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world ocean reviewLiving with the oceans. 20132The Futureof Fish –The Fisheries ofthe FuturePublished bymaribus in cooperation withmare


world ocean reviewLiving with the oceans. 2013


2The Futureof Fish –The Fisheries ofthe Future


Preface


6> world ocean review 2013This publication is a wakeup call for managing humanity’s relations with the ocean.Mankind’s living with the ocean and from the ocean has been anything but sustainable.The impact through use and exploitation has been destructive and unconscionable becausehumans have taken for granted the bounty of the oceans and its living resources. In so doingand despite decades of efforts since UNCLOS to evolve a global comprehensive governanceregime, the ocean’s fragile ecosystems are being systematically destroyed and species afterspecies depleted or brought to extinction by irresponsible fishery practices and policies. Thissituation is further exacerbated by the impact of climate change.The “management” of fisheries could be easily ranked amongst the most outrageousexamples of human mismanagement. In spite of a plethora of ocean governance tools, theexploitation of this sector is driven by avarice and greed with little respect for the conservationof common goods and the right of future generations to enjoy and profit sustainablyfrom these resources. Driven by illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing piracyand combined with destructive fishing technology and practices, intensive bottom trawling,wasteful bycatch practices – the fisheries sector and the biodiversity of oceans and coastsare under unprecedented threat.Today we face a governance deficit that allows vessels flying under flags of convenienceto operate with impunity and with disregard for laws, common ethics or morals of decentand sustainable behaviour. It is time for noncompliant flag states vessels to be stopped andto eliminate the subsidies that increase capacity leading to overfishing.The time has also come to revise outdated concepts such as that of the maximum sustainableyield in fish harvesting and for the industry to work hand in hand with the scientificcommunity where conservation is assimilated with ethics of use.This publication, while promoting greater enforcement and compliance with internationaland regional agreements, is about future commitment to conservation, the creation ofsustainable fisheries, the protection of high sea areas and sea mount biodiversity and thecontribution to global food security that is underpinned by adherence to the principles ofcommon heritage and the peaceful use of the ocean: principles very dear to the IOI and itsfounder, Professor Elisabeth Mann Borgese.IOI will continue its advocacy, capacity building, outreach and education efforts infavour of a new paradigm in the sustainable exploitation and management of the living andnon-living resources of our oceans and the protection of its biodiversity by promoting aculture of collective and individual responsibility in managing humanity’s relations with theocean.Dr. Awni BehnamPresident of International Ocean Institute


Preface


10> Chapter 011 The importance of marine fish


The importance of marine fish Sardines arealso threatened bypredators from theair. Cape gannetsoff South Africa canplunge up to 8 metresbelow the surface tograb their prey.crustaceans or fish larvae, referred to as zooplankton. Zooplankton,in turn, is food for small fish and other organisms.The amount of fish that can exist in a given region isprimarily determined by the activity and amount of primaryproducers; greater primary production can supportlarger fish stocks. The simple model of a food web inwhich smaller organisms are eaten by larger ones, however,is not sufficient for explaining the relationships inthe ocean. What the larger animals do has an impact onthe entire habitat. Many other interactions are also takingplace.Network thinkingThe knowledge that the web of relationships among marineorganisms is complex is not new. Similar connectionsare also known for many habitats on land. But for a longtime in the fisheries there was a tendency to focus onindividual commercially important species such as cod,herring or sardines. Only in the past ten years has theimportance of looking at entire ecosystems becomeaccepted for the long-term preservation of fish stocks andeffective management of fisheries. The reason: numerousstocks have been overfished in many ocean regions in thepast. In some cases this has resulted in serious changes tothe habitats. It is gradually being recognized that the complexityof the marine system has to be considered in fisherymanagement. Marine habitats are by no means influencedonly by primary production at the base, but also byfactors at the higher trophic levels, from the top down.An example can be seen in the eastern Atlantic watersof the Benguela Current off Angola, Namibia and SouthAfrica. Persistent winds in this region push the surfacewaters out to sea. This is replaced by nutrient-rich water


14> Chapter 011.3 > Specimensof the jellyfishNemopilema nomuraican reach a size of2 metres and weighup to 200 kilograms.A few years agohundreds of theseanimals drifted intoJapanese waters,seriously interferingwith fisheries.rising from below near the coast. These upwelling regionsare enormously productive and rich in fish. Over manyyears mostly foreign fleets have fished intensively for sardineshere. At the beginning of this century the stock collapsed.Since then the jellyfish population in this regionhas greatly increased. Experts believe that the decline ofsardines represented the loss of an important food competitorbecause both sardines and jellyfish feed primarilyon zooplankton. In addition, young jellyfish are eaten primarilyby fish. The jellyfish scourge was unexpected. Itwas assumed that with the decline of the sardines theabundance of anchovies, another small fish species nativeto this region, would increase. The anchovy has a diet similarto that of the sardine and should have kept the jellyfishin check. But the anchovy does not appear to be a truecompetitor of the jellyfish, because so far the anchovy populationhas remained smaller than that of the sardines.Perhaps the very dynamic upwelling area is a less suitablehabitat for anchovies.There is a similar situation off the coast of Japan. Thepopulation of the jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai greatlyincreased there after the intensive fishing of sardines.Individuals of Nemopilema can reach a size of up to twometres. The fishery is now seriously impaired by thejellyfish because they clog up or even tear the nets. Butjellyfish do not always proliferate to create this kind ofdisaster. In the 1970s, off Peru, the large stocks of SouthAmerican anchovies collapsed. As a result, sardines flourishedand a jellyfish plague was avoided. In other words,it is almost impossible to predict today what effects theoverfishing of a population will have.When the big ones land in the net,the small ones benefitOverfishing has also altered the habitat in the waters offNova Scotia on the east coast of Canada. For years cod andother bottom-living (demersal) predators such as coalfish


The importance of marine fish “Predator-preyfeedback”: In themid-1980s the stocksof the northwestAtlantic cod offCanada drasticallydeclined (left figure).As a result the biomassof the smallerfood fish increased(right). In recentyears this trendseems to be turningaround again.1970 1980 1990 2000 20101970 1980 1990 2000 2010


16> Chapter 01interim increase in sprat fishing led to a moderate recoveryof the cod stocks.There is evidence that not only the planktivorous fish,but also algae benefit from the disappearance of large fish.Planktivorous fish feed on zooplankton, which, in turn,feed on the small free-floating algae, the phytoplankton.Increased numbers of planktivorous fish produce a drop inthe amount of zooplankton, and phytoplankton can flourish.This can cause a problem, especially in the nutrientrichcoastal waters where phytoplankton can grow practicallyunchecked. The result is known as an algal bloom.When the algae die they sink to the bottom. There they arebroken down by bacteria, which consume oxygen.The formation of algal blooms is complex. It seemsthat a number of favourable conditions must be present atonce. In addition to a sufficient supply of nutrients, moderatewater temperatures are necessary. By adding the factorof overfishing of large predators, the problem is apparentlyexacerbated.Greater amounts of algae sinking to greater depthsresults in increased bacterial activity there, and ultimatelyleads to a shortage of oxygen. Thus, oxygen-deficient deadzones develop in the ocean where neither fish, crustaceans,nor mussels can survive. Many scientists are thereforenow urging fishery management to expand theirfocus from only the species being fished to considerationof the entire habitat. By recognizing the interdependenciesamong different species and the trophic levels, thisecosystem-based management should prevent the continueddamage or drastic alteration of entire ocean regionscaused by intensive fishing and consideration or monitoringof single species.1.5 > Copepods areusually only a fewhundred micrometresto a few millimetresin size. They are animportant food staplefor fish and for othercrustaceans, andmake up the largestshare of the marinezooplankton.


The importance of marine fish


18> Chapter 01One species – multiple stocksA stock is a self-sustaining population of a species that occurswithin a defined region of the ocean. As a rule, the different stocksof a fish species are spatially separated to such an extent that theindividuals from one stock cannot breed with those of another,even though they belong to the same species. The herring providesan example.The individuals in Norwegian waters spawn in the spring. Herringin the North Sea, however, spawn in autumn. Thus there is avery clear separation between the two stocks, which even has abiological manifestation. For fishery management and discussionsof overexploitation of fish species, it is crucial to consider thestocks individually. Rarely is a species completely overfished, ratherit is usually only a particular stock of the species. The herringstock of autumn spawners in the North Sea recovered after justfive years, while the stock of spring spawners off Norway tookalmost 20 years to recover.IcelandicsummerspawnersNorthern Bothnian Bay stockNorwegian spring spawnersSouthernBothnianBay stockWest Scottish stockSkagerrakand KattegatGulf of RigaIrish Sea stock(Manx and Mourne)Central Baltic SeaWest Irish stockincludingPorcupine BankAutumn spawnersin the North SeaSpring spawnersof the western Baltic SeaCeltic Sea stock1.6 > Herring live in the transitional area between the northern temperateand polar zones. They occur not only in the North and BalticSeas, but also throughout the North Atlantic, living at water depthsup to 360 metres. Herring undertake extensive migrations betweentheir feeding and spawning grounds and their winter stop-over areas.Different stocks spawn in different seasons.


The importance of marine fish Clupeids frequently form dense shoals, such as here off the Moluccas. They are animportant food source for many marine organisms and very important for the ecosystem.only about the status of individual species, but also abouthow the stocks of certain fish species can be best estimated.In any case, obtaining additional data would help agreat deal.In this regard, it would also be important to gatherdata on the primary producers, the algae and other singlecelledorganisms, whose quantities and composition substantiallycontribute to the biomass in the marine region.Such a multiple indicator approach, which considers all ofthese parameters, could be very important in establishingfuture catch limits. This kind of comprehensive data set ispresently only available for a few fish species, becauseobtaining the data for all of these parameters is extremelyexpensive. Furthermore, it requires an intensive exchangeof information among scientists of various disciplines,including fishery biologists, oceanographers, and planktonspecialists, which has so far only been accomplished fora few stocks such as the Baltic Sea cod and the West Atlanticcod.


20> Chapter 01What does overfishing mean?Fish cannot be counted like elephants in a national park. Fisherybiologists therefore have to calculate the size of a stock based onspecific parameters. The size of the annual catch is important. Ifthis declines it could be a sign that the stock size is shrinking. Thequantity of sexually mature adult fish, the spawners, is also importantbecause they determine how many offspring are produced.After all, a stock can only sustain itself if the new offspring cancompensate for the number of fish that are caught or die ofnatural causes. Fishery biologists commonly assign stocks to oneof several categories: moderately exploited, fully exploited, overexploited,depleted, or recovering.The transitions between these status classes, however, are notsharp, for example, the boundary between a fully exploited andoverexploited stock. One reason for this is that different fish speciesreact very differently to fishing pressure. Species that multiplyin large numbers and reach sexual maturity early can react betterto high catch volumes than species that produce fewer offspringand require several years before they can spawn.But basically a stock is considered to be fully exploited when itis fished to the maximum and an increase in the catch is not possible.If the fishing is intensified at this point, the stock is thenpushed into the overexploited status. This stock then continues todecline because there are not enough offspring being produced.The stock is considered to be depleted when the catch is significantlybelow the historically expected amounts. Many researchersdefine this situation as the point when only 10 per cent of thehighest historical catch is achieved. When a stock is depleted thecatch cannot be increased even with intensified fishing, which isreferred to as an increase in fishing effort.A stock is considered to be recovering when the catch beginsto rise again after depletion. An example of this is the North Atlanticcod, whose stocks collapsed in the 1960s and recovered againafter a fishing ban. The Food and Agriculture Organization of theUnited Nations (FAO) presently uses three categories to describethe status of the stocks: non-fully exploited, fully exploited, andover exploited.1.8 > The example of theNorth Atlantic cod showsthat a fish stock collapseswhen not enough maturefish (spawners) are presentto produce offspring.Spawner biomass (in 1,000 tonnes)Catch (in 1,000 tonnes)2,0001,8001,6001,4001,2001,000800600400fully exploitedoverexploitedfully exploitedoverexploitedfully exploited20001950 19601970 1980 1990 2000 2010


The importance of marine fish The objectiveof the Large MarineEcosystem conceptis sustainablemanagement of theoceans. Under thisapproach the statusof marine regions ischaracterized in fivedifferent modules.Large Marine EcosystemsMost marine regions and habitats are so large that theyextend across the coastal waters of multiple countries.Comprehensive conservation in these areas is only possibleif the countries cooperate, for example, with regard topollution of the ocean. Even larger fish stocks can only besustained when the countries agree to joint policies of protectivefishery management. For a long time, these kindsof international agreements regarding coastal regions hadbeen lacking. For this reason the National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration of the USA (NOAA) developedthe concept of Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) inthe 1990s. This divided the coastal marine regions of theEarth into 64 LMEs. Each LME is characterized by a typicalflora and fauna. The LMEs extend along the coasts outto the continental slope, where the continental shelf endsand starts its downward incline towards the deep sea.The characterization of certain marine regions by largecurrents is also considered. For example, the upwellingregions off South America and Southwest Africa are eachdefined as an LME.The LMEs comprise all of the coastal regions of theEarth. They are especially productive because they arewell provided with nutrients from rivers or upwelling currents.The LMEs produce 95 per cent of the global fishbiomass. These areas are also immensely important forhumans. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide livenear the coasts. Their existence depends more or lessdirectly on fishing. Thus, in addition to the biological factors,the Large Marine Ecosystem concept also deals withsocioeconomic aspects.With the support of the World Bank and the UnitedNations Environment Programme (UNEP), an effort isbeing made to improve international cooperation towardsprotecting the joint ocean regions, particularly in thedeveloping and newly industrialized countries. Researchersand politicians of the neighbouring countries meet atworkshops and conferences. The major challenge is toachieve better protection of the marine environment inspite of differences in interests.Economic aspects such as offshore oil productionoften have priority over protection of the environment.The concept of the LMEs should provide a counterbalance


22> Chapter 01641054 5553 1 2364 511 12186397 8171959216022242527282023622633583257 563435525351504847 493637163138Catch levels(2000–2004average)very highhighmoderatelowvery low1314156129 30454443423940414601. East Bering Sea02. Gulf of Alaska03. California Current04. Gulf of California05. Gulf of Mexico06. Southeast U.S.ContinentalShelf07. Northeast U.S.ContinentalShelf08. Scotian Shelf09. Newfoundland-LabradorShelf10. Insular Pacific-Hawaiian11. Pacific Central-AmericanCoastal12. Caribbean Sea13. Humboldt Current14. Patagonian Shelf15. South Brazil Shelf16. East Brazil Shelf17. North Brazil Shelf18. West Greenland Shelf19. East Greenland Shelf20. Barents Sea21. Norwegian Shelf22. North Sea23. Baltic Sea24. Celtic-Biscay Shelf25. Iberian Coastal26. Mediterranean Sea27. Canary Current28. Guinea Current29. Benguela Current30. Agulhas Current31. Somali Coastal Current32. Arabian Sea33. Red Sea34. Bay of Bengal35. Gulf of Thailand36. South China Sea37. Sulu-Celebes Sea38. Indonesian Sea39. North Australian Shelf40. Northeast AustralianShelf-Great Barrier Reef41. East-Central AustralianShelf42. Southeast Australian Shelf43. Southwest AustralianShelf44. West-Central AustralianShelf45. Northwest AustralianShelf46. New Zealand Shelf47. East China Sea48. Yellow Sea49. Kuroshio Current50. Sea of Japan51. Oyashio Current52. Okhotsk Sea53. West Bering Sea54. Chukchi Sea55. Beaufort Sea56. East Siberian Sea57. Laptev Sea58. Kara Sea59. Iceland Shelf60. Faroe Plateau61. Antarctic62. Black Sea63. Hudson Bay64. Arctic Ocean1.10 > Near-coastal ocean regions have been divided into 64 Large Marine Ecosystemsthat cross geopolitical borders. This concept is expected to improve cooperationof countries with regard to international marine conservation. The individualLMEs are coloured to indicate the intensity of fishing from 2000 to 2004. Inmany marine regions the fishing pressure has not dropped since then.


The importance of marine fish


24> Chapter 01Diversity at risk> Many stocks have been so strongly decimated by fisheries that it is nolonger commercially profitable to fish for some species. Still, most species will survive thanks totheir enormous reproductive capacity. But there are exceptions. Some species could actually be wipedout by humans. It is also alarming that the fisheries appear to influence evolution. Smaller fish oftenprevail while the larger ones become scarcer.1.11 > Animalconservationistshave been tryingfor several years toreintroduce thesturgeon to Germanwaters. A number ofthe animals releasedhave yellow markerson their backs.Fishermen who catchone of these arerequested to reportthe number onthe marker to theconservation groupand return the fishto the water.Are fish species facing extinction?Although many stocks have been overfished by industrialfisheries, as a rule this does not result in the extinction offish species. The classical notion of a species being wipedout by human activity, like the case of the dodo, a flightlessbird on the island of Mauritius, cannot be directlyapplied to fisheries. There is an economic reason for this:long before the last fish is caught it would become unprofitableto fish for it, so it would no longer be pursued bythe fishery in the affected region. Specialists refer to thiskind of situation as commercial depletion.Some fish stocks have been reduced by 50 to 80 percent in the past. This would spell extinction for many terrestrialanimals, especially for species that produce smallnumbers of offspring. The death of even low numbers ofyoung animals by disease or predation could then completelywipe out such a species. This is not the case withfish. As a rule, the stocks recover. One important reasonfor the resilience of fish stocks is their high reproductivecapacity. Cod can produce up to 10 million eggs each year.An additional factor is that a fish species is usually representedby multiple stocks.There is no question that intensive fishing has severelyreduced the amount of fish, the fish biomass, in manymarine regions. The higher trophic levels are especiallyaffected. The large fish have been and still are the first tobe depleted. But even these are usually not in danger ofbiological extinction. In order to draw conclusions aboutthe status of a fish species, all of its stocks have to beassessed. For several years there has been some controversyabout the best mathematical and statistical modelsto use for this.The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UnitedNations (FAO) has established a general classification system.It classifies fish stocks as overexploited, fully exploitedand non-fully exploited. According to the FAO, almost30 per cent of all fish stocks are considered to be overexploited.As a rule, however, the species will be preserved.Regrettable exceptionsThere are, however, exceptions. Some species of tuna fishbring such high prices on the market that catching them isprofitable even when their numbers are very limited. Onefish can weigh up to 500 kilograms. Certain species, suchas the bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), which lives in theAtlantic, can bring a price of 100 dollars per kilogram. InJapan, hundreds of thousands of Euros may be paid for thefirst or best tuna of the season. Expensive fish is a mark ofprestige there. Furthermore, the first tuna of the seasonare considered to be bringers of good luck, for which somecustomers will pay a lot of money. For practical purposes,fishing for such valuable specimens can be compared with


The importance of marine fish Around theyear 800 the Europeansturgeon wasindigenous to manyrivers and almost allof the coastal areas ofEurope. Since then itsmarine distributionhas shrunk significantly,and it is nowlimited to the regionbetween Norway andFrance. The onlyremaining spawningarea of the Europeansturgeon is theGironde Estuary inFrance.1.13 > The dodo diedout at the end of the17th century. Nativeexclusively to theislands of Mauritiusand Réunion, theflightless bird had nonatural predatorsbefore the arrival ofhumans. It wascompletely wiped outby imported rats,monkeys and pigs.


26> Chapter 011.14 > This bluefintuna, weighing 268kilograms, fetcheda price of 566,000Euros at a fish auctionin Tokyo in January2012. It was boughtby Kiyoshi Kimura(left), president ofa sushi gastronomychain. In early 2013,Kimura even paid afull 1.3 million Eurosfor a tuna. Thattranslates into a priceper kilogram of morethan 6000 Euros.Other marine animals are also affectedNot only do fisheries alter the natural species structure ofthe fish that are being fished for; they also have an impacton the stocks of animals that are taken as bycatch.U. S. researchers have calculated that at least 200,000 loggerheadsea turtles and 50,000 leatherback turtles worldwidewere caught incidentally in the year 2000 by tunaand swordfish fishers. The turtles are caught on the hooksof “longlines”. These are usually several kilometres longand can be fitted with thousands of baited hooks. If theturtles snap at these they will be hooked. Some are able tofree themselves and others are thrown live back into theocean by the fishermen. But thousands die an agonizingdeath. Tests are now being carried out to shape the hooksso that the turtles will no longer be caught by them.The longlines can also be fatal for albatrosses becausethey do not sink to the working depth immediately afterbeing let out, rather they float for a while at the surfaceand attract the birds. Environmental organizations estimatethat hundreds of thousands of sea birds are unintentionallykilled annually worldwide by longline fishing.New methods are therefore also being tested by whichlonglines are deployed through tubes that extend up to10 metres below the surface, so that albatrosses cannotsee or reach the bait. In the Baltic Sea, the harbour porpoiseis also endangered as bycatch. There are only an estimated500 to 600 individuals remaining in the easternBaltic Sea. The harbour porpoise was hunted here fordecades. Severe icy winters are also a strain on them.Today, every unintentionally caught animal brings thestock closer to extermination. It is a near tragedy that theeastern Baltic Sea harbour seals very rarely mate withtheir relatives in the North Sea and western Baltic Sea.The North Sea stock is comparatively large. Researchersestimate it to be around 250,000 animals. Because theeastern animals do not mate with their western relatives,it is feared that the species could die out in the Baltic Sea.This would mean a loss of species diversity in the region.The fisheries influence evolutionIntensive fishing, however, also changes the biologicaldiversity in another way. Scientists are now discussingthe phenomenon of fisheries-induced evolution. When thefisheries primarily catch large and older individuals, then,over time, smaller fish that produce offspring at an earlierage become more successful. The fisheries thus criticallyupset the natural situation. In natural habitats that are notaffected by fisheries, larger fish that reach sexual maturityat a greater age are more dominant. Their eggs have lowermortality rates. The eggs and larvae can better survivephases of hunger in the beginning because they possessmore reserve substance, more yolk, than the eggs and larvaeof parents that reproduce at a younger age. The entirestock benefits from this because many offspring are regularlyproduced, which preserves the stock.Under heavy fishing pressure, on the other hand, theanimals that primarily reproduce are those that are sexuallymature at a smaller size. But they produce fewer eggs,and their eggs have higher mortality rates. Through computermodels and analyses of real catch data, and using theexample of the northeast Arctic cod, researchers havebeen able to show that this fish stock has actually undergonegenetic alteration through time. Fish with the genotypictrait of becoming sexually mature at a young age andsmall body size have become more successful. This is truefor both males and females. To illustrate this, the researchershave employed catch data in their model that extend


The importance of marine fish Over decades of fishery, plaice in the North Sea thatachieve sexual maturity with a smaller body size have graduallybecome predominant. This relationship can be clearlydepicted by using different probabilities (p) in mathematicalmodels. The body length (L) of 4-year-old plaice that will becomesexually mature in the coming season with a 90 per centprobability (p90) is illustrated. As the graph shows, this bodylength (Lp90) has decreased significantly over recent years.back to 1930 and document the gradual changes withrespect to age, size, and reproductive capacity. The studywas based on especially detailed data sets of the catchesin Norwegian waters. Originally the northeast Arctic codbecame sexually mature at an age of 9 to 10 years. In thenortheast Atlantic today, the cod is sexually mature at 6 to7 years old. It is notable that this fisheries-induced evolutionhas occurred over a period of just a few decades.Experts feel that one reason for this is that the fisheriesexert a much greater pressure than natural selection factorssuch as predators or extreme environmental conditions,such as heat or cold. The computer models also indicatethat it would take centuries for the effects of thefisheries-induced evolution to turn around – even if thefisheries were completely stopped. In actual practice, theeffects may even be irreversible. Within the past 10 yearsfisheries-induced evolution has been verified for a numberof species, including the North Sea plaice.The effect of fisheries is thus exactly the opposite of whatan animal breeder usually aims for. The animal breeder,as a rule, selects the largest and most productive animals inorder to continue breeding with them. As a result of thefisheries, by contrast, precisely those older and largeranimals with the highest reproductive capacity are killed.Genetic impoverishment in fish?In proportion to their body size, large and mature fishinvest relatively more energy into the production of eggsthan small, young animals that have considerably lessbody mass and volume. Older fish thus provide a kind ofreproductive insurance. As long as enough older fish arepresent, sufficient offspring will be produced. But instocks that consist of few age groups, and primarily ofyounger age groups, the danger of offspring deficiencyincreases when the reproductive conditions intermittentlyworsen, such as times of food scarcity. Stocks in whicholder fish predominate can more efficiently withstand thesekinds of fluctuations, because the mature ones will reliablyproduce offspring in the following season. StocksGenotypeGenotype refers to thetotal genetic informationof an organismthat is stored in thecell nucleus of eachbody cell. Among individualsof a speciesmost of the genes areidentical. But theircombination is uniquefor every individualPhenotypeThe phenotype isexpressed in theappearance of an individual:the observablecharacteristics of theindividual genotype.Phenotypic attributesinclude eye colour,psychological traits,or genetically causedillnesses.


28> Chapter 01comprising different age groups also exhibit greater resiliencebecause the spawning season of the fish varies withtheir age. There are thus a sufficient number of spawninganimals at any given time in a mixed stock. Periods ofunfavourable environmental conditions therefore have aless severe impact.Warnings are now being raised that fisheries can alsocause genetic impoverishment, or “genetic erosion” in thespecies being fished. This phenomenon is also recognizedin land animals. With the destruction of habitats like rainforests, the distribution areas of species become criticallylimited. Many individuals die before they can mate. Inaddition to the species-specific genetic material, everyorganism possesses a small share of individual geneticattributes. If the animal dies without producing offspring,these individual attributes are lost and the population isgenetically impoverished. Extreme genetic erosion isreferred to as a genetic bottleneck. In this case, a speciesis reduced to a small number of individuals. This couldoccur as the result of a natural catastrophe such as a volcaniceruption or flooding. Intensive hunting of geographicallyrestricted populations like the Siberian tiger can also1.16 > A fish stockbefore fishing, afterlead to a genetic bottleneck. In extreme cases this leads tofishing, and afterreproduction. The inbreeding. The animals produce offspring with geneticchanges in body sizedefects or that are susceptible to disease. Some scientistsare a result ofare concerned that genetic erosion leading to genetic bottlenecksoccurs not only in land animals, but also in somefisheries-inducedevolution.before fishing after fishing after reproductionfish species through overfishing. So far, however, thisassumption is hypothetical and it is presumably not valid.For most of the commercially depleted fish stocks neithergenetic erosion nor genetic bottlenecks can be statisticallyverified. Specialists believe that even fish stocks that havebeen commercially depleted still possess thousands ofindividuals capable of reproduction. The genetic variabilitythus probably remains great enough to preclude theerosion effects.Slowing down fisheries-induced evolutionExperts recommend giving more attention to the ecogeneticaspects of fishery management in the future. There isalready a general consensus that fishery managementshould not consider a fish species independently of itshabitat. Beyond this, however, ecogenetic models arenecessary. These can be used to estimate which changesare caused by fisheries and to what degree genetic changesinfluence a stock, but also how these ultimately affect thefuture fishery harvests. Through responsible fishing, thereis hope that fisheries-induced evolution can be reversed,or at least slowed down. It can probably not be completelystopped. Researchers also need to employ complex evolutionmodels. Up to now, often only the age classes of a fishstock have been considered in detail for calculations ofstock development. Fish sizes are entered into the calculationsimply as the mean of an age class. This mean, in turn,has been calculated from long years of body-lengthmeasurements. An age class for a fish stock, therefore,always has a fixed, assigned average size. In fact, however,the mean size of an age class changes from year to year,depending mainly on the food supply. In years of scarcefood supply immature animals grow more slowly. Thisvariability has to be given greater consideration in thefuture. And, of course, there are always larger and smallerindividuals within an age class. These fluctuations alsohave to be addressed. The mean value is not sufficient foran evolutionary model. Researchers therefore call formore intensive cooperation between fishery authorities,who have access to detailed data, and mathematicians andstatisticians, who can develop powerful computer models.


The importance of marine fish


30> Chapter 022 Of fish and folk


Of fish and folk Fish and human societies have had special connections for millennia. The fabricof this relationship has many strands. For one thing, fish is an important source of food for millions ofpeople, supplying proteins and minerals in a combination offered by almost no other foodstuff. Althoughthe industrialization of fishing has led to the loss of many jobs over the years, around 50 million peopleworldwide still earn their living by catching fish.


32> Chapter 02Fish – a prized commodity> People have always relied upon fish as a basic resource to sustain life – asfood and as a source of income. Many fishermen in industrialized countries have had to give up theirwork. In many developing and newly-industrializing countries, however, fishing is a major branchof employment, not least because fish has developed into an important export commodity. As themain importers, the western industrialized countries have a responsibility to push for a low-impact,socially equitable fishing industry in the exporting nations.Fish – a foodstuff and the stuff of legends2.1 > A traditionalfishhook fromNew Zealand.For millennia fish have been a vital source of human nutrition.Archaeological finds suggest that people have beencatching fish since the Stone Age at least. For example,artefacts found in northern German river valleys includefishhooks made from bones and teeth as well as earlyspears with barbed hooks.But fish is more than just a food. In many cultures thefish is raised to near-mythical status. The Maori peoplecall New Zealand’s North Island Te-Ika-a-Maui – “the fishof Maui”. According to legend the demigod Maui pulled amighty fish out of the water, which then transformed intothe island. In the days of Alexander the Great, inhabitantsof the Mediterranean town of Ascalon were such devoutworshippers of the goddess Derketo, a mermaid-likebeing, that eating fish was taboo. The Christians evenelevated the fish to a symbol of their faith community.They used the Greek word for fish, ichthy s, as an acronym.It stands for Iesous Christós Theoú Hyiós Sõtér (JesusChrist God’s Son Saviour).Today there is little remaining sign of mythical veneration.Fish is a foodstuff and a straightforward trade commodity.According to estimates by the Food and AgricultureOrganization of the United Nations (FAO), today atotal of 660 to 820 million people are directly or indirectlydependent on fishery. These include the families of fishermenand of their suppliers – the makers of fishing equipment,for instance. The FAO estimates the number of fishermenper se at around 54 million, of which 87 per centlive in Asia alone. Many of them work in small fisheries,and fish production per person is correspondingly low. Onaverage it amounts to just about 1.5 tonnes. For comparison,the figure in Europe is around 25 tonnes per person.2.2 > The Maori demigod Maui catches a fish, which transformsinto the North Island of New Zealand, Te-Ika-a-Maui.Large-scale versus small-scale?Experts differentiate roughly between industrial fishery,which operates with factory ships, and artisanal fishery.Beyond this, different countries break the industry downinto various other categories.In Germany and other European countries, for example,fisheries are subdivided into the following three fleetsegments:• Small-scale coastal fishery: carried on with smallmotorboats which usually put out to sea for a day at atime. The home and landing ports are generally foundin smaller coastal locations.


Of fish and folk Mass processing: Pangasius is filleted in Vietnam forexport to Europe.Fishery production per fisher or fish farmer by region in 2010 (Tonnes/year)Region Capture Aquaculture Capture and aquacultureAfrica 2.0 8.6 2.3Asia 1.5 3.3 2.1Europe 25.1 29.6 25.7Latin America andthe Caribbean 6.8 7.8 6.9North America 16.3 69.0 18.0Oceania 17.0 33.3 18.2World 2.3 3.6 2.7Like Mauritania, many developing or newly-industrializingcountries have an old ocean-going fleet – if they haveone at all. Offshore fisheries in the latter countries aremainly operated by factory ships based in other countries,which pay licence revenue to the State. This industriallyoperated fishery is often held up as exploitative in comparisonto original artisanal-fishery practices. But it isimportant not to generalize. There is barely any market inEurope for small pelagic fish, which are mainly fished byDutch operators in Mauritanian waters and deep-frozenon board. The small fish are only marketed in preservedform, packed in cans or jars. In contrast, the pelagic fishcaught off West Africa are largely sold directly in Africancountries. In many places the deep-frozen fish are hackedout of their blocks of ice in the marketplace itself. In othercountries like Senegal, on the other hand, governmentsissue too many catch-licences to foreign fleets. As a resultthe fish stocks are overfished. Local coastal fishers rightlyfear for their income source.During the apartheid era the Namibian waters wereseverely overfished by foreign fishing fleets. This exploitationled to the collapse of the sardine fishery in the 1970sand subsequent closure of the mostly South Africanowned canneries and reduction plants. After independencein 1990, the Namibian Government focused ondeveloping what was hitherto a small local hake fisheryinto a fishing industry with state of the art processing2.4 > The industrializationof fisheryraises per-capitaproduction. It is stilllow in Asia comparedto Europe. Intensivefeeding and feed optimizationmeans thatproductivity in aquacultureis higher thanin capture fisheries.The figures for NorthAmerica are probablytoo high.


34> Chapter 02plants serving global markets. This was quite an ambitiousgoal considering that Namibia was a country with onlylimited fishing tradition. Nowadays Namibia’s innovativefisheries policy aims towards sustainable exploitation ofthe fishery and equitable distribution of the benefitsamong the Namibian population. Nonetheless, catch limitsexceed scientific recommendations and foreign involvementin the fishery remains a concern as social, economicand ecological goals are in conflict on the political stage.How “small fry” die outThe threat posed by industrial fishery to the livelihoods ofartisanal fishermen is not just a developing-country phenomenon.In many industrialized countries, too, smallerfamily-run fishing businesses have had to give up. Inmany cases, no successors could be persuaded to take onthis hard work. Small businesses were also squeezed byrising fuel costs, so that fishery was often taken over bylarger and more efficient operations.Off the east coast of Canada, the overfishing of codwas to blame for driving hundreds of small family businessesinto closure in the early 1990s. Coastal fishermenhad long warned that fish were becoming scarcer, inCanadian ocean bays for instance. Nevertheless, the largecompanies with their industrial trawlers continued to fishfurther out at sea. Their argument was that coastal fishand the offshore fish stocks had nothing to do with eachother.Today we know that this argument was based on falseassumptions. In reality they all belonged to a single, largefish population, which was finally definitively overfishedat the end of the 1980s. The coastal fishermen lost theirlivelihoods. Some switched to lobster fishing. Unknownnumbers were uprooted and moved away. As a consequenceof this rural exodus, the population slumped dramaticallyin many places along Canada’s east coast.The situation of herring fishers on the North Sea wassimilar. In the 1970s, officials reacted to the collapse of thestock with a fishing ban lasting several years. This enabledTop ten exportcountries2000(million US$)2010(million US$)Top ten importcountries2000(million US$)2010(million US$)2.5 > Europe, theUSA and Japan arethe most importantimporters of fishand fishery productsworldwide. China isthe main exporter.Norway’s position asthe second largestexporter is primarilybecause the countryexports especiallyvaluable fish such assalmon.China 3,603 13,268Norway 3,533 8,817Thailand 4,367 7,128Vietnam 1,481 5,109United States ofAmerica 3,055 4,661Denmark 2,756 4,147Canada 2,818 3,843Netherlands 1,344 3,558United States ofAmerica 10,451 15,496Japan 15,513 14,973Spain 3,352 6,637China 1,796 6,162France 2,984 5,983Italy 2,535 5,449Germany 2,262 5,037United Kingdom 2,184 3,702Spain 1,597 3,396Sweden 709 3,316Chile 1,794 3,394Republic of Korea 1,385 3,193Top Ten 26,349 57,321Top Ten 43,171 69,949World 55,750 108,562World 60,089 111,786


Of fish and folk For manydeveloping countries,fish exports aremore important thanthe coffee and cocoatrade.50–5FishCoffeeCocoaBananasRubberTobaccoSugarTeaMeatRiceherring stocks to recover, but many family businesses didnot survive the enforced interruption. Today that fishery isdominated by a few large companies.In order to avoid such drastic consequences for thepeople affected, social scientists are urging that moreattention be given to sociological aspects in fishery management,rather than concentrating solely on the conservationof fish stocks and the marine environment. Theycriticize the way that so far, experts from the different disciplines– biology, economics and sociology – seem to collaboratefar too seldom. Of course, the sociological approachis labour-intensive and costly, say researchers, because itrequires field researchers to travel to coastal regions inorder to interview the people affected, the fishermen, insitu and to analyse their situation. Yet this could avertfuture problems or help to solve them more quickly.The responsibility of industrialized countriesIn recent years, jobs in fisheries in the European countrieshave undergone varying degrees of decline. Particularlybecause there is a shortage of alternative jobs, nations likePortugal and Spain continue to maintain large fishingfleets, often kept alive by state subsidies. Denmark andGermany, on the other hand, have drastically reduced thesize of their fleets. In these countries the demand for fish,which has risen in recent years, is increasingly met bymeans of imports.Today Europe is the world’s most important fishimportingregion but the demand for fish varies enormouslyfrom one country to another. In 2010 Europe importedfish to the value of 44.6 billion US dollars, around 40 percent of the worldwide trading volume. The second largestimporter is the USA, with Japan in third place. Hence aspecial role falls to these three regions in the conservationof global fish stocks: consumers in these industrializedcountries should make a stand and demand more producefrom sustainable fisheries and environmentally soundaquaculture. For wholesale purchasers, in turn, labourconditions in the countries of production are beginning tomatter more when they choose their suppliers. Workers indeveloping and newly-industrializing countries are stilloften underpaid and receive no social security benefits.Moreover, child labour is often used in these countries,according to FAO data. Children are put to work particularlyin artisanal fishery and small family businesses, butit happens on board ships as well. They are also beingused as cheap labour to repair nets, to sell fish or to feedand harvest farmed fish. All these problems have nowbeen recognized. It is to be hoped that the first projectsand initiatives currently being embarked upon as goodexamples will set a precedent for the future.


36> Chapter 02The goodness in fish> A unique combination of high-quality protein and vital nutrients makefish an invaluable food. Fish is the most important protein source in many developing countries. Fishconsumption is highest in China and in western industrialized countries. The fish sold in industrializedcountries is mainly deep-frozen, whereas fish is bought and sold fresh in developing countries.2.7 > Fish consumptionin 2009, byregion and developmentstatus. Viewedin terms of continentsalone, Asia leadsthe world in totalconsumptionTaurine, selenium & other essentialsCompared with the world cereal harvest of around 2.2 billiontonnes per annum, the total global fish and seafoodproduction of around 140 million tonnes seems very modest.Nevertheless fish is extremely important for humannutrition. It not only contains healthy protein but alsomany nutrients that do not occur in such quantity anddiversity either in cereals or other crops or in meat. So fishmakes an essential contribution to a healthy diet.Total food fishsupply(million tonnes live weightequivalent)Per-capita food fishsupply(kilograms per year)Africa 9.1 9.1North America 8.2 24.1Latin America and theCaribbean 5.7 9.9Asia 85.4 20.7Europe 16.2 22.0Oceania 0.9 24.6Industrialized countries 27.6 28.7Other developed countries 5.5 13.5Least-developed countries 9.0 11.1Other developing countries 83.5 18.0China 42.6 32.0World excl. China 83.0 15.1World 125.6 18.4Its most important constituents include proteins, certainfatty acids, vitamins and minerals. The specific nutrientssupplied by fish include:• low-fat muscle meat containing 15 to 20 per cent protein,in the case of lean fish like pollock, cod or haddock;• large quantities of unsaturated fatty acids, particularlyomega-3 fatty acids, in the case of fatty fish like salmonand mackerel;• iodine;• selenium, a chemical element that is an importantcomponent of proteins. Proteins containing seleniumcan intercept free radicals and are thought to preventcancer;• taurine, a metabolite product of protein that is importantfor the development of the brain and retinaltissue. Moreover it plays a key role in the developmentof cell membranes and in the detoxification ofthe body.• vitamin D, which very few foods contain in worthwhileamounts. Vitamin D mainly occurs in fatty fish;• niacin, vitamin B 6and vitamin B 12;• all the important amino acids for human nutrition,including those known as “essential amino acids”which the human metabolism cannot synthesizeitself.Whereas average fish consumption in the 1960s was9.9 kilograms, by 2010 annual per-capita consumption hadrisen to 18.6 kilograms. But fish consumption varies massivelyfrom country to country depending on local traditionsand supplies. Fish is especially important in manydeveloping countries because it is often the only afford-


Of fish and folk In the industrialized nations fish is mainly bought andsold deep-frozen (2010). Sophisticated cooling chains makethis possible. The fish often comes from offshore fisheries andis landed frozen prior to onward distribution. In developingcountries fish is predominantly bought and sold alive or fresh.In some cases it is chilled during transportation.able and relatively easily available source of animal protein.In Bangladesh, Cambodia and Ghana, for instance,around 50 per cent of animal protein is supplied by fish.Often it is the only source of numerous other importantnutrients, too. In many African countries south of theSahara, the people traditionally make little use of fish – inCongo, Gabon or Malawi, for example – although fishcould actually make a substantial contribution to humannourishment. In the year 2009, fish supplied 16.6 per centof the total worldwide consumption of animal protein and6.5 per cent of total protein, i.e. animal and plant proteincombined.Smoked, fresh or frozen?0 10 20 30 40 50 60Live weight (million tonnes)Fish and seafood are traded and transported in differentforms around the world. For 2010 the proportions were asfollows:• live, fresh or chilled: 46.9 per cent;• deep-frozen: 29.3 per cent;• prepared and preserved: 14.0 per cent;• smoked, dried, cured: 9.8 per cent.Industrialized countriesDeveloping countriesVariations in these percentages depend on region and onconsumer behaviour. Many developing countries lack theinfrastructure to be able to transport chilled or deep-frozen fish to all customers. Fish is mainly offered on thecoast or beside large lakes, directly where it has beencaught. In other parts of the country the use of fish is farless widespread. In industrialized countries, on the otherhand, the vast bulk of fish is sold as a deep-frozen productand is generally imported nowadays. To a lesser extent,fish is eaten smoked, salted or marinated in these countries.Some seafood like oysters are even eaten alive.In the year 2010 around 20 million tonnes of fish andseafood were utilized in the non-food segment. The vastmajority of this was processed into fishmeal and fish oil,2.9 > Long fatty acidpredominantly for use in aquaculture.molecules like DHAFurthermore, fish and seafood or extracts derived consist primarily ofcarbon (dark grey)from them are used in the manufacture of cosmetics andand hydrogen (lightmedicines. Over the past 20 years the cosmetics and pharmaceuticalsindustries have increasingly recognized fish unsaturated if carbongrey). Fatty acids areatoms are linked bywastes as a valuable resource. In the past these wastedouble bonds becauseproducts were simply disposed of. Today they are quitethey are missingmatter-of-factly used in production.hydrogen atoms.Famous fish oilFatty fishes like mackerel, salmon or herring contain large amounts of socalledomega-3 fatty acids. These are some of the healthy, unsaturatedfatty acids that help to strengthen the immune system and prevent cardiovasculardisease.The labels “saturated” and “unsaturated” are the technical termsused in chemistry to denote how many hydrogen atoms occur in the longmolecule chains of fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids contain littlehydrogen. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)are especially beneficial.DHA is important for the development of the brain and the eyes,while one of the uses of EPA is for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.These two long-chain highly unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids are foundalmost exclusively in marine fish and marine algae. Phytoplankton is ableto generate these two omega-3 fatty acids on its own, whereas fishcannot synthesize the substances themselves. Instead, the fatty acids aretaken in by plankton feeders as they feed, and passed up through thefood chain to predator fish. The highest contents of DHA and EPA arefound in mackerel. Land plants also contain omega-3 fatty acids – particularlyalpha-linolenic acid, large amounts of which are found in rapeseed,soya and walnut oil. But this compound is far less effective in thehuman body than DHA and EPA.


38> Chapter 022.10 > Eine senegalesische Verkäuferin trägt einengroßen Süßwasserfisch, einen Capitaine. Auch inWestafrika werden Fische meist frisch verkauft. AnMöglichkeiten zum Kühlen fehlt es oft.2.10 > A Senegalese fish seller carries alarge fish, a capitaine. In West Africa fishare usually sold fresh as there are oftenno means of refrigeration.


Of fish and folk


40> Chapter 033 Plenty more fish in the sea?


Plenty more fish in the sea? Ocean fish are not in particularly good shape. At least a quarter of the world’sfish stocks are overexploited or depleted. In recent decades the search for new fishing grounds has takenfleets into ever-deeper waters. Stocks are further undermined by illegal fishing. It is now clear that overfishingis wreaking havoc on our marine environment and is economically unsustainable. For this reasonmany nations are adopting a more precautionary approach to fishing.


42> Chapter 03The global hunt for fish> Within a few short decades, industrial fishing has expanded from the traditionalfishing grounds of the Northern Hemisphere to include all the world’s oceans and seas. Manystocks have been overexploited and are depleted. But the situation is not without hope. Some countrieshave shown that fish stocks can in fact recover when sustainable fisheries management systemsare implemented.The art of counting fishNo other group of animals is as difficult to monitor as fish.Spotting scopes and radar equipment are used to locateand count migratory birds along their flight paths. Bats canbe monitored by placing ultrasound detectors and photoelectricsensors at the entrance of their caves. But whatabout fish?Humans are not capable of looking into the ocean andcounting the fish they see. Instead, they must try to estimatethe size of fish stocks as accurately as possible. TheFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) uses various sources to estimate global fish stocksand trends as accurately as possible. The results are publishedevery two years in the SOFIA Report (The State ofWorld Fisheries and Aquaculture). The latest report wasreleased in 2012 and reflects the developments to2009/2010. Fish is the means of subsistence for billions ofpeople around the world. Accordingly, the report is animportant document on which UN decisions, internationalagreements and treaties are based. The data used for theSOFIA Report is taken from the following sources:FISHERIES – Fishermen report their catches to their governmentauthorities, such as the Ministries of Agricultureand Fisheries. The authorities are obliged to send this datato the FAO. The data is also forwarded to scientists in theirown country.THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY – Fisheries’ data is oftenincomplete or incorrect. For instance, fishermen onlyreport the amounts of those fish which they are officiallypermitted to catch. They do not include any unwanted“bycatch” – all the fish and marine fauna which are caughtinadvertently and until now have mostly been thrownback overboard. An quantitative assessment of bycatchlevels would, however, be crucial as this could provide amore realistic estimate of the actual status of fish stocks.In order to improve the flawed basic data, fishery scientiststherefore gather their own data.1. Fishery-dependent data: Fishery scientists regularlyaccompany fishing vessels. They collect catch samplesand detailed data including the age, size, length and numberof adult fish. The volume and composition of the catchare of particular interest. They also record the effortexpended, such as how long a net is dragged behind thevessel before it is full. This establishes the exact amountof effort involved in catching a certain amount of fish.Researchers call this the “catch per unit effort” (CPUE). Itis the only way of ascertaining the stock density, or thenumber of fish found in a certain area.2. Fishery-independent data: Scientists also conductresearch projects using their own vessels. They take numeroussample catches – not only in the abundant areashighly sought after by the fishermen, but in many differentparts of a maritime region. The sampling locations areeither chosen randomly or according to a certain pattern.The objective is to obtain a comprehensive overview of theentire maritime region as well as the distribution of fishstocks. During these expeditions it is important that all themarine fauna caught are counted and measured, to enablea reliable assessment of the entire ecosystem to be made.The scientists are also interested in the age of the fish.Using close-meshed nets, therefore, they catch young fish(juveniles) which are not usually taken by the fishermen.The age distribution of the fish is an extremely importantaspect of stock predictions. It shows how many of the fishwill grow to sexual maturity and thus how populations are


Plenty more fish in the sea? Venerable gentlemen of fisheries science: ICES researchers held their statutory meeting at the House of Lords in London in1929. Upon its foundation in 1902, the ICES had 8 member nations: today it has 20.likely to develop in future years. How many researchexpeditions are undertaken differs from country to country.Researchers sample individual fish stocks up to fivetimes a year. Information on the eggs and larvae of somestocks is also recorded. These numbers indicate the parentstock and the numbers of young to be anticipated.The researchers utilize both the fishery-dependentand the fishery-independent data to adjust and augmentthe fisheries’ official catch numbers. For instance, fromtheir own sample catches they can estimate the approximatevolume of bycatch in the fishing grounds. In manycases catches from illegal fishing are also shown up. Forinstance, double logbooks are frequently used – one forthe authorities showing the official figures, and anotherfor the scientists showing the higher but genuine catchnumbers. Comparing these two allows a more accurateestimation of how many fish were actually caught in amaritime region.How does the data reach the FAO?The catch data from both the fishermen and the scientistsis initially forwarded to higher scientific institutionswhich utilize it to estimate the current stocks of the variousfish species and maritime regions. One objective is togenerate a supra-regional overview from the national data.For example, the International Council for the Explorationof the Sea (ICES) in Copenhagen is responsible for theNortheast Atlantic. Its working groups use both the fisheries’official catch data and the scientific results to calculatethe current stocks of the different species of fish and fauna.The ICES then sends these stock estimates to the FAO.Data about stocks in other maritime regions reachesthe FAO in a similar way. For example, the NorthwestAtlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) is responsible forthe Northwest Atlantic. It collates data from Canada, theUSA, France (for the Atlantic islands of St. Pierre andMiquelon) and the foreign fleets from Russia and the EUwhich operate in this region. The NAFO then forwardsthe data to the FAO. The Canadian and US national fisheriesinstitutes also report directly to the FAO.The FAO does not re-evaluate this information, butmerely summarizes, edits and ultimately publishes thedata for the various maritime regions of the world.Disagreement on the condition of fish stocksAround 1500 fish stocks around the world are commerciallyfished, with the various stocks being exploited todifferent extents. Comprehensive estimations of abundancecurrently exist for only around 500 of these stocks.In most cases these are the stocks which have been commerciallyfished for many decades. For many years, exactrecords have been kept of what and how much is caught:ICESThe InternationalCouncil for the Explorationof the Sea(ICES) was founded inCopenhagen, Denmark,in 1902 and isthe world’s oldestintergovernmentalorganization. At thattime there was agrowing awareness insome European fishingnations that the longtermmanagement ofmigratory fish stocksdepended on a coordinatedapproach. Todaythe ICES acts onbehalf of the EU andother fishing nationssuch as Canada, Icelandand Russia. It isresponsible for all theliving marine resourcesin the NortheastAtlantic, a total of120 species. The ICESrecommends the maximumfish catcheswithin a specific maritimeregion.


44> Chapter 033.2 > Global estimationof fish abundance:Data on thestatus of fish stocks isprovided by the fisheriesand scientists.The FAO collates thisinformation and thenattempts to drawup a picture of theworldwide situation.The problem is thatreliable data existsfor only about 500stocks. Experts do notagree on the status ofother fish stocks.the tonnages and also the age and size of the fish. Datasetsfor cod off the coast of Norway, for example, go back as faras the 1920s. Very little is known about other fish speciesand maritime regions – particularly the Exclusive EconomicZones of some developing countries. Many developingcountries provide catch data alone, without any scientificassessment. The FAO makes limited use of such data.There are also some maritime regions for which not evensimple catch data is available. The FAO believes that it isimpossible to make any reliable estimation of such stocks.Therefore no reliable data exists for many of theworld’s fish stocks. Moreover, fisheries biologists areeven unable to confirm how many fish stocks there actuallyare. If any data is available, it applies only to commerciallyexploited species. Naturally an overall survey of allthe world’s fish would be desirable – but the cost wouldbe exorbitant. Hundreds of research expeditions would berequired, making the exercise unaffordable.Critics point out, therefore, that the FAO statistics donot take a large proportion of stocks into account. A jointAmerican-German research group has therefore developedits own mathematical model to estimate the status ofall populations from the catch amounts reported by thefisheries alone, without the fishery-independent data fromthe scientists. These researchers are also investigatinghow stock catches have developed over time. According tothis model, a fish stock is depleted when the catchdecreases conspicuously within a few years. Attempts arebeing made to circumvent the lack of stock calculations bysimply interpreting catches over the course of time. Theresearchers have meticulously requested informationfrom the authorities of the countries responsible forregions with no catch data at all. Based on the model,which takes 1500 commercially exploited stocks andaround 500 other stocks into account, the fish are in evenworse shape than assumed by the FAO: 56.4 per cent ofthe stocks are overexploited or depleted, not 29.9 per centas claimed by the FAO. But the work of this American-German research group is itself under fire, with claimsthat its data is inconsistent and still unreliable. It presentsa distorted picture of the reality, say other researchers.Which of the methods better illustrates the state of theFisheryFISHERYScientist travels with fishingvessel and gathers fisherydependentdata (catch volume,composition, age, size, length,fish maturity level, calculationof expended effort).RESEARCHScientists undertake their ownresearch expeditions to gatherfishery-independent data.Samples also taken in areas wherefishery is not active; sampling ofall age groups, including juveniles(using close-meshed nets).sends catch datasends fisher y-dependent datasends fishery-independent data


Plenty more fish in the sea?


46> Chapter 03world’s fisheries is currently a subject of heated debate.Despite the uncertainties, the researchers and the FAOagree on one thing: over the years the situation has deteriorated.Recovery will only be possible if the endangeredstocks are fished less intensely for a number of years.not only fish but also other marine species such as prawns,mussels and squid. If these numbers are added to those forfish, total catches are much greater. Accordingly, for thepast 20 years the total marine catch has been a steady80 million tonnes annually. The peak was reached in 1996with 86.4 million tonnes. In 2011 it was 78.9 millionThings are gradually getting worsetonnes.The results are alarming, because the pressure on fish populationshas been escalating for years. According to thecurrent SOFIA Report, the proportion of overexploited ordepleted stocks has increased from 10 per cent in 1974 to29.9 per cent in 2009. After temporary fluctuations, theproportion of fully exploited stocks rose during the sameperiod of time, from 51 per cent to 57 per cent. The proportionof non-fully exploited stocks, in contrast, has declinedsince 1974 from almost 40 per cent to only 12.7 per centin 2009.A clear trend is therefore emerging: as far as overfishingand the intensive exploitation of the oceans are concerned,the situation is not improving; it is slowly butsteadily deteriorating. It is interesting that the total annualfish catch has been fluctuating for about 20 years betweena good 50 and 60 million tonnes. It peaked in 1994 at63.3 million tonnes. In 2011 a total of 53.1 million tonneswas landed – about four times more than in 1950 (12.8million tonnes). The FAO, however, records the catches ofThe reason why fish catches have remained fairly stableis because over time the coastal maritime regions werefished out, prompting the fisheries to spread out into newareas. They have expanded in geographical terms, fromthe traditional fishing grounds of the North Atlantic andNorth Pacific further and further south. They have alsopenetrated into ever-deeper waters. Only a few decadesago it was virtually impossible in technical terms to dropnets deeper than 500 metres. Today the fisheries are operatingat depths of up to 2000 metres. Moreover, once thestocks of the traditional species had been exhausted, thefishing industry turned to other species. Some of thesewere given new names in an effort to promote sales andmake them more attractive to consumers. For instance the“slimehead” went on sale as “orange roughy”.It is still possible to remove virtually the same amountsof fish from the oceans, therefore, but the composition ofthe global catch and the stocks themselves have changed.Consistent catches are no indication that fish stocks haveremained stable.Percentage of stocks assessed6050403020fully exploitednon-fullyexploitedLive weight (million tonnes)10090807060504030Catch volumes world incl. ChinaCatch volumes world excl. China10overexploited201001974 1979 1984 1989 1994 1999 2004 200901950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 20103.3 > The number of overexploited stocks has soared sincethe 1970s, while the number of non-fully exploited stocks hasdecreased. Fully-exploited stocks are not, in principle, problematic.It is important to manage them sustainably, however.3.4 > The development of catch volumes of world marine capturefisheries since 1950. Catches in China might have beenadjusted upwards for many years, in order to comply with thegovernment’s official output targets.


Plenty more fish in the sea? Top producercountries based oncatchChina catches the most fishTaking catch volumes as the benchmark, China has beenthe most important fishing nation for years now. However,the data available is extremely unreliable. A large numberof experts believe that catches have been adjustedupwards for many years, in order to comply with the government’sofficial output targets. Therefore the figureshave presumably been too high for some time. Onlyrecently has this practice begun to change in China.Peru, until 2009 the second most important fishingnation, has slipped to fourth place. This is due to the lowcatches of anchovies which can be ascribed to climatechange in particular, but also to a complete closure of thefishery designed to protect future anchovy stocks. Indonesiais currently the second and the USA the third mostimportant fishing nation.Developments in Russia are interesting. Since 2004,its catches have increased by about 1 million tonnes.According to the Russian authorities, this growth is aresult of changes to the comprehensive documentation ofcatches. Until now some local catches were registered inthe home port as imports and not as domestic catches.Russia plans to further expand its fishing industry in thecoming years, the goal being to land 6 million tonnes bythe year 2020. This would amount to slightly more thanthe combined catches of all EU nations, which totalled 5.2million tonnes in 2010.A new way of thinkingThe situation is grave, but not without hope. The days oframpant overfishing are over in many regions. After stocksbegan to collapse in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, leadingto the loss of many jobs, it gradually became clear to thefishing industry and policy-makers in various countriesthat overfishing is not only an environmental but also aneconomic problem. Some nations took the necessary stepsto avoid any repeat of the situation. Australia, Canada,New Zealand and the USA, for example, developed fisheriesmanagement plans which limit catches to the extentthat overfishing will be largely avoided in future. Europehas also learned from some of its mistakes. After massiveoverexploitation of the North Sea herring in the 1970s thefishery was completely closed for several years. Thestocks recovered. Here too a fisheries management regimewas introduced to prevent any renewed collapse. Eventoday, however, many other maritime regions and stocks


48> Chapter 033.6 > A net bulging with herring is pulledon board the Norwegian trawler “SvanugElise”. The last good herring year off thecoast of Norway was 2004.


Plenty more fish in the sea?


50> Chapter 033.7 > The FAO divides theoceans into 19 major fishingareas which differ markedly intheir annual catches (in tonnesliving weight). The bar chartsshow the conditions in thecorresponding maritime regions.The FAO figures (based onabout 500 stocks) are comparedwith those of an American-German research group (basedon about 2000 stocks). Despitethe fact that the stock conditionswere ascertained usingdifferent methods, it is still possibleto compare the datasets.The Arctic is not shown in detaildue to its limited catches. Thered figures show the FAO numberof the corresponding area.These areas differ considerablyin their level of productivity.The coastal areas, or moreaccurately the continentalshelves, are usually much moreproductive than the open seas.In FAO area 81, for example,there are few shelf areas, andthe catch is correspondinglylow, but the fish stocks are ina good condition (accordingto FAO data). Therefore, a lowcatch is not necessarily indicativeof poor stock condition.27Northeast Atlantic8,720,395015158Antarctic andSouthern Indian Ocean10,83204Western Indian Ocean4,266,917 57Eastern Indian Ocean6,950,3437118Arctic Sea58961Northwest PacificData not availableWestern Central Pacific11,709,5140681Southwest Pacific573,783FAO dataStocks/species (groups) (per cent)100500Datafrom otherresearchersnon-fully exploitedfully exploitedoverexploited2127313437


Plenty more fish in the sea?


52> Chapter 033.8 > The FAO includesthe NorthwestPacific among theareas with fluctuatingcatch volumes.Spawners“Spawners” is theterm used for sexuallymature male andfemale fish which helpto maintain stocksby producing young.If spawner numbersdecrease as a resultof intensive fishing oradverse environmentalconditions, insufficientyoung areproduced and stockscan collapse.Catch (million tonnes)3025201510501970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010Areas with falling catchesThe areas in which catches have decreased over the yearsinclude the Northwest Atlantic (FAO fishing area 21), theNortheast Atlantic (27), the Western Central Atlantic (31),the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (both 37), the SoutheastAtlantic (47) and the Southwest Pacific (81). In thepast 5 years these areas provided an average 20 per centof the world’s total catch. In some areas reduced catcheswere a result of fisheries management regulations, andstocks are expected to recover here. If the annual statisticsindicate diminished catch volumes, this does not alwaysmean that a stock is being depleted or has been overfished.In the Northeast Atlantic, for instance, the pressure oncod, plaice and sole has been reduced. Management plansare in place for the most important stocks of these species.Fortunately the spawning stocks of the Northeast Arcticcod have increased again here – particularly in 2008.Apparently the stocks have recovered following the lowlevels of the 1960s to 1980s.The future is looking a little brighter for the NortheastArctic pollack and the Northeast Arctic haddock, but otherstocks of these species continue to be overexploited insome regions of the Northeast Atlantic.Catches of blue whiting have decreased dramatically– from 2.4 million tonnes in 2004 to 540,000 tonnesin 2010 and 100,000 tonnes in 2011. This decline can beascribed to the fisheries reacting too slowly to a suddenchange in reproduction. Between the years of 1997 and2004 the blue whiting for unknown reasons producedmasses of young. During this period the species wasfished intensively. But following a sudden drop in reproductionrates after 2004, the fishing industry continued toexploit the species at the same rate as before. The markedreduction of catch volumes in recent years, however, hashelped the stocks to regenerate. In 2012 a harvest ofalmost 400,000 tonnes is expected.The situation of some deep-sea fish species is critical.All in all, 62 per cent of the stocks assessed in the NortheastAtlantic are fully exploited, 31 per cent overexploitedand 7 per cent non-fully exploited.Fish stocks also remain in a poor condition in theNorthwest Atlantic. Cod and ocean perch, for example,have not yet recovered from the intensive fishing of the1980s, despite the Canadian authorities having completelybanned the commercial fishing of these species. Expertsascribe the situation to adverse environmental conditionsand competition for food (Chapter 1). Other stocks whichare protected by fisheries management regimes appear tobe regenerating. These include the spiny dogfish, the yellowtailflounder, the Atlantic halibut, the Greenland halibutand the haddock. Stocks in the Northwest Atlantic areconsidered 77 per cent fully exploited, 17 per cent overexploitedand 6 per cent non-fully exploited.Catch volumes in the Southeast Atlantic have declinedconsiderably since the 1970s, from a previous 3.3 milliontonnes to only 1.2 million tonnes in 2009. This can beascribed partially to overfishing, and partially to catchreductions as a result of sustainable fisheries management.This applies in particular to the hake which is particularlyimportant in this area. Thanks to the fisherymeasures introduced in 2006, some stocks of hake such asthe deep sea Merluccius paradoxus off South Africa andthe shallow water Merluccius capensis off Namibia appearto be recovering. In contrast, stocks of the formerly prolificSouth African sardine appear to be overexploited followinga phase of intensive fishing. In 2004 the stock wasclassified as fully exploited. In the years since then, however,it has declined again as a result of adverse environmentalconditions. This example highlights the speed atwhich a fully exploited stock can become overexploited,and the importance of forward-looking and sustainable


Plenty more fish in the sea?


54> Chapter 03What shape are tuna stocks in?Tuna is popular both in Western Europe and Japan where it is oftenprepared as sushi. At Japanese fish auctions in particular, prices inexcess of 1000 euros per kilogram are paid for certain species oftuna. Visitors to high-class restaurants are quite prepared to paytop prices for the right product. The trade in tuna is thereforeextremely lucrative.As a result of strong demand, in 2009 stocks of seven importantspecies of tuna were overexploited by a third, 37.5 per centwere fully exploited and 29 per cent were non-fully exploited. Inthe case of tuna the status of the species is often defined but notthe populations, because it is difficult to define individual regionalstocks of these fast-moving, highly migratory species. The mostimportant species (as a proportion of total 2010 catch) are:• Skipjack tuna: 58 per cent• Yellowfin tuna: 26 per cent• Bigeye tuna: 8 per cent• Albacore tuna: 5 per cent• Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii): 1 per cent• Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis): 1 per cent• Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus): 1 per centSkipjack stocks are slightly increasing, meaning that in principle itshould be possible to catch more of them. The problem with skipjackfishery, however, is that young bigeye and yellowfin tunabecome caught in the net as bycatch. As several species oftenoccur together it is difficult to catch only one species at a time.Accordingly, experts advise that any expansion of the skipjackfishery should be very closely monitored. There are also fears thatall tuna stocks will further decline in the medium term if commercialfishing continues at the intensive rate of today. The bluefintuna in particular is under threat. For this reason, in 2010 attemptswere made to protect this species in accordance with the Conventionon International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Faunaand Flora (CITES). This convention governs the import and exportof endangered plants and animals. More than 170 nations havejoined the convention since it came into effect in 1974.Non-governmental organizations in particular have called forCITES to protect the bluefin tuna. The species is so popular, theyclaim, that commercial fishing is still economically viable even ifonly a few of them are caught in the net each time. The bluefincould become completely extinct. Opponents counter that overexploitationcannot be compared with extinction, that fishermenwould stop fishing if it were no longer in their economic intereststo continue. Even then, sufficient fish would remain to ensure thesurvival of the species. Whether CITES requirements can be usedat all for ocean fish is doubtful, they say. So far, no internationalagreement has been reached on strict protection based on CITEScriteria. It currently appears that the future protection of the bluefintuna will be governed by the International Commission for theConservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). Whether this will workremains to be seen.3.9 > Catchingyellowfin tuna usedto involve backbreakingmanual labour,as seen here off theGalápagos Islandsin the 1930s.


Plenty more fish in the sea? Tins of tunagenerally contain theflesh of widespreadspecies such as theskipjack tuna. Nonetheless,consumersshould ensure thatthe products they buyare from sustainablefisheries.


56> Chapter 03Catch (million tonnes)876543210PeruviananchovyAlaskapollack3.11 > The ten mostimportant ocean fishspecies and theirworldwide catchtotals. As a result ofthe El Niño climaticphenomenon, catchesof the Peruviananchovy in particularfluctuate from yearto year.SkipjacktunaAtlanticherringPacific chubmackerelCutlassfishEuropeanpilchardJapaneseanchovyCatch 2006Catch 2010YellowfintunaAtlanticcodstocks can be decimated. This example also teaches usthat a stock can regenerate rapidly due to the ability of thefish to reproduce profusely.Other species of fish and stocks, however, are notcapable of recovering so quickly from overfishing. Oneexample of this is the Northeast Atlantic mackerel.The Northeast Atlantic mackerel –departure from the North SeaThe Northeast Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) fisherycomprises three components: the western, the southernand the North Sea stock. Each has its own spawninggrounds. The North Sea mackerel spawn along the eastcoast of Britain, the southern component in the Bay of Biscayand off the Iberian Peninsula and the western componentto the west of the British Isles and Ireland.In spring, when the plankton proliferates in responseto rising temperatures, the mackerel of all three stocksgather in large hunting schools and migrate to the regionbetween the Shetland Islands and Norway. They latergradually leave this nutrient-rich summer feeding area tospawn in the three regions mentioned above. They displayan amazing swarming instinct: by no means all the firsttimespawners return to their traditional spawninggrounds, but often follow the majority of the mackerel.The North Sea mackerel used to be the largest component,so many first-time spawners were attracted to the NorthSea. However, stocks of this component collapsed in the1970s due to overfishing.Although the fishery was completely closed, the componenthas still not recovered. The western stock componentthen became the most prominent. The repercussionsare clear: many mackerel which today begin their lives inthe North Sea follow the main flow of fish towards thewest when they first spawn. This occurs even in goodyears. Even when there are plenty of young fish in theNorth Sea most of them migrate westwards to spawn. Thefact that there are still mackerel in the North Sea presumablymeans that a certain proportion of them continue tofrequent the spawning grounds on England’s east coast.The question is whether a major mackerel stock will everagain be able to establish itself in the North Sea.It is interesting that the Northeast Atlantic mackerelhas apparently been increasingly orienting itself towardsthe west in recent years. The early-summer migration hasbeen taking them more regularly into Icelandic waters. Asa result, Iceland’s mackerel catches have soared from4000 to 200,000 tonnes in only three years. Scientists areworried about the development because for years now toomany mackerel have been caught. The reason is that thelittoral states – the Faroes, Iceland, Norway, Russia andthe European Union – cannot agree on lower catches.Each nation sets its own limits. When added together thetotal catch far exceeds the annual tonnage recommendedby scientists. Fears that Northeast Atlantic mackerelstocks will be completely overexploited in the comingyears are therefore justified.The European hake (southern stock) –haggling over catch numbersThe future of the European hake (southern stock) in theBay of Biscay and west of the Iberian Peninsula is alsouncertain. This is a classic example of how difficult it is toaccurately assess a stock. And it also shows that if indoubt, a fishing nation tends to continue fishing ratherthan protect a fish population.The hake debate is difficult, mainly because the speciesseems to have been proliferating more rapidly overthe past two years than had been observed previously. Itsspawning biomass levels are increasing. ICES scientists,however, believe that for some time now, probably since


Plenty more fish in the sea? Resolute fisheriesmanagementcan ensure the recoveryof a fish stock.After the North Seaherring was overfishedin the 1960s(as revealed by thedrop in spawning biomass),the fishery wascompletely closed.The stock, particularlythe numbers ofsexually mature fish(spawners), regenerated.After renewedover-fishing in the1990s a managementplan was agreed in1997, which onceagain limited catches.The spawning stockwas able to recover.The reduction ofspawning biomasssince 2002 can presumablybe ascribedto climatic changes.Purse seineA purse seine is a netthat is used to encirclea school of fish. Thenet is then drawntogether to retain thefish by using a line atthe bottom, allowingthe net to be closedlike a purse.


58> Chapter 03The deep sea – remote and endangered> People have been fishing in the deep sea for over half a century. Overtime, ever deeper ocean regions have become accessible to deep-sea fisheries. These hidden habitatsare doubly endangered, because they are home to rare as well as sensitive organisms. Fortunately, theknowledge that these ecosystems require special protection is gradually becoming accepted.Fishing in the darkThe assertion that the moon has been more thoroughlyresearched than the deep sea is still true. The deep searefers to the totally dark layers of the ocean below around800 metres.Submersible robotic vehicles that can penetrate to thedeepest parts of the ocean, the deep-sea trenches, havebeen in use for some time, but expeditions with these areexpensive and complex. So our knowledge of life at greatdepths is still fragmentary. At best, submersible vehiclesprovide only highlights in the vast darkness, and sea-floorsamples obtained with grab samplers or trawls deployedfrom research ships allow only isolated snapshots of thedeep-sea ecosystems.Although the impact of human encroachment on thesesystems is largely unknown, the deep ocean regions havebeen fished since the end of the Second World War. Atfirst, fishing mostly targeted species of Sebastes, at depthsof only a few hundred metres. Now fish are being caughtfrom depths around 2000 metres, where the living conditionsare fundamentally different from those in shallowregions. The Food and Agriculture Organization of theUnited Nations (FAO) defines deep-sea fisheries as thoseconducted between the depths of 200 and 2000 metres.Flourishing life in the darknessOff northwest Europe the transition from land to the seabottom is a gradual slope. Off the coast lies a sprawlingcontinental shelf. The North Sea is situated here as a shallow,offshore marginal sea. A similar situation is found offthe coast of China with the South China Sea. The widecontinental shelf ends at the break to the continentalslope, which falls more steeply to greater depths. Thereare also coasts, however, where the transition from theland to deep sea is more abrupt. Here the wide continentalshelves and marginal seas are absent. An example of thisis the coast of Japan, where the sea floor descends abruptlyand steeply into the depths.Distinctive structures rise from the sea floor all aroundthe world: submarine banks, ridges and seamounts. Abank is defined as a sea-floor elevation that can be severalhundred kilometres long or wide. Banks are composed ofsandy material or massive rock.The kind of fish that predominate in an area dependsin part on the bottom characteristics. Individual fish specieshave different modes of life. Some live close to thebottom. They are demersal. Other species swim in theopen water column and are called pelagic. There are alsospecies that live near the bottom, but rise into the watercolumn to hunt for food. These are benthopelagic species.It is amazing that special biological communities havedeveloped in the deep sea in spite of the darkness. Most ofthem have only been superficially investigated and biologistsare constantly discovering new species that have notyet been described. In recent years researchers have beenfocussing on cold-water corals in particular, as well as theecosystems around seamounts and at deep-sea hydrothermalvents and cold seeps. The great biological diversitydiscovered here was completely unexpected because thedeep sea had long been considered to be a dead and muddydesert. The species diversity in the deep sea was sensationalfor researchers.SeamountsSeamounts are underwater mountains that are formed byvolcanic activity and rise at least 1000 metres above the


Plenty more fish in the sea? The depth zones in the ocean. Diverse habitats such as black smokers or cold-water coral reefs have formed in these zones. Where differentspecies settle depends on the depth and structure of the sea floor among other factors.


60> Chapter 033.14 > Seamounts arecommonly locatedat volcanic structuressuch as the oceanridges, and sometimesform long chainsalong the sea floor.Seamounts with aheight between1000 and 3000 metresare marked in red,those higher than3000 metres in blue.sea floor. Some are 3000 or even 4000 metres high. Theirpeaks often rise up into the upper layers of the mesopelagiczone. Seamounts can be regarded as islands orvolcanoes that do not reach up to the sea surface. It waslong believed that these were rare occurrences. Today it isknown that seamounts are present in all oceans. The totalnumber is estimated in the thousands.Research has shown that some seamounts are home tocommunities of unique, endemic species. These includelower animals like sponges and sea cucumbers, relatives ofthe starfish, but also vertebrates such as fish, which canoccur in large schools around seamounts with high speciesdiversity. This makes the seamounts especially interestingfor fisheries.There are still many unanswered questions regardingthe significance of seamounts. Many scientists believethat seamounts act like gigantic stirring rods in the ocean,where small-scale eddies break off from the large oceancurrents. It is presumed that nutrients and dead plant andanimal remains from the epipelagic are trapped in theseeddies and attract fish. That would be a logical explana-tion for the high diversity at seamounts and the sometimesvery high fish densities. It is also known that migratorybirds on their transoceanic flights and large predatory fishlike sharks commonly hunt and feed in marine regionswith seamounts.Furthermore, sharks apparently use seamounts asgeomagnetic orientation points and sometimes mate therein large groups. Elsewhere, bigeye tuna may converge tohunt among the dense schools of prey fish. An example ofthis hunting is seen in eddies over the Hawaiian seamounts.Cold-water coralsCorals usually evoke a mental picture of idyllic South SeaIslands, white palm beaches and swarms of colourfulluminescent fish darting through clear waters suffusedwith light. Actually, however, some coral species also livein cold, deep water layers. They occur primarily in theAtlantic, off the coast of Norway or northwest of Ireland,but they are also found in the Pacific near Australia andNew Zealand.


Plenty more fish in the sea? Cold-watercorals occur worldwide.They can evenflourish at depths of2000 metres.ReefsReefs are narrow,elongated elevationson the sea floor. Coralreefs are composed ofthe carbonate skeletonsof corals, whichhave built up to formreefs several metreshigh over thousandsof years. Mussels canalso build reefs. Inaddition, there arereef-like sand banksand rocky reefs.


62> Chapter 03Exclusive economiczoneThe Exclusive EconomicZone (EEZ) isalso referred to asthe 200-nautical-milezone. Here, coastalstates have sovereignrights to the explorationand exploitationof living and nonlivingresources.This includes theexclusive use of fishstocks in one’s ownEEZ. Furthermore,within its own EEZa state may erectoffshore drilling rigsor wind farms.out in sunlight. The bacterial biomass provides the foundationfor higher life forms. The black smoker sites are alsopopulated by shrimp, fan-shaped gorgonian corals, or tubeworms.Today there are around 300 known black smoker sitesworldwide. Most of them are in the Pacific. There are,however, almost no commercially important fish speciesliving in these extreme habitats. It has only been knownfor a few years that cold seeps in the deep sea are specialand important habitats. Cold nutrient-rich water flows outof the sea floor here.During an expedition off the coast of Pakistan in 2007scientists discovered densely populated cold seeps. Thereare mussel banks, crabs, snails and sea cucumbers.Although experts had long known about heavily populatedcold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico, they were believed tobe an exceptional case. Actually, however, cold seeps arefound in numerous ocean regions. Off the coast of Pakistan,for example, the Arabian continental plate is beingpushed beneath the Eurasian plate. In the process, watercontained in the sediments is pressed out. It flows backinto the ocean through fissures in the bottom. Substancescontained in the water provide nutrition for bacteria andsmall animals, which in turn become food for higherorganisms such as crustaceans.The fish of the deep seaIn the nutrient-rich and highly productive coastal regions,massive reproduction is typical of many species, and thisensures their survival. Many deep-sea fish species, on theother hand, are characterized by slow growth, late sexualmaturity, long life, and the production of fewer offspring.They are adapted to life at great depths, to a habitat inwhich unchanging environmental conditions prevail. Thestrong temperature fluctuations that can impact the repro-Species Habitat Age at sexualmaturityMaximumage3.16 > Many fishspecies of interest tofisheries occur in thedeep water layers.Some do not reachsexual maturity until arelatively late age.Roundnose grenadier(Coryphaenoidesrupestris)Sablefish(Anoplopomafimbria)Continental slopeand sea floor;Northern Atlantic;600–800 mContinental slopeand sea floor;Northern Pacific;300–2700 m10 545 65Orange roughy(Hoplostethusatlanticus)Seamounts and banks;Atlantic,parts of the Pacific;180–1800 m20–40 >100Smooth oreo dory(Pseudocyttusmaculatus)Seamounts and banks;Southern Atlantic andPacific; 400–1500 m20–30 100Pacific ocean perch(Sebastes alutus)Seamounts and banks;Northern Pacific;180–640 m10 100


Plenty more fish in the sea? The orangeroughy lives at depthsdown to 1800 metres.High seasThe “high seas” arethe areas of the oceanto which all stateshave free access. Nocountry may claimsovereignty over anypart of the high seas.The high seas, wherefreedom of navigation,research andfishery are internationallyrecognized,begin at the boundaryof the 200-nauticalmilezone. Much ofthe deep-sea regionlies outside the EEZ,and is therefore partof the high seas. Allnations have the rightto exploit fish stocksthere.


64> Chapter 033.18 > The catches ofmany deep-sea fish,like the orange roughyshown here, declinedrapidly within just afew years because ofoverfishing.SablefishGrenadiersCuskLingGreenland halibutSebastes speciesOrange roughyOreosomatidaeWhiptailArmourhead3.19 > Over the years,the total catchesof deep-sea fisherieshave remainedhigh. However, thiswas only possiblebecause new specieshave replaced theoverfished stocks ofother species. Thefigure shows the totalamounts for differentspecies in each year.An example of overfishingof a deep-seaspecies is provided bythe armourhead, whichhad been fished byJapanese and Russiantrawlers at Pacificseamounts since the1960s. Within 10years the stocks wereso strongly reducedthat the species wascommercially depletedand abandoned byfisheries.Catch (in 1000 tonnes live weight)Catch (in 1000 tonnes live weight)100908070Pacific OceanIndian OceanAtlantic Ocean60504030201001975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 20051200100080060040020001950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010the K-strategists. For example, newly discovered stocks oforange roughy were reduced to 15 to 30 per cent of theiroriginal size within just 5 to 10 years. In many areas thespecies was commercially depleted. This “boom and bust”kind of fishery is typical in the pursuit of deep-sea fish species.The reason for this is that species like the orangeroughy not only produce a small number of offspring, theirreproductive performance is also very erratic and episodic.Several years can pass with low production of offspringbefore a strong season occurs again. It is still not knownwhat controls or triggers these fluctuations. Investigationsat the Great Meteor Seamount west of Madeira have indicatedan influence of changes in the winds affecting eddycurrents above the seamount.It is a certainty that the deep-sea species cannot compensatefor heavy fishing activity. Deep-sea fishing is alsoboth ecologically and economically questionable. For onething, it is very destructive, and for another the catchlevels are relatively low because most deep-sea fish stocksare comparatively small due to their K-strategy. Thus,taken as a whole, the deep-sea fisheries represent only asmall proportion of the worldwide catch amounts. Basicallythey can only be maintained because of the high subsidies,since the costs for fuel are high for the great distancesships often have to cruise out.Again and again over the years, new species that previouslywere not considered by fisheries have becomeinteresting, usually to replace species that were overfished.The pursuit of various species of Sebastes is astriking example of the substitution of an overfished speciesby a new one. The total catch has dropped since the1970s, but it has still remained at a comparatively highlevel. This has been possible because new species havebeen targeted.In the northeast Atlantic, starting in the 1950s,Sebastes marinus (golden redfish) was initially caught. In1980 it still made up more than 40 per cent of the catch ofSebastes species. But then the stocks declined. In the1990s Sebastes marinus made up less than 20 per cent ofthe total catch of Sebastes species in the northeast Atlantic.In lieu of Sebastes marinus, fishing of the Greenlandstocks of Sebastes mentella (deepwater redfish) intensified.In this region the species is mainly demersal. Asthese Greenland stocks shrank, the focus shifted to themore pelagic-living Sebastes mentella stocks in the openAtlantic. Due to restraints on fishing, it has been possiblefor some time now for the Sebastes mentella stocks offGreenland to recover.Destruction of unique habitatsMany species of deep-sea fish build up large stocks, especiallyat structures like seamounts, banks and cold-watercoral reefs. Fishing for these species represents a potentialthreat to the environment, especially when demersaltrawls are used that can destroy fragile corals. The prob-


Plenty more fish in the sea? In Norway’s Trondheimsfjordthe red bubble gum coral (Paragorgiaarborea) occurs beside the white stonycoral Lophelia pertusa. There arearound 1000 cold-water coral speciesworldwide.


66> Chapter 03Catching fish in international watersThe fish catch in international waters outside the EEZ is regulated bythe Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) andtheir member countries. These members include not only the borderingstates, but also countries that are heavily involved in fishing in agiven marine region. For example, China and Japan also fish in thenortheast Atlantic. This is consistent with international maritime lawand completely legitimate according to the principle of freedom ofaccess to the high seas. The European countries, in turn, are representedin numerous RFMOs through the European Commission.Annual negotiations are held to determine which countries areallowed to catch how much of a species. Almost all commerciallyrelevant fish species are covered by the RFMOs.There are specific RFMOs for the management of certain fishspecies, for example, salmon and pollock. The catch of highly migratoryspecies, above all tuna, is also regulated by special RFMOs. Inthese, the countries that carry out tuna fishing are represented as arethe bordering and coastal states whose Exclusive Economic Zones areadjacent to the fishing ground. This also takes into consideration thefact that tuna, in contrast to most fish species, do not live in geographicallydefined stocks. Sharks are covered, in part, as a subgroupof the ICCAT.There are only a few remaining marine regions today that are notsupervised by RFMOs, or that are insufficiently supervised due to apolitical situation. These include the Indian Ocean around the Hornof Africa. Although the area is covered by the IOTC, fishing cannotbe regulated due to piracy. Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing(IUU fishing) is common there. The Arctic, on the other hand, isnot yet managed by RFMOs because fishing there is rare. With thegrowing worldwide demand for fish, however, this region couldbecome more interesting for fisheries in the future.NEAFCCCBSPNASCONAFOGFCMCCBSPSPRFMOSEAFOCCAMLRSIOFASPRFMO3.21


Plenty more fish in the sea? RFMOs that manage fish stocks by region:3.22 > RFMOs that manage highly migratory fish species, mainly tuna:• North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC)• Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)• North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO)• South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO)• South Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA)• South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation(SPRFMO)• Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine LivingResources (CCAMLR)• General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM)• Convention on the Conservation and Management of PollockResources in the Central Bering Sea (CCBSP)• International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas(ICCAT)• Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC)• Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)• Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC)• Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program(AIDCP)• Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna(CCSBT)


68> Chapter 033.23 > Rockall, offIreland. At its baseis a marine areaconsidered to be oneof the most speciesrichand deservingof protection in thenortheast Atlantic.lem is that corals grow very slowly, usually only a fewmillimetres each year. So it can take decades for the habitatsto recover. Studies at several neighbouring seamountsoff Tasmania have shown that 43 per cent of the specieswere previously unknown and thus could be unique. Inareas where demersal trawls were used, the total numberof species was diminished to 59 per cent of the originalnumber. 95 per cent of the surface was reduced to bare,stony bedrock. It is thus highly conceivable that endemicspecies that only exist at a single seamount could be completelyexterminated.Is it possible to protect the deep sea?species that are vulnerable to overfishing. They relate tomethods by which the fishing gear comes into contactwith the sea floor. These guidelines, by definition, shouldregulate protection in international waters outside theExclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), where freedom of theseas and fishing is recognized. The FAO refers to areasdeserving protection as vulnerable marine ecosystems(VMEs). In addition to banks, seamounts and cold-watercoral areas, these include large species-rich sponge communitiesas well as densely populated undersea hydrothermalvents and cold seeps. The following criteria areused to determine whether a marine area is given the statusof a VME:In 2008, in response to the growing knowledge that deepseahabitats are especially threatened by fisheries, theFAO established the International Guidelines for the Managementof Deep-sea Fisheries in the High Seas. Theseguidelines are not legally binding. They do, however,contain clear recommendations for the protection of fish1. UNIQUENESS OR RARITY:Ecosystems that are unique or contain rare species. Theloss of the ecosystem cannot be compensated for bysimilar ecosystems. These include: habitats with endemicspecies, habitats with endangered species, breeding orspawning areas.


Plenty more fish in the sea?


70> Chapter 03Illegal fishing> In many maritime regions of the world, illegal fishing has massively contributedto the depletion of fish stocks, especially in developing countries’ coastal waters. Betterinternational cooperation to control fishing vessels is now being launched. The aim is to eliminateillegal fishing in future.Unscrupulous fishing worsens the problemsNowadays, the world’s fish stocks are not only underthreat from intensive legal fishing activities; they are alsoat risk from illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.It is difficult to estimate precisely the total catch frompirate fishing. Researchers are engaged in the painstakingprocess of collating data from various countries’ fisheriescontrol agencies, experts’ estimates, trade figures and thefindings of independent research expeditions in order toarrive at an approximate figure for the total IUU catch. Asthis is a black market, however, estimates are bound to beunreliable. Some experts put the annual figure at around11 million tonnes; others suggest that it may be as high as26 million tonnes – equal to 14 or 33 per cent respectivelyof the world’s total legal catch (fish and other marinefauna) in 2011. These catches are additional to the worldannual catch of fish and other marine fauna, currently78.9 million tonnes.For many years, however, too little account was takenof IUU fishing in estimates of fish stocks. This is problematical,for unless the IUU share is factored into the calculations,the legal catch quotas for a given maritime regioncannot be determined correctly. Based on the assumptionthat less fish is being caught than is in fact the case,experts overestimate the size of the stock and set the followingyear’s catch quotas too high, potentially entrenchingand accelerating the overexploitation of the stock.IUU fishing also exacerbates the problem of overfishingbecause IUU vessels even operate in marine protectedareas where a total fishing ban has been imposed. It alsopays little or no heed to fisheries management planswhich are intended to conserve overexploited or depletedstocks.However, the main reason why IUU fishing is a particularlycritical issue today is that many fish stocks havealready been overexploited by legal fishing activities. IUUfishing therefore puts fish stocks under additional pressure.If stocks were being managed sustainably, on theother hand, IUU fishing would no longer exacerbate analready difficult situation to the extent that it does today.The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UnitedNations (FAO) defines three categories of IUU fishing:ILLEGAL FISHING refers to fishing activities conductedby foreign vessels without permission in waters under thejurisdiction of another state, or which contravene its fisherieslaw and regulations in some other manner – forexample, by disregarding fishing times or the existence ofthe state’s protected areas. For example, some IUU vesselsoperate in waters under the jurisdiction of West Africanstates. As these countries generally cannot afford toestablish effective fisheries control structures, the IUUvessels are able, in many cases, to operate with impunity.UNREPORTED FISHING refers to fishing activities whichhave not been reported, or have been misreported, by thevessels to the relevant national authority. For example,some vessels harvest more tonnage than they are entitledto catch under official fishing quotas. In 2006, for example,several Spanish trawlers were inspected by the NorwegianCoast Guard near Svalbard (Spitsbergen). Thetrawlers were found to hold not only the reported catch ofheaded and gutted cod but also a total of 600 tonnes of codfillets which had not been reported to the Norwegianauthorities. The Norwegian authorities subsequentlyimposed fines on the Spanish trawler company equivalentto 2 million euros.


Plenty more fish in the sea? A chase at seanear South Korea:an entire fleet ofillegal Chinese fishingvessels attempts toevade the SouthKorean Coast Guard.The fishermen werearrested by armedunits soon afterwards.UNREGULATED FISHING refers to fishing activities inareas where there are no applicable management measuresto regulate the catch; this is the case in the SouthAtlantic, for example. The term also applies to fishing forhighly migratory species and certain species of shark,which is not regulated by a Regional Fisheries ManagementOrganization (RFMO). And finally, the term appliesto fishing activities in international waters in violation ofregulations established by the relevant RFMO.Although unregulated fishing is not in fact illegalunder the law of nations applicable to the high seas, it isnonetheless problematical. It results in additional fishbeing caught over and above the maximum catches agreedby RFMO member states for their respective regions.As a result, fully exploited stocks can easily become overexploited.Furthermore, IUU fishermen often ignore theexistence of marine protected areas established by theRegional Fisheries Management Organizations to supportthe recovery of overexploited stocks.Why does IUU fishing exist?From the fishermen’s perspective, IUU fishing is highlyattractive as they pay no taxes or duties on these catches.A further reason why IUU fishing takes place on such alarge scale is that it can often be practised with impunity.This is mainly the case in the territorial waters or exclusiveeconomic zones of countries which cannot afford toset up costly and complex fisheries control structures suchas those existing in Europe.The situation is especially difficult in the developingcountries. In a comprehensive analysis of IUU fishingworldwide, researchers conclude that IUU fishing is mainlypractised in countries which exhibit typical symptomsof weak governance: large-scale corruption, ambivalentlegislation, and a lack of will or capacity to enforce existingnational legislation.The Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC), comprisingseven member states in West Africa (Cape Verde,


72> Chapter 033.25 > Transshipment is typical of IUUfishing. As seen here off the coast ofIndonesia, smaller fishing vessels transfertheir illegally caught fish onto largerrefrigerated transport ships (reefers). Thefishing vessels are restocked with fuel andsupplies at the same time, enabling themto remain at sea for many months.


Plenty more fish in the sea?


74> Chapter 033.26 > Differentspecies groups (fishand other marinefauna) are affectedby IUU fishing tovarying degrees. Oneparticular study hasshown that from2000 to 2003, IUUfishing mainlytargeted demersalspecies (i.e. thosewhich live and feed onor near the bottom ofthe sea). The figureshows the illegal andunreported catch,as a percentage ofreported catch, byspecies group.Percentage100806040200Misc. demersalfishesSalmons, troutsand smeltsMisc. coastal fishesLobsters,spiny-rock lobstersCods, hakes,haddocksShrimps, prawnsOystersSquids, cuttlefishes,octopusesHerrings, sardines,anchovisMisc. marinecrustaceansMisc. pelagic fishesScallops, pectensCrabs, sea spidersClams, cockles,arkshellsmarine fish neiTunas, bonitos,billfishesFlounders, halibuts,solesshow that even fishermen from EU countries are notimmune to temptation and that the prospect of a healthyprofit may persuade them to fish illegally.The problem is exacerbated by the fact that not everyIUU vessel needs to put into port in order to land its catchimmediately. In many cases, especially off the coast ofWest Africa, the smaller fishing vessels load their catchonto larger refrigerated ships (known as reefers) while atsea. During this transshipment, fishermen on board arealso resupplied with food and fuel, enabling them toremain at sea for many months.The Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC) concludesthat some IUU vessels off West Africa are in operation365 days of the year, putting massive pressure on fishstocks. The refrigerated ships then make for ports in countrieswith lax controls, enabling them to land their catchesunhindered.The practice of using a flag of convenience (FOC) alsomakes it easier to engage in IUU fishing activity. Instead ofregistering the ships in the shipping company’s homestate, IUU fishers operate their vessels under the flag ofanother state, such as Belize, Liberia or Panama, with lessstringent regulations or ineffective control over the operationsof its flagged vessels.By switching to a foreign register of ships, restrictiveemployment legislation and minimum wage provisions inthe home country can also be circumvented, allowing theshipping companies to pay lower wages and social insurancecontributions for their crews than if the vessel wereregistered in Germany, for example. Furthermore, fisherieslegislation in “flag-of-convenience” states is oftenextremely lax. These countries rarely, if ever, inspect theirvessels for illegal catches.Monitoring of onboard working conditions is alsoinadequate, and conditions are correspondingly poor. Thefishermen work for low wages on vessels whose standardsof accommodation are spartan in the extreme, andwhich rarely comply with the current safety standardsapplicable to merchant shipping under the InternationalConvention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS regulations).The Convention contains exact details of equipmentthat must be available to ensure safety on board.


Plenty more fish in the sea? An armed unitof the South KoreanCoast Guard arrestsChinese fishermenwho have been fishingillegally in SouthKorean waters.Very few countriescan afford such effectivefisheries controlstructures.


76> Chapter 03LandearthstationMarinemonitoringcentre3.28 > Nowadays,fishing vessels mustbe equipped withelectronic devices, or“blue boxes”, whichform part of thesatellite-based vesselmonitoring system(VMS). The blue boxregularly sends dataabout the locationof the vessel to thefisheries monitoringcentre (FMC). Vesselsare also equippedwith GPS transmitterswhich track the ship’sspeed and position.VMS satelliteMarine protection vesselGPS satelliteFishing vesselIf a ship lacks any of the relevant documentation, it is notpermitted to land its catch and must head instead for a portoutside the EU. Permission to land the catch is also refusedif there are any discrepancies between the figures given inthe catch certificate and the daily entries in the electroniclogbook. In this case, the fisheries control agency – in Germany,this is the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food –may require vessel monitoring data to be produced. Nowadays,electronic devices, or “blue boxes”, are installed onboard fishing vessels and form part of the satellite-basedvessel monitoring system (VMS). The blue box regularlysends data about the location of the vessel to the fisheriesmonitoring centre (FMC) responsible for the area wherethe vessel is currently fishing. If the vessel enters territorialwaters or fishing grounds where it is not permitted tofish, the master of the vessel can be prosecuted.In suspicious cases, the state in which the fish is to belanded may request the VMS data from the state in whosewaters the vessel has been fishing. Furthermore, the landingprocedure is observed in each EU port. The fisheriescontrol agency checks how much is being landed andwhich species comprise the catch. Random checks arealso carried out periodically. Relevant measures have beenagreed by the EU and the other countries belonging to theNorth East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC),including Iceland and Norway, putting this region beyondthe reach of IUU fishermen.The same applies to the Northwest Atlantic, ports inthe US, Canada and other member states of the NorthwestAtlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), such as Denmark,Iceland and Norway.The example of Mauritania shows that more stringentcontrols can be introduced to good effect in developingcountries as well. VMS-based monitoring of vessels andcontrols of landings in port have largely eliminated IUUfishing here.The FAO has been lobbying for many years for stringentand uniform controls worldwide and is a firm advocateof close cooperation among ports. It takes the viewthat a concerted approach by ports will make it more difficultfor IUU fishing vessels to find a port where they canland their catches without fear of repercussions. However,ports derive an income stream from the charges theyimpose on vessels using their facilities. Ports which areused by a large number of vessels generate very largeamounts of revenue, and for some ports, this takes precedenceover the protection of fish stocks. Although a draftAgreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter andEliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing hasexisted for a good three years, based on the FAO Code ofConduct, no specific measures to enforce global actionhave been adopted yet.A further initiative to combat IUU fishing consists ofthe blacklists held by the RFMOs. These include details ofvessels which have attempted at some point to land IUUfish at an RFMO port. Port and fisheries control authoritiesregularly refer to these blacklists. This “name andshame” policy is intended to make it even more difficultfor IUU vessels to find ports where they can land theircatches. However, here too, states must be willing tocooperate in order to combat IUU fishing effectively. Aslong as the lack of international coordination allows loopholesto exist, IUU fishing will continue.


Plenty more fish in the sea?


4 A bright future for fish farming78> chapter 04


A bright future for fish farming It is highly unlikely that wild capture fisheries will be able to produce higheryields in future. For aquaculture the opposite is the case. No other food production sector has grown asfast over the past 20 years. Abuses such as antibiotics in fish feed and the over-fertilization of marinewaters, however, have brought the industry into disrepute. It must now prove that large-scale fish farmingis possible without placing unacceptable demands on the environment.


80> chapter 04Aquaculture – protein provider for the world> During the 1970s aquaculture was a relatively insignificant industry, buttoday it is almost as productive as the ocean fishing sector. About 600 aquatic species are nowraised in captivity, with different species being preferred for different regions. Experts predict thatthe importance of fish farming will increase even more in the future, because it has clear advantagesover beef and pork production.4.1 > No other foodproduction sector hasachieved such highgrowth rates as aquaculturein the past40 years.Fish for 9 billion peopleThe global population is growing at a breathtaking pace. In1950 the world had a total of 2.5 billion people, a figurethat had burgeoned to 7 billion by 2012. According toUnited Nations estimates, this number could exceed the9 billion mark by mid-century. As populations increase, sotoo does the need for food. Fish is a widespread, affordableand healthy source of valuable protein. There is no question,therefore, that the global demand for fish will intensifyin future.When we consider that the amount of wild-capturedfish has not increased in recent years, only one alternativeremains: fish farming, or aquaculture, must fill the gap. IsAverage annual production increase (1970 to 2008)Plant Food CommoditiesCereals 2.1 %Pulses 1.1 %Roots and tubers 0.9 %Vegetables and melons 3.4 %Animal food commoditiesBeef and buffalo 1.3 %Eggs 3.2 %Milk 1.5 %Poultry 5.0 %Sheep and goats 1.8 %Fish 8.4 %it capable of doing so? This is the question many scientistsaround the world are trying to answer.For many years aquaculture played a relatively minorrole in global fish production, but its significance hasincreased dramatically over the past 20 years, spurred bythe demand from Asia’s fast-growing populations. Today,aquaculture makes a major contribution to human nutrition.For example, it provides a large proportion of the animalprotein consumed in China, Bangladesh and Indonesia.Global production of fish, mussels and crab in 2010was almost 60 million tonnes, a figure which includes productionin marine waters, brackish water and freshwater.Aquaculture production is now about three quarters ofthat from ocean fish and seafood caught in the wild. In2011 this amounted to 78.9 million tonnes.No other food industry has shown such growth asaquaculture in recent decades. Between 1970 and 2008annual production worldwide increased by an average of8.4 per cent; much more than poultry farming and eggproduction, which have the second highest growth ratesafter aquaculture.Asia – the cradle of fish farmingAquaculture is not equally important in all countries andall regions. For instance, central Europe in general prefersits fish to be caught in the wild. In China on the otherhand, fish farming is widespread and has enjoyed a millennialong tradition, since carp were first domesticated.China is still the undisputed leader in aquaculture production.Since 1970 it has recorded annual growth rates inaquaculture production of an average 10 per cent, althoughrecently these have slowed to about 6 per cent. Today61 per cent of global production comes from China, with


A bright future for fish farming Asia dominatesworld aquaculture.The total output ofthe top ten producercountries worldwideis shown. Theamounts of farmedalgae and aquacultureproducts not used asfood are not included


82> chapter 04Million tonnes7060Freshwater (%)Marine waterBrackish waterFreshwater7060Percentage4.3 > Marine water,5050brackish water andfreshwater – aquacul-Marine water (%)ture production has4040shown strong growthin all areas over thepast 30 years.3030202010Brackish water (%)1001980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 20100seen in Accra, the capital of Ghana, and Lusaka, the capitalof Zambia. Small and medium-sized businesses are alsobecoming involved in Zambia and Uganda, with the aim ofoperating commercial aquaculture on a large scale. Expertsare praising these approaches, because they believe this isthe only way of making enough fish available to supplylocal markets.Furthermore, there is great interest in the large-scaleexpansion of fish farming in countries such as South Africa.For about 5 years now a national aquaculture associationhas been involved in setting up aquaculture operations.Some of the technology applied will be exported toother African nations, although in some countries theimportation of the facilities is still complicated by exorbitantlyhigh duties.In many other regions of Africa, however, an aquacultureindustry is still a long way off. For this reason nongovernmentalorganizations (NGOs) have been trying forsome years to encourage aquaculture among individualcommunities.With the exception of a few nations, aquaculture inAfrica is still at an embryonic stage, and its potential is farfrom being exploited. It will take at least 10 years beforeany appreciable production increases are seen. Unfortunately,even if strong expansion should occur, aquacultureis unlikely to be able to keep pace with the needs of thefast-growing population.From salmon to pangasius –aquaculture productsAbout 600 species are raised worldwide by aquaculture.Depending on local traditions and preferences, differentspecies are in high demand in different regions of theworld. The species raised include fish, crabs, mussels,amphibians (frogs), aquatic reptiles, sea cucumbers, jellyfishand sea squirts (fleshy organisms which live on thesea floor and filter the water). China farms mussels andcarp in particular, and in terms of the latter, has done sofor several thousand years. The carp is also a popularfarmed fish throughout the rest of Asia. Finfish are foundhere, too, along with catfish and shrimps, and prawnswhich are exported all over the world. For some yearsnow a popular Asian export fish has been the pangasius,


A bright future for fish farming In terms ofaquaculture production,carp is themost important fishworldwide.Milk Carp Eggs Chicken Pork BeefFeed conversion(kg of feed/kg live weight)0.7 1.5 3.8 2.3 5.9 12.7Feed conversion0.7 2.3 4.2 4.2 10.7 31.7(kg of feed/kg edible weight)Protein content3.5 18 13 20 14 15(% of edible weight)Protein conversion efficiency (%) 40 30 30 25 13 54.5 > Fish can convertfeed into bodymass much moreefficiently than birdsor mammals. Theyprovide a great dealmore mass per kilogramof feed.


84> chapter 04important regions are China (58.4 per cent of global production),Indonesia (20.6 per cent) and the Philippines(9.5 per cent). Most of the algae produced worldwide isused in the cosmetics, chemical and food industries. Onlya small proportion is used for human consumption, as abase for soups. The tropical algae Eucheuma and Kappaphycus,harvested throughout the Indo-Pacific regionbetween the island of Zanzibar and the Philippines, arealso of significance. They offer many fishermen an additionalincome and are utilized in the chemical, health andbiological industries as a bacterial growth medium.The strengths and weaknesses of aquacultureAquaculture has come in for some hefty criticism in recentyears. For various reasons it still attracts controversy.Food, faecal and metabolic wastes from intensive fishfarms can lead to the eutrophication (over-fertilization)of water in rivers and coastal bays. There have also beencomplaints that fish farmed under intensive conditions formaximum yields are more susceptible to disease thantheir relatives in the wild. Tremendous amounts of antibioticsand other medications are used to fight disease,particularly in relation to shrimp on farms in South EastAsia – with unforeseeable consequences for surroundingecosystems and consumer health. In some cases thesepoints are valid, but they should not detract from the factthat aquaculture can be a very efficient and sustainablemethod of supplying humans with animal proteins – andcounteracting over-fishing.The farming of the classic common carp or mirror carpprovides a positive example of environmentally-soundaquaculture. Carp are bottom feeders, generally eatingsmall aquatic animals, plants, dead plant matter and waste4.6 > In Belize, inCentral America, theconstruction of hugeaquaculture facilitieshas involved thedestruction of largetracts of land andmangroves. Theeffluent is dischargedto the sea withoutany prior treatment.Such operations havebrought the sectorinto disrepute.


A bright future for fish farming Aquacultureemits much lessnitrogen and phosphorusper tonne ofproduced proteinthan livestock farming.Farmed musselseven lower nitrogenand phosphoruslevels as they filterthe water. However,this also means thatmussels from highlypolluted waters canthemselves containhigh nitogen andphosphor levels.


86> Chapter 04Towards more eco-friendly aquaculture> Aquaculture is expected to satisfy the growing world population’s demandfor fish – and at the same time protect ocean fish stocks. Hopes are pinned on farming as an alternativeto over-fishing. But the use of copious amounts of feed derived from wild fish, the destruction ofmangrove forests and the use of antibiotics have given fish farming a bad name. Current research anddevelopment projects, however, show that environmentally-sound aquaculture systems are possible.What do farmed fish eat?The impact of aquaculture on the environment depends onseveral factors. It makes a difference whether the fish arefarmed inland in freshwater, or along coastal areas. Intensivefish farms in coastal waters can pollute entire bayswith uneaten food and fish faeces. Large areas of land aresacrificed to set up ponds, for example. An accumulationof effluent from aquaculture facilities can cause over-fertilizationif it contains excess nutrients. Moreover it cancontain residues of veterinary drugs. Feed is anotherimportant factor to consider when carrying out an environmentalaudit for an aquaculture operation. First of all,it is crucial to ascertain if any feeding at all is required, andif so, what kind of feed should be given to the aquatic animals.The aquaculture industry differentiates betweennatural feed and artificial feed.• Natural feed includes the organisms that fish find andexploit in their surroundings. For example, musselsextract nutrients from the water without needingextra food. Carp feed on mosquito larvae, small musselsand zooplankton.• Artificial feed (mostly in pelletized form) is processedin factories by feed manufacturers. The pellets aremade of grain, fishmeal and fish oil. They contain allthe nutrients which the species of farmed fishrequires, and also a high proportion of protein and fat.Pellets are used for intensive fish farming – by companieswhich breed and sell fish on a grand scale. Salmon,tilapia, sea bass and some shrimps and lobster arefed with diets that contain fishmeal and fish oil frommarine origin.Percentage of fishmealPercentage Percentage of fish of oil fish oil Percentage of fishmealusage per marketusage usage per market per market usage per marketAquacultureAquacultureAquaculturePoultrydirect direct human humanPoultryconsumptionPigsPigsOther OtherOtherOther46 64252513 138881 8163634.8 > Today fishmeal and fish oil are predominantly used inaquaculture. They are extracted mainly from anchovies andsardines.Small aquaculture operators in particular tend to use feedwhich either grows or can be sourced locally at affordableprices. This includes plants, crop residues and fish waste.The most controversial types of feed are those whichcontain a high proportion of fish. The problem is that thefarming of some species requires the use of wild fish asfeed – in most cases small pelagic fish, particularly anchovies,sardines and herring. Salmonid farming utilizes relativelylarge amounts of fish-based feed. Fishmeal and fishoil are produced in large industrial facilities, whichinvolves grinding and boiling the whole fish. Centrifugesare then used to separate, dewater and dry the resultantmass.In light of the fact that many wild fish stocks havebeen reduced to critical levels, it seems nonsensical to usethem as fish feed, especially if the volume of wild fish producesa lower weight of farmed fish, as expressed by the“Fish In – Fish Out” (FIFO) ratio. For this reason critics areurging people to eat the wild fish directly, instead of usingit as feed. However, so far there has been limited demand


A bright future for fish farming Although theoutput of aquaculturehas increased greatlyover the past 30 years,the sector’s consumptionof fishmeal andfish oil is at about thesame level as in the1980s. Greater use ofplant-based nutrientsis one reason; moreefficient utilizationof fishmeal and fishoils is another. Theprice of fishmeal andfish oils has multiplied,mainly dueto rising demand inChina.400220200110001980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 20100around the world for small pelagic fish as food. Marketswould first need to be developed. The fishmeal industrypoints out that the use of fishmeal and fish oil is justifiedbecause the fish utilized are from stocks that are in goodstate as a result of good fisheries management. But it is fairto say that not all these fish stocks are in fact managedsustainably.Fishmeal and fish oil – expensive commoditiesNot only salmon and eels, but many other farmed aquaticanimals are currently being fed with fish caught in thewild – particularly with pellets processed from fishmealand fish oil. Fishmeal and fish oil have been used in thefarming of both poultry and pigs for decades. However,rising prices have reduced the proportion of these commoditiesin their feed. Aquaculture is by far the largestconsumer, accounting for about 60 per cent of fishmealand 81 per cent of fish oil. Fish oil is mainly used in thebreeding of salmonids. Norway has greatly expanded itssalmon farming facilities and is now the largest importerof fish oil. The amount consumed in food supplements andmedicinal products for human use is 13 per cent.Fishmeal and fish oil are extracted mainly from anchoviesand sardines, which are found in large numbers offSouth America. China, Morocco, Norway, Japan and othernations also produce these commodities for their own consumptionand for export. Among others, blue whiting,sand eels, capelin and sundry waste from fish processingare used in these countries. While Norway imports themost fish oil, China, Japan and Taiwan are the largestimporters of fishmeal. Yet despite the strong growth inaquaculture of recent decades, the production of fishmealand fish oil today is almost the same as it was in the early1970s. There are several reasons for such growth combinedwith virtually constant inputs. First, the price forfishmeal has increased considerably in recent years as aresult of strong demand in the importing countries, especiallyChina. For this reason aquaculture producers aremore interested in using feed substitutes – from crops for


88> Chapter 04How much fish does a fish need?Aquaculture operators aim to raise as many fish as they can with as littlefeed as possible. Large predators such as salmon, however, require comparativelylarge amounts of feed to produce body mass. The FIFO ratio isthe measurement of the amount they need. It indicates how much wildfish must be used as animal feed in order to produce an equivalent weightunit of farmed fish. If 1 kilogram of wild fish is used to produce the feedsof 1 kilogram of farmed fish, the FIFO ratio is 1 (1 kilogram/1 kilogram =1). Any value more than 1 means that more than 1 kilogram of wild fishis required to produce 1 kilogram of farmed fish. In the mid-1990s theFIFO ratio for salmon was 7.5, while today the figure is between 3 and0.5. Our increased knowledge of efficient feeding and improved feed formulationshas contributed to this development.Improved feeding efficiency as expressed by the FIFO ratio saves fishmealand enables more farmed fish to be produced with less fish in feeds.Studies have shown that this technological adaptation from aquacultureindustry is vital if we are to meet current and even larger per capita consumptionrates. For example, if the current global consumption rate offish of 17 kilogram per capita and year is to be maintained by 2050, aquaculturewould have to reduce its FIFO ratio from approximately 0.6 in2008 to 0.3 units of marine fish to produce a unit of farmed fish. Themost recent assessments and projections indicate that this value is achievableif aquaculture continues to improve its efficiency at the current pace.This seems to be possible – not only by optimizing feedstuffs, but alsoby breeding fish species which are less demanding. Catfish already achievea ratio of 0.5, tilapia of 0.4 and milkfish, a popular fish group in Asia, aratio of 0.2, which would mean that 5 units of cultivated milkfish are producedusing one unit of marine fish.instance. Second, the FIFO ratio of many fish species hasbeen reduced by the use of improved feeds or improvedfeeding regimes.Rapeseed in place of fishmeal?Scientists are working hard to reduce both the amount ofadditional feed used in aquaculture and in particular theFIFO ratio. One approach is to develop crop-based feedstuffswhich are rich in protein. The problem is that fishmealcontains a high percentage of protein, about 60 percent, which is essential to build muscle mass. Rapeseed(canola), however, contains only 20 to 25 per cent. Forthis reason the researchers are trying to produce proteinextracts, varying the amount of different proteins toensure the feed is very easily digested and converted tobody mass. Rapeseed is showing particular promise. Thiscrop is utilized extensively for bioethanol (biodiesel) production:the large amounts of plant waste which accumulatewould be suitable feedstock for aquaculture.Protein can also be extracted from potatoes. Trialshave been carried out using various different combinationsof potato protein. Up to 50 per cent of fishmeal couldbe saved without any negative impact on the growth ofthe farmed fish. Alternative feedstuffs can also achieve theopposite result, however. So-called anti-nutrients can havea disastrous effect. These are substances which are poorlyutilized by the fish and can induce metabolic disorders.Scientists are convinced that feeding farmed fish witha combination of different ingredients is the most efficientapproach. This would further reduce the use of expensivefishmeal and lower the FIFO ratio. It would make littlesense to dispense with fishmeal and fish oil completely,however. Both provide essential omega-3 fatty acidswhich come from plankton. Fish cannot produce thesethemselves but ingest them with their food. If they are fedonly plant-based feedstuffs, the farmed fish will lack theseessential fatty acids, thus defeating the object. Such omega-3fatty acids are one of the main reasons that consumerschoose to eat fish.More economical and environmentally-responsiblefeeding regimes require the following measures:• the use of nutrients from local regions, to avoid longtransportation routes;• the improvement of processing and manufacturingmethods to make the feed more nourishing and digestible,and reduce the content of anti-nutrients;• the targeted and sparing use of fishmeal in combinationwith other alternative inputs;• the increased farming of undemanding fish specieswhich need fewer proteins and fