|From: ~digs||3/28/2007 3:31:38 AM|
|Study Urges Catch Share Fishing Programs|
Mar 28, 12:03 AM (ET) ; By ANDREW MIGA
WASHINGTON (AP) - Setting strict fishing limits and giving fishermen flexibility in how they divide their catch are key steps to rebuilding depleted fish stocks and saving embattled fishing communities, according to a study by an environmental group.
So-called catch share programs that allocate a percentage of the overall catch to fishermen create economic incentives while promoting healthy marine fisheries, concluded a report being released Wednesday by Environmental Defense, an environmental advocacy group.
Under catch share plans, fishermen are allowed to buy and sell shares of a fishery's total catch.
"That's the missing puzzle piece here," said David Festa, oceans program director at Environmental Defense. "When you drop that little gear into this complex mechanism, all of a sudden the watch starts to tick smoothly."
But catch-share plans, also known as limited access privileges or quotas, have generated controversy in areas such as New England where some fishermen fear the shares of smaller boats would be bought up by big corporations bent on monopolizing the region's centuries-old industry.
Some critics also see it as privatization of a public resource.
"It's supposed to be a national resource that belongs to everyone," said Jim Kendall, a New Bedford, Mass., seafood industry consultant. "What about the people who are excluded from the fishery? How do you treat people fairly? Who decides?"
If a fishery is well-managed, the value of shares owned by fishermen should increase as science-based conservation measures take hold and the fishery rebounds, Festa said. That would give fishermen a stronger interest in making sure stocks aren't depleted, he added.
Fishermen already operate under a complex system of federal regulations as government regulators wrestle with overfishing and collapsing fisheries. The 14-month, $1.2 million study focused on 10 fisheries in the United States and Canada that use catch-share programs. Environmental Defense said it was the largest such study since Congress lifted its moratorium on catch-share programs five years ago.
The report comes more than two months after President Bush signed into law a major bill that overhauled management of marine fisheries and boosted protections of dwindling stocks. The reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act supports catch-share programs, said Festa.
On the Net:
Environmental Defense: environmentaldefense.org
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|To: ~digs who wrote (353)||3/28/2007 4:05:35 AM|
|Colombia fish disaster highlights importance of pond-raised aquaculture, says producer|
06 March, 2007 - A Seattle-based aquaculture company has highlighted the significance of pond-raised aquaculture, following reports that around three million cage-raised tilapia suffocated due to drought in southern Colombia.
The fish reportedly died after a four-month drought drastically drained water levels, leaving too little oxygen to sustain dozens of hatcheries.
Commenting, Norbert Sporns, CEO of HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries, Inc. said: "This environmental tragedy sadly highlights one of the ongoing debates in the aquaculture industry today about the advantages of pond-raised vs. cage-raised farmed fish. Advocates of cage-raised practices assume that fish in cages are raised in a constantly flowing water supply which reduces the effects of algae cultures and leads to better-tasting, healthier fish. But in fact, this reliance on an uncontrolled water environment can lead to many problems, one of which is horribly dramatised by the disaster in Colombia."
According to Dr Claude E. Boyd - Professor of Agriculture and Environment at Auburn University, Alabama, and a long-time consultant to numerous domestic and international organisations including the World Aquaculture Society and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation - conflicts in management of water resources can result in such a kill-off.
Dr Boyd, who is Butler Cunningham Eminent Scholar in Auburn's Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture and the author or co-author of numerous scientific books on pond aquaculture, said: "In general terms, pond culture is more environmentally friendly than cage culture, because it enables greater control of the water environment and effluents that impact the health of the fish."
HQ Sustainable is a leader in toxin-free integrated aquaculture and aquatic product processing. The Seattle-based company's tilapia farm operations are pond-based and located in Hainan, China.
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|To: ~digs who wrote (352)||3/28/2007 6:46:10 AM|
|From: Litore Lapis|
|More on the same story..|
Landmark Study Shows Clear Pathway to Restoring Imperiled Fish Populations
Report Shows Bycatch Reduced by Nearly Half; Per-Boat Revenues Increased by
80 Percent; Safety Doubled in Fisheries with Catch Share Systems
WASHINGTON, March 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Environmental Defense
today released the results of a landmark study that provides a clear
roadmap for rebuilding fishing stocks and restoring fishing communities.
Entitled "Sustaining America's Fisheries and Fishing Communities," this
research details how Limited Access Privilege Programs (LAPPs), or "catch
shares," save fishing stocks and help restore fishing communities by
offering clear environmental, economic and social benefits. The report also
describes a tool to help design effective systems.
A team of over 30 scientists, economists, fishery specialists and other
experts collected data on nearly 100 fisheries and analyzed over 150 peer-
reviewed studies. Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, this is
largest such study since the U.S. Congress lifted the moratorium on catch
shares five years ago.
"Catch shares are the missing piece in the puzzle to restore our
fisheries and fishing communities," said Fred Krupp, President of
Environmental Defense. "For the first time, this comprehensive study
provides the hard data that shows how catch shares can improve the
performance of fisheries at lower cost to fishermen and greater benefit to
the overall ecosystem."
"This comprehensive analysis shows that LAPPs can be a pivotal tool in
preserving fishing stocks," said Barry Gold, the Marine Conservation
Initiative Lead at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. "When designed
with local objectives in mind, these systems not only help create
sustainable fishing practices, they can also help restore fishing
Environmental, Economic and Social Benefits
Catch shares work by allocating a dedicated percentage share of a
fishery's total catch to individual fishermen, communities or associations.
If a fishery is well managed, the value of these shares increases as the
stock expands. When participants have a secure portion of the catch, they
gain the flexibility to make business decisions that improve safety,
increase profits and promote healthy fishing stocks.
An in-depth analysis of ten fisheries in the U.S. and Canada before and
after the implementation of catch shares showed:
-- Bycatch was reduced by more than 40%, which, together with the benefits
of complying with catch limits, each year saves the equivalent of the
annual seafood consumption of 16 million Americans.
-- Revenues per boat increased by 80% due to higher yields per boat and
higher dockside prices.
-- Safety more than doubled, based on an index of vessels lost, lives
lost, search and rescue missions and recorded safety violations.
"The biggest thing catch shares do is end the race for fish," said
David Krebs, a Gulf red snapper fisherman. "We used to go out in dangerous
conditions, regardless of the cost of fuel or what price we'd get for our
fish. Now our jobs are safer and we can deliver a higher quality product."
"The combination of catch limits, protected areas and controls on
bycatch provide a foundation for healthy fisheries," said David Festa,
Oceans Program Director at Environmental Defense. "Catch shares multiply
the benefits of these practices and create powerful incentives for
improvements in fisheries throughout the country."
An estimated 90% of large predatory fish are gone from our world's
oceans. Of 230 assessed U.S. fisheries, 54 stocks are classified as
over-fished, 45 stocks are experiencing overfishing and just over half of
the nation's stocks are in uncertain status.
"Fisheries have continued to decline despite decades of trying to
manage these resources," said Steve Gaines, Director of the Marine Science
Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "As these data
show, this doesn't have to be the reality."
America's fishing communities are also suffering. The collapse of the
iconic cod fishery in New England in the early 1990s cost an estimated
20,000 jobs. An estimated 72,000 jobs have been lost due to decreasing
salmon stocks in the Pacific Northwest. The typical fisherman now makes
nearly 30% less than the average American worker and faces an occupational
fatality rate that is 35 times higher than other industries.
"This report clearly shows that catch share programs help end the
dangerous race for fish and contribute to a vibrant, safe future for our
coastal communities," said Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA). "These findings
confirm actual experiences with successful catch share programs in the
North Pacific. These programs have increased the value of fisheries while
contributing to conservation."
President Bush recently set a practical goal of doubling U.S. catch
share programs by 2010. Congress also promoted these systems and
established guidelines for their use as part of the reauthorized
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which passed
Congress unanimously in December 2006. This new report provides the hard
data to properly evaluate and design these systems.
"Faced with reduced landings and fragile waterfront economies,
California's fishing families and their communities are going through
profound change," said Congresswoman Lois Capps, a member of the House
Natural Resources Committee. "To preserve the economy and heritage of
special places like Morro Bay, we should give fishermen tools that enhance
their economic vitality, advance sustainable fishing practices and protect
fish populations for future generations."
"The task at hand today is prompt and well designed implementation of
catch shares," said Krupp. "We call on both President Bush and Congress to
prioritize funding over the next five years for these innovative approaches
to rebuild our fisheries and fishing communities." To download a copy of
the report and learn more about catch shares, please visit
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, established in 2000, seeks to
advance environmental conservation and cutting-edge scientific research
around the world and improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay
Area. The goal of the Marine Conservation Initiative is to achieve progress
towards resilient and productive marine ecosystems in British Columbia, the
California Current, and New England by implementing area-based management
and reforming fisheries management. moore.org
Environmental Defense, a leading national nonprofit organization,
represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense has
linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships
to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental
Redstone Strategy Group, LLC is a trusted advisor to businesses,
philanthropies and NGOs around the world. Redstone helps its clients
address pressing business and social policy issues through collaboration,
tough-minded analysis, practical insights and tangible results. Redstone
provided the analysis of catch share systems including the detailed
performance evaluation of the 10 U.S. and British Columbia fisheries
included in the report. redstonestrategy.com
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|From: Litore Lapis||9/13/2007 3:49:42 PM|
|Wasted catches hit Europe's cod |
Radio 4's Costing the Earth
Despite cod stocks in UK waters being at risk, fishermen are being forced to throw thousands of tonnes back into the sea dead while Iceland, an important supplier to much of Western Europe, is cutting the amount of cod it catches because of concern over falling stocks.
