Effective marine conservation policy cannot be designed without a better understanding of the underlying social and economic drivers of overfishing, as well as deeper knowledge about overfishings impact on marine conservation and society. Through his Pew Fellowship, Dr. Sumaila will gather extensive information from around the world on each of these factors.
First, Dr. Sumaila will develop global databases of national and private discount rates applied in key fisheries over the past ten years. Private actors in an economy, as well as governments, use these discount rates as a way to weigh future benefits against current ones. This project will provide policymakers and stakeholders with a deeper understanding of how peoples desire to frontload benefits and backload costs can result in the depletion of our life support systems, Dr. Sumaila said.
Dr. Sumaila will then create Conservation Indices to include different fishs growth rates, the discount rates of fishers who target those species, and other factors and will use that information to identify the species and locations most vulnerable to commercial fishing. He will produce global maps showing Conservation Indices for each of the worlds 64 large marine ecosystems and for all countries Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), which refers to the area 200 nautical miles beyond the boundaries of a nation/state into the ocean. Within the EEZ, living and non-living resources can be rightfully explored and exploited by that nation/state..
We will be able to show that in most cases, countries actually do not gain economically from the fishing going on in their Exclusive Economic Zones, said Dr. Sumaila. By combining our economic analyses with conservation indices maps, we will be able to demonstrate that fishing in certain conservation-sensitive areas of the ocean may not be economically viable if not for subsidies.
As another impo
|Contact: Kathryn Cervino, Communications Manager|
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science