Navigation Links
Arctic fisheries' catches 75 times higher than previous reports: UBC research
Date:2/4/2011

University of British Columbia researchers estimate that fisheries catches in the Arctic totaled 950,000 tonnes from 1950 to 2006, almost 75 times the amount reported to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) during this period.

Led by Prof. Daniel Pauly, the research team from UBC's Fisheries Centre and Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences reconstructed fisheries catch data from various sources including limited governmental reports and anthropological records of indigenous population activities for FAO's Fisheries Statistical Area 18, which covers arctic coastal areas in northern Siberia (Russia), Arctic Alaska (the U.S.) and the Canadian Arctic.

The Arctic is one of the last and most extensive ocean wilderness areas in the world. The extent of the sea ice in the region has declined in recent years due to climate change, raising concerns over loss of biodiversity as well as the expansion of industrial fisheries into this area.

The details are published this week in the journal Polar Biology.

"Ineffective reporting, due to governance issues and a lack of credible data on small-scale fisheries, has given us a false sense of comfort that the Arctic is still a pristine frontier when it comes to fisheries," says lead author Dirk Zeller, a senior research fellow at UBC's Fisheries Centre. "We now offer a more accurate baseline against which we can monitor changes in fish catches and to inform policy and conservation efforts."

Official FAO data on fish catches in Area 18 from 1950 to 2006 were based solely on statistics supplied by Russia and amounted to 12,700 tonnes. The UBC team performed a detailed analysis and found that it's only the tip of iceberg.

The team shows that while the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service's Alaska branch currently reports zero catches to FAO for the Arctic area, the state agency, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has collected commercial data and undertaken studies on 15 coastal communities in the Alaskan Arctic that rely on fisheries for subsistence. The estimated fish catch during this period in Alaska alone totaled 89,000 tonnes.

While no catches were reported to FAO by Canada, the research team shows commercial and small-scale fisheries actually amounted to 94,000 tonnes in catches in the same time span.

Meanwhile, Russia's total catch was actually a staggering 770,000 tonnes from 1950 to 2006, or nearly 12,000 tonnes per year.

"Our work shows a lack of care by the Canadian, U.S. and Russian governments in trying to understand the food needs and fish catches of northern communities," says Pauly, who leads the Sea Around Us Project at UBC.

Researchers from the Sea Around Us Project have previously shown a trend of fish stocks moving towards polar regions due to the effects of climate change. This, coupled with increased accessibility of the Arctic areas due to melting sea ice, will place immense pressure on the region for future large-scale fisheries.

"This research confirms that there is already fishing pressure in this region," says Pauly. "The question now is whether we should allow the further expansion of fisheries into the Arctic."

"Conservation efforts in the Arctic have so far focused on the exploitation of marine mammals seals and polar bears are frankly easy on the eye and plain to see," says Zeller. "None of them would survive, however, if we allow over-exploitation of fish in this delicate but so-far neglected ecosystem."


'/>"/>

Contact: Brian Lin
brian.lin@ubc.ca
604-822-2234
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Eggs show arctic mercury cycling may be linked to ice cover
2. Researchers brave icy waters to study Arctic food web
3. VIMS team returns to Antarctic Peninsula
4. New study about Arctic sea-ice, greenhouse gases and polar bear habitat
5. Ancient forest emerges mummified from the Arctic
6. High-tech software, umanned planes allow scientists to keep tabs on Arctic seals
7. NSFs Nathaniel B. Palmer sails with Swedens Oden to study Antarctic Peninsula ecosystem
8. As Arctic temperatures rise, tundra fires increase, researchers find
9. International think tank to examine Arctic issues
10. Arctic soil study turns up surprising results
11. FDA Clears Medivances Arctic Sun 5000 for Fastest, Easiest Therapeutic Temperature Management
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/15/2016)... York , June 15, 2016 ... new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application ... Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the report, the  ... 11.60 billion in 2015 and is estimated to ... USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  Increasing ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. ... a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented ... branch project. This collaboration will result in greater ... the credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... --  The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... in which consumers will be able to interact with IBM ... voice or text and receive relevant information about the product ... have long sought an advertising solution that can create a ... and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... congratulate long-term client Nanowear on their recent FDA Class II 510(k) clearance for ... a significant hurdle in commercializing remote cardiac monitoring devices that rely on cloth-based ...
(Date:12/2/2016)...   SurePure, Inc. (OTCQB: SURP) a global ... has concluded an agreement with Tamarack Biotics under which ... to acquire units of the Company,s patented photopurification technology ... Concurrently with the option, SurePure has ... will seek regulatory approvals in the United ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... BEI ... Coil Actuator with a flexure design that ensures high alignment accuracy by preventing ... and is ideally suited where extreme precision is required, such as in medical ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech Inc. ("Portage" or "the ... excited to announce the formation of EyGen, Ltd. ... ophthalmology assets through proof of concept. EyGen,s lead ... Portage Pharmaceuticals Limited and being developed for topical ... anterior segment diseases. This agent has the potential ...
Breaking Biology Technology: