How sustainable is ‘sustainable’ fishing?

This video is called Overfishing – The consequences.

From Nature:

Seafood stewardship in crisis

Jennifer Jacquet,
Daniel Pauly
David Ainley,
Sidney Holt,
Paul Dayton
& Jeremy Jackson

Published online 01 September 2010

The main consumer-targeted certification scheme for sustainable fisheries is failing to protect the environment and needs radical reform, say Jennifer Jacquet, Daniel Pauly and colleagues.

A growing number of consumers want to eat seafood without feeling guilty. Enter the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which purports to certify sustainable fisheries and provides a label for sustainable products to “promote the best environmental choice in seafood”. The MSC is growing rapidly; the organization is also rapidly failing on its promise.

The MSC has become the world’s most established fisheries certifier: 94 fisheries are currently MSC-certified, accounting for about 7% of global catch, and about 118 more are under assessment. MSC-certified seafood products, identified with a blue check-mark label, pack the shelves of stores such as Wal-Mart, Whole Foods Market and Waitrose. Although other certification schemes exist, such as Friend of the Sea based in Milan, Italy, the MSC is taken most seriously by scientists. The MSC is praised in Jared Diamond’s book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005), and is featured as a solution to declining fish stocks in the 2009 film The End of the Line.

However, objections to MSC certifications are growing. Scores of scientists (including ourselves) and many conservation groups, including Greenpeace, the Pew Environment Group and some national branches of the WWF, have protested over various MSC procedures or certifications. We believe that, as the MSC increasingly risks its credibility, the planet risks losing more wild fish and healthy marine ecosystems.

This can be turned around only if the MSC creates more stringent standards, cracks down on arguably loose interpretation of its rules, and alters its process to avoid a potential financial incentive to certify large fisheries.

Global fisheries research finds promise and peril: here.

Guardian: Fish: the forgotten victims on our plate, by Peter Singer: here.

North Sea fishermen are throwing away up to half of all the fish they catch every year in what campaigners say is a chronic waste of food: here.

A guide to help consumers play their role in conserving the fish supply: here.

Old ignored records yield 200 years’ worth of info on fish populations /via @WiredScience: here.

The Spatial Expansion and Ecological Footprint of Fisheries (1950 to Present): here.

We need to take destructive fishing ships off the water and set EU quotas advised by scientists: here.

Arctic fisheries’ catches 75 times higher than previous reports: Researchers estimate: here.

Fish face overexploitation even in Arctic, study finds: here.

3 thoughts on “How sustainable is ‘sustainable’ fishing?

  1. Freshwater fish face extinction

    Sweden: Researchers have told an international water conference in Stockholm that 21 per cent of freshwater species in northern Africa are threatened with extinction.

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature study shows that over 1,000 fish, crabs, molluscs, aquatic plants and insects in the region are endangered.

    The IUCN said that agriculture, water abstraction and dams are the biggest threats to these species, urging states to better manage their water resources.


  2. UCA professor urges study of plant’s impact on alligator gar

    By: Associated Press – Texarkana Gazette – Published: 09/07/2010

    CONWAY, Ark.—A study must be conducted to determine the potential impact of a proposed sewage treatment plant in Faulkner County on alligator gar in the area, according to a professor at the University of Central Arkansas who has studied the fish.

    Conway Corp., which operates city utilities in Conway, plans to build the plant about 6 miles upstream of the mouth of the Tupelo Bayou — a site that UCA professor Mark Spitzer says is next to the largest known population of alligator gars in Arkansas.

    “I think we need to have some engineers and scientists make these decisions rather than a corporation,” Spitzer told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

    Spitzer has studied alligator gars and authored the book “Season of the Gar: Adventures in Pursuit of America’s Most Misunderstood Fish.”

    Conway Corp. Chief Executive Officer Richard Arnold said there is already a nearby wastewater treatment facility whose treated waste flows into roughly the same area of the Arkansas River.

    “It doesn’t seem to be impacting the gar,” he said.

    “It’s over 30 years old, and we were going to have to spend millions of dollars to revamp it to meet some different permits,” Arnold said. “The right thing to do is to just go ahead and abandon that one” and build the new one.

    In a letter to Arnold, Spitzer noted that he works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and UCA biologists on alligator gar management and said it is not yet known how important the Tupelo Bayou spawning spot is.

    “But what is known is that alligator gar have a very delicate reproductive process that depends on water temperature, water level and time of year,” he added.

    Arnold said the flow from the proposed plant would go directly into the Arkansas River, not into the bayou as is the case with the plant there now.

    Conway Corp. held a public hearing Aug. 27 and intends to forward information on its proposal and any public comments given in the 10 days afterward to the Arkansas Department of Natural Resources for approval, Arnold said.

    Department officials “will be the ones that decide if we need to take a look and study further,” Arnold said.


  3. Pingback: Britain and Spain, NATO allies’ Gibraltar war? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.