbia study.

Small-scale fisheries are characterized as fishers operating in boats 15 metres or shorter.

“They are our best hope at sustainable fisheries,” says Daniel Pauly, Director of the UBC Fisheries Centre and co-author of a study published in the current issue of the journal Conservation Biology.

The study shows the amount of subsides large-scale, industrial fisheries receive versus small-scale, coastal fisheries. For instance, the average large-scale fisherman receives nearly 200 times the fuel subsidy that the average small-scale fisherman receives.

“This is because small scale fisheries employ more than 12 million people world-wide, compared to half a million in the industrial sector,” says Jennifer Jacquet, study co-author and a PhD Candidate in the UBC Fisheries Centre. “And because small-scale fisheries use less fuel to catch fish.”

An illustration comparing small- and large-scale fisheries is available at Sea Around Us.

“Small-scale fisheries use fishing gear that are more selective and far less destructive to deep sea environments,” says Jacquet. “As a result they discard very little unwanted fish and almost all of their catch is used for human consumption.”

Large-scale fisheries, on the other hand, typically do not target species for direct human consumption and discard an estimated 8-20 million tonnes of unwanted dead fish each year and reduces another 35 million tonnes of their annual catch to fishmeal.

Over the past decade, market-based sustainable seafood initiatives such as eco-labelling have been the predominant strategy for curtailing demand of dwindling fish stocks. The U.S. conservation community alone invested $37 million between 1999 to 2004 to promote certification and “wallet cards” to encourage consumers to purchase seafood caught using sustainable practices.

“For the amount of resources invested, we haven’t seen significant decrease in demand for species for which the global stocks are on the edge of collapse,” says Pauly. “Market-based initiatives, while well-intentioned, unduly discriminate against small scale fishers for their lack of resources to provide data for certification.”

Furthermore, small fishers simply can’t compete on the open market with large fleets. Rashid Sumaila, also of the UBC Fisheries Centre, estimates that governments worldwide subsidize $30-34 billion a year in fishing operations, of which $25-27 billion go to large-scale fleets.

“It’s an unfair disadvantage that in any other industry would have had people up in arms,” says Jacquet. “But small-scale fishers are often in developing countries and have very little political influence.”

Pauly and Jaquet say eliminating government subsidies is the most effective strategy towards significantly reducing pressure on vulnerable global fish stocks.

“Without subsidies, most large-scale fishing operations will be economically unviable,” says Jacquet. “Small scale fishers will have a better chance of thriving in local markets, and global fish stocks will have an opportunity to rebound.”

Brian Lin | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>