New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 13, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Olaf P. Jensen is available for interviews on new marine fisheries management research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study is the most comprehensive investigation of the status of fish stocks around the world based on scientific assessments.
The study analyzed data from fish stocks comprising roughly 50% of the world’s fish catch. These intensively managed stocks are increasing, on average, and are generally above target levels or rebuilding. But where fisheries management is less intense, fish stock status and trends are worse.
The study also examined evidence on the half of world fisheries that haven’t been assessed or intensively managed – and suggests that their status is much worse than where fisheries are intensively managed.
“There's a widespread perception that marine fishery management is a complete failure. However, in places like the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand – where strong regulation is the rule – the majority of fisheries are now harvested quite sustainably,” said co-author Jensen, an associate professor in Rutgers’ Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
The scientists estimated that excess fishing pressure now accounts for only about 3% to 5% loss of potential yield from the assessed stocks that comprise nearly half of the world’s marine fisheries catch.
Compared with regions that are intensively managed, regions with less-developed fisheries management have, on average, three-fold higher harvest rates and half the abundance of fish. Increased use of fisheries science recommendations and management tools are still needed to sustain fisheries in places where they are lacking, the study says.
In a number of countries, the decline in fishing pressure can be tied to changes in legislation and management. The 1996 revisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act in the United States, for example, required rebuilding plans and catch limits, leading to a sharp reduction in fishing pressure on overfished stocks.
Professor Jensen is available to comment at [email protected] or 410-812-4842.
The study: https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/01/07/1909726116
Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino at [email protected]
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