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marine catch
- 76% of marine catch is used for direct human consumption; the remaining 24% is for non-food products including fishmeal.
- the global marine catch is leveling off
- 1/4 of all marine catch is by-catch
- by-catch is discarded and thrown back into the ocean
- usually dies
- new fishing methods to reduce by-catch such as TEDs
fish landing data
The wild marine catch peaked in the late 1980s (“peak fish”?).

All growth since 2000 has been from aquaculture
UN dept. Food and Agriculture Organization; criticized for it's support of aquaculture

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) carries out much of the technical work on international fisheries management, and provides a forum for the negotiation of agreements and codes of conduct. In 1995 the FAO agreed its Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries to promote long-term sustainable management.

Also trying to stop the re-flagging of ships
Half of monitored stocks are fully exploited; another 25% are over-exploited or depleted. Therefore it is possible for yields to increase in only 24% of commercial fisheries.

As higher value species become scarce (e.g. cod), fisheries composition shifts low value, previously un-exploited species (e.g. dogfish, eels, whiting). This is sometimes called “fishing down the food chain.”

Some if the most severely over-fished fish: North Atlantic cod, orange roughy, Patagonian toothfish (Chilean seabass), swordfish, some species of tuna, many crustaceans and shellfish. Of the top 10 commercial species, seven are considered fully- or over-exploited.
commercial extinction*
many species are being fished beyond a sustainable rate, think of the cod in the Grand Banks; subsidies, factory trawlers
N. Atlantic cod
experienced commericial extinction as it was overfished by mainly Canadian and American companies; fish are still there but they are reproducing very slowly and shift in the food chain may mean that the cod may never get back to sustainable levels
factory trawlers
huge ships that can catch 300,000 pounds at a time; have the ability to catch fish and process it on board, HIGHLY EFFICIENT and KILLING OFF SPECIES RAPIDLY, uses snoar as well
commercial fishing technique that uses hundreds or even thousands of baited hooks hanging from a single line. Swordfish, tuna and Patagonian toothfish are commonly caught by this method. It is also practiced on a smaller scale in New Zealand, where a twenty five hook maximum is prescribed by law.; leads to significant by catch of turtles and birds
drift nets
fishing net used in oceans. They can range from 75 feet to miles in length. The term "drift" comes from the way these nets are used. They have been criticized by environmentalists.

One of the impacts of drift nets (often 17 km in length) is the bycatch. Dolphins, endangered sea turtles, sharks, and other larger sea creatures get entangled in the nets. But juvenile fish and non-target species are also caught and are later thrown overboard, most of them dead or dying.
purse seines
boat circles a fleet of fish and closes up the circle and draws the fish in, used for tuna fishing, sometimes results in dolphin by catch
excess capacity*
too many ships out in the seas

24,406 large fishing vessels (i.e. over 100 GT); and 1.3 million decked vessels. Total fleet stable with some recent reduction in large vessels (“scaling down”).
government subsidies*
Worldwide fishing subsidies are estimated at $15 billion per year; major cause of excess capacity in world’s fishing fleets.
used in aquaculture, on average two pounds of fishmeal for one pound of fish; also used for fish chicken; along with fish oils make up 24% of catch
international seafood trade
$58 billion a year business (export value). ; tuna is big kahuna and then shrimp, The largest exporters are: China, Thailand, Norway, US, Canada, Denmark, Vietnam; Japan US biggest importers;

THIRD WORLD countries are now becoming a bigger market because their grounds are not over-exploited; 70% of fish from developing countries
net trasnfer of protein (from Third World to First World)
⬢ Developing countries supply 70% of all fish products consumed worldwide.
⬢ Seafood exports from Third World countries (net exports from TW = $18 billion) represents a transfer of protein from poorer to richer countries.
⬢ Why? Fish exports from TW countries are increasing, because
1) demand keeps increasing in FW countries;
2) FW countries have already depleted fish stocks in their territorial waters; since UNCLOS (1982), many TW countries control important fishing areas in their EEZs (Exclusive Economic Zones)
3) Many TW countries need to export fish and fish products to earn foreign exchange $$ to help pay of their foreign debts.
artisanal fishing*
employes 90% of all fish workers.; caribbean; does not lead to over-fishing
fisheries management methods:
limited entry
catch limits (TACs)
closed seasons
gear restrictions gear modifications
size limites (no juvenlies or women)
ITQs: individual transferrable quotas, work best with long-lived species
Int'l Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing (1995)
promotes long term sustainable-fishing
Straddling Stocks Agreement (1996)
stocks of fish such as pollock, which migrate between, or occur in both, the economic exclusive zone (EEZ) of one or more States and the high seas
US Sustainable Fisheries Act
minimize by catch, protect species, all that good stuff

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