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Symposium 2009

Solution for 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.

Strengthen international governance by measuring the performance of fisheries managers, holding them accountable and comparing the performance of national legal frameworks, thereby promoting the adjustment of national fisheries laws to a global standard.

For too long, fisheries managers have done their job badly, including providing harmful subsidies and permitting competitive catch limits, without official sanctions. But there are a few examples, such as New Zealand, Norway and Iceland, which have succeeded in managing their fisheriessustainably, without wasting resources on subsidies that stimulate overcapacity and overfishing.

The mismanagement of fisheries, particularly in developed countries like the European Union, is based not on missing knowledge but on missing political will. Those responsible for managing fisheries must be held accountable for their performance.

New management systems should be supplemented with an international system to measure, report, and compare the performance of fisheries managers and their national legal frameworks. This would make underperformance more public. It might also impel the adjustment of national fisheries laws to a global standard.

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    Establish robust and effective management systems for responsible and sustainable fisheries. For example, secure longterm fishing rights for the fishers; set the costs from sanctions substantially higher than the market price from over-fishing; and specify fish quotas in terms of number of fish rather than weight, thereby protecting juvenile fish.

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