One problem is that fisheries often target what scientists call BOFFFFs: big, old, fat, fecund, female fish. Their large bodies are prized by fishers, but BOFFFFs are a vital source of new baby fish. Take these away and the size spectrum quickly veers out of kilter. One way to manage this is to encourage the fishing industry to target medium-size fish, allowing mature ones to replenish depleted populations.
In 2017, 34.2% of the fish stocks of the world’s marine fisheries were classified as overfished, a “continuous increasing trend” since 1974 when it stood at just 10%.
“Overall, we found there’s a decrease in species diversity and abundance irrespective of what ecosystem we are looking at. These are broad scale impacts, made worse when you combine the effect of warming with acidification.
Weird things are happening off the Pacific Coast.
And at the center of the action is a warm-water mass that scientists call “the blob.”
It’s turning the coastal ecosystem on its head. Species are dying along Washington, Oregon and northern California: sea stars, marine birds and sardines, among them.
Governments that call themselves civilized have been largely ignoring the outlaw aspects of the oceans for centuries. The question is how much longer normal mayhem will continue, as the limits of the globe become ever clearer. “Like the Wild West,” is how Mr. Young described the maritime realm. “Weak rules, few sheriffs, lots of outlaws.”
“China is exporting to Africa the kind of destructive fishing practices that depleted local fishing grounds off the Chinese coast,” said Rashid Kang, the director of the China Ocean and Forests campaign at Greenpeace. “At a time when China talks about win-win partnerships with African governments and is concerned with improving its international image, these kinds of practices damage marine resources, threaten local livelihoods and undermine China’s soft power.”
Nikkei Asian Review SHIGEHISA FURUYA, Nikkei staff writer TOKYO — Seas around the world are turning into jellyfish soup, as swarms of the creatures hit coastal areas, paralyzing power plants and undermining fisheries. These massive outbreaks are being caused by… Read More ›
Washington—The Pew Charitable Trusts launched groundbreaking technology today that will help authorities monitor, detect, and respond to illicit fishing activity across the world’s oceans. The development of Project Eyes on the Seas, as the system is known, furthers a long-term… Read More ›
Reporting on international fishing can often feel like investigating organized crime. Everyone knows how things are run, but the truth is obscured by shell companies, back-door dealings, and plausible deniability. This is why it’s remarkable that a recent, bungled initial… Read More ›