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:4/28/2016)... India , April 28, 2016 ... Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, ... services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... services, but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... April 20, 2016 The new ... a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door ... reader or the door interface with integration authorization management ... control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control ... the building installations offer considerable freedom of design with ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida ... telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi.   ... can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood ... they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through ... location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated ... will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 ... on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... line of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining ... Chicago. The result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 ReportsnReports.com adds ... to its pharmaceuticals section with historic and forecast ... much more. Complete report on the ... profiling 15 companies and supported with 261 tables ... . The Global Cell Culture ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 Research and Markets ... Markets" report to their offering. ... in 2014 from $29.3 billion in 2013. The market is expected ... 13.8% from 2015 to 2020, increasing from $50.6 billion in 2015 ... product forecasts during the forecast period (2015 to 2020) are discussed. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: