EDFish

Selected tag(s): Fisheries Management

How knowledge-sharing will improve multispecies fisheries

In many fisheries, many species are caught at the same time. These are called multispecies fisheries, and the fact that they catch many species together, with the same gears, means that the different species are caught at the same rate. The trouble is, some species are productive enough to withstand high catches while others are not. So as a result, the low-productivity species get fished out, reducing overall yield, markets for diverse species and economic and ecological resilience — resulting in serial depletion. While many single-species fisheries are becoming more sustainable thanks to science-based management strategies, multispecies fisheries often face greater sustainability challenges, and these challenges will grow in the face of climate change. Read More »

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How to improve Philippine fisheries? Science and stakeholders are key.

The Philippines is a fishing nation, among the top 25 in the world, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. The country has about 2 million small-scale fishers who depend on the nearshore waters for their daily needs and livelihoods. The country’s fishing sector faces many challenges, including a lack of science in developing policy, as well as inadequate participation of stakeholders in decision-making. This is why improving Philippine fisheries is so important — every Filipino earning a living from the sea depends on it. Read More »

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Can looking to the future help preserve a historical fishery against climate change?

Editor’s note: This is the third in a multi-part blog series, Fisheries for the Future, examining the impacts from climate change on global fisheries and the opportunities to address these emerging challenges. Throughout the series, we’ll be investigating how climate change will impact the world’s supply and distribution of fish and what we can do to ensure the most sustainable future for ourselves and our planet. Learn more about this work: Resilient Seas

In New England, as in many other parts of the world that rely on fishing for food and income, there is a growing need to predict and adapt to climate change as it worsens. One of the most important aspects of dealing with climate change is to look ahead and put in place goals, objectives, scientific research and management practices that are responsive to future conditions. As we anticipate a climate-altered future, we will continue to value healthy ecosystems and the benefits derived from fisheries. However, healthy ecosystems and sustainable fisheries of the future may be very different from what we are used to. The ability of the oceans to support thriving ecosystems and fishing communities will depend heavily on actions we take today. Read More »

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West Coast fishermen are having their fish and protecting habitat too

Decisions about protected areas can be contentious. It isn’t often that fishermen and environmentalists find ourselves celebrating new protected areas together, but on the West Coast we’re doing just that.

This week, I had the pleasure of being present as the Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to support a collaborative effort to reopen thousands of square miles of previously-closed West Coast fishing grounds, much of it in the Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) while at the same time protecting 140,000 square-miles of highly valuable fish habitat. That’s bigger than the state of New Mexico! Read More »

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Japan-Philippines fishery exchange highlights the benefits of collaboration

Bringing fishers and fishery managers from different places together through fishery exchanges is a powerful way to learn and build trust as you explore new approaches to manage fishing. After attending  and leading dozens of fishery exchanges over the years, I have been amazed by the peer-to-peer discussions that take place, regardless of language barriers or cultural differences, and the candor of government officials and fishers describing the challenges they have faced or successes they have worked to achieve. It is incredible to see participants hear about something new or innovative that they could bring back to their communities.  The excitement is contagious.

While there are always major differences between fisheries that make some aspects of learning challenging or even inapplicable, we want people to recognize and appreciate the uniqueness of ones fishery. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to managing fisheries because each fishery has its own set of characteristics based on the history of the fishery, culture of the area, species composition, governance structure, resources, and most importantly fishers and their accustomed fishing practices.  These exchanges are an opportunity to share experiences with others and to learn from each other about new and different approaches that can be adopted to improve fisheries management.

Recently, EDF and our partner Rare-Philippines organized a Japan-Philippines exchange for a delegation from the Philippines to visit several fisheries in Mie Prefecture, Japan.  We were particularly inspired to see firsthand what happens when fishers are empowered by the local government to make day to day management decisions: they pursue solutions that improve their livelihoods, and the long term sustainability of the fish they depend on. Those attending included champion mayors and their local government staff from eight municipalities that all have legally approved TURF+Reserves and are in the process of implementing these new systems on the water.  Read More »

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New online training will enable better fisheries management

What if anyone in the world could access expert help and advice on fisheries management with just the click of button?

Overfishing is a global problem that can only be overcome by a global effort to address it. But there is no one-size-sits-all approach. Fisheries managers need access to tools and methods that can be effective on a local scale.

Our Virtual Fisheries Academy is a new resource for fisheries management professionals all over the world. Getting strong fisheries management in place around the world relies on an empowered network of fishery managers, fishermen, scientists and other practitioners who have the knowledge and skills to develop fishery management solutions that work for their fisheries.

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