Iceland has long been heralded as an example of sustainable fishing and the country relies on the industry more than any other state in the world.
The Icelandic fisheries are very good at the moment but we are taking measures to ensure this will continue to be so
Johann Sigurjonsson, Director of the Marine Research Institute
Perhaps this is why their government is prepared to take drastic action and unpopular measures to preserve the industry.
From this month Iceland's cod quotas have been slashed by a third because scientists say there has been a decline in young fish.
Johann Sigurjonsson, Director of the Marine Research Institute says it has been difficult to persuade the fishermen of the need.
"Perhaps the biggest difficulty is the Icelandic fisheries are very good at the moment but we are taking measures to ensure this will continue to be so. We believe it is important to make the spawning stock stronger both in volume and to secure a higher proportion of large females because they are more important in the reproductive capacity of stock. It is an important and difficult decision," he said.
Minister of Fisheries Einar Gudfinnson admits it has been controversial.
"Of course we will see boats tied up and some not fishing. Many will transfer their rights to others. We have listened to the advice of scientists generally but now we have taken it more seriously than ever before because of these strong warning lights. It will have negative implications politically and economically but we are sure it will have positive long-term effects," he explained.
Since 1983 the UK's white fish fleet has fallen by 70%
Over the last 20 years Western Europe and the UK in particular have become heavily dependent on Icelandic fish as stocks in EU waters have declined.
The impact on the UK and other Western European countries is likely to be a significant rise in the price of cod.
Managers at the Fishgate auction in Hull anticipate an increase of up to 20% over the next year, not only due to shorter supply but also competition from Spain and Portugal for their salted cod.
But there are also lessons from Iceland for the European Commission whose own attempts to preserve fish stocks have proven far less successful.
Since the introduction of the Common Fisheries Policy in 1983, the UK's white fish fleet has reduced by 70% while the UK's cod quota has reduced from more than 100,000 tonnes to just 18,000.
Other countries have also suffered big cuts. But stocks have failed to recover.
A recent report highlighted the problem that every year thousands of tonnes of cod are caught and then thrown back dead into the sea to comply with the rules of the European Commission's Common Fisheries Policy.
Fish which are undersize or exceed the permitted quota for particular species has to be thrown back into the sea but less than 1% of discarded fish survive so most is wasted.
Last year more than 8,000 tonnes of North Sea cod was discarded, that is more than 30% of the amount brought in and sold.
The UK cod quota is 18,000 tonnes
The report just released from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) shows that in "Subarea 7" - the English Channel, Western Approaches, Celtic and Irish Seas - 63% by number and 35% by weight of all fish caught are discarded.
Dr Joe Horwood, the chief scientist at CEFAS says:
"The large majority of cod thrown back are below the minimum landing size. This is set to deter fishermen from areas where small fish are but unfortunately small cod is found in many places so they will catch them.
"Certainly cod numbers would be significantly improved if we removed all discarding. The amount of cod discarded has been increasing as we have reined back on the size of the quota and so more marketable cod are thrown back as well. We would like an ideal balance between the size of the fleet catching cod and the size of the quota. Fishing effort has not been reduced to the level where we think it is necessary to deliver cod recovery at present."
The fishing industry agrees that the level of discard is an appalling waste.
"It really is a shocking waste. Not only are the fish killed unnecessarily - the economic value has been lost and the source of food to the consumer - but they are no longer there to reproduce so it is a double whammy. This is one of the fundamental failures of the cod recovery plan," says Doug Beveridge, assistant chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations.
Cod recovery plan
The EU is now beginning to look at how it might reduce its discard rate but the mixed nature of its waters mean it cannot be eliminated entirely.
The EC's fisheries policy has also been criticised for failing to follow the advice of its own scientists on limiting the catch for the different species.
But politics also plays a role in what is actually set according to former UK fisheries minister Elliot Morley.
More than 8,000 tonnes of North Sea cod was discarded in 2006
"Many fisheries ministers in EU countries are under pressure from their fishing industries who are not interested in the science. They often dispute it and all they are interested in is getting as much quota as possible and judge the success of the minister by the amount he brings back so a lot of pressure is on ministers to talk up quotas," he said.
A specific "cod recovery plan" was also brought in three years ago limiting the number of days cod fishermen had at sea but an EC report 'Fishing Opportunities 2008' published in June says the policy has not brought the expected improvements.
Introducing the report, Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, said total allowable catches (TACs) have been "substantially higher than those recommended by scientists, by an average of between 42% and 57%".
He added: "This situation is aggravated by the fact that a number of TACs are, in practice, consistently overshot."
He said the problems "will have to be urgently resolved in order to return fish stocks to a healthier and more secure biological state".
Costing the Earth: Plenty More Fish in the Sea? is broadcast on Radio 4 on Thursday 13 September 2100BST, repeated Friday 14th at 1500BST.
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