One Third of World's Oceans Need a 20-Year Fishing Ban
Photo via Mortsan via Flickr CC
Experts are saying that if depleted fish stocks in the world's oceans are to recover, there needs to be a 20-year fishing ban covering 20-40% of the oceans. Not only would that require cooperation of the fishing industry, but it would also mean lots of additional marine protected areas (MPAs).
The proposal comes in the wake of a green paper calling for radical reform of the common fisheries policy, which EU ministers admit has failed. It reveals that 88% of European Union stocks are overfished (against a global average of 25%), while 30% are "outside safe biological limits", meaning they cannot reproduce as normal because the parenting population is too depleted.
The European Commission suggests a reduction in fleet size and a dramatic cut in fishing among its series of measures, but Roberts believes these will not work without the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs).
Right now, only about 0.7% of the world's oceans are under marine protection. The areas that have been protected have seen dramatic rises in animal life and health, proving that the strategies work when enforced. But of course, there is the massive fishing industry to contend with, which means that the ocean's recovered health won't be a goal immediately or easily realized.
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