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Symposium 2009

Proposal - Managing Marine Resources

The Challenge

Three quarters of the global marine fish stock are deemed fully exploited oroverfished. Declining or collapsing fish stocks imply not just the loss of economic benefits but also the loss of liveliho ...

Three quarters of the global marine fish stock are deemed fully exploited oroverfished. Declining or collapsing fish stocks imply not just the loss of economic benefits but also the loss of livelihood for many people in developing countries. The global challenge is to come up with management approaches to sustain global fish stocks in the future without withdrawing the basic food for developing countries in the present.

I agree with the 'Preliminary Solutions' proposed in your outline. In addition, I would like to add the following issues to the list:

- Stop 'Discard'

Discarding already 'caught fish' is one of the most urgent issues that needs to be addressed. About 25-30% of all catch is discarded according to estimates of various sources. This is especially relevant in EU waters and much less so for well managed fisheries like in Norway and Iceland where 'Discard' is prohibited. Various methods can be applied, e.g. more selective fishing gear, change of the current EU quota system, a mandate to land all caught fish etc.

- Setting adaequate quota oriented at long term sustainability, improving control mechanisms and apply appropriate sanctions

The current quota setting procedure, especially within the EU, is more of a 'political process' than oriented towards sustainably managing marine resources. In addition, the current control mechanisms are neither technologically up-to-date nor are sufficient resources applied. This also includes appropriate sanctions in case of violations. Sanctions are irrelevant if the related cost are not substantially higher than the market price of overfishing.

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