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New study offers solution to global fisheries collapse
Date:9/19/2008

Alaskan black cod) is likely to transition to catch shares. This paper provides the first global evidence that catch shares lead to better biological outcomes, and contributes an important scientific basis to the discussions. The Pacific Fisheries Management Council, which manages the groundfish fishery on the West Coast, will make their final decision on the week of November 2, 2008.

This new study also offers hope that fisheries can resist the widespread global collapse projected two years ago by Boris Worm of Dalhousie University, Halifax and colleagues. In fact, the current work uses the same dataset that Worm et al. based their projection on a global database of fisheries from the Sea Around Us Project that spans the years 1950-2003. The authors of the present study Christopher Costello and Steven Gaines of the University of California, Santa Barbara and John Lynham of the University of Hawaii were motivated by that paper to investigate possible solutions. Their analysis of more than 11,000 fisheries suggests that we already have the tools to reverse the current global fisheries crisis.

"Previous papers, including my own, have relied on small samples from the world's fisheries. The great thing about this paper is they have made an attempt to find all the fisheries in the world that have used dedicated access and evaluate the consequences," says Ray Hilborn, a leading fisheries scientist at the University of Washington who was not involved in the study. "The field has now moved beyond listing failures in fisheries. Ecology and economics do not need to collide; win-win solutions have been found."

While the current study focuses on Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs), which are a type of catch share, Costello and his co-authors note that to maximize benefits, catch shares must be tailored to the ecological, economic, and social characteristics of a fishery.

If designed properly, catch share programs can reduce bycatch t
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Contact: Liz Neeley
eneeley@compassonline.org
206-954-1150
SeaWeb
Source:Eurekalert

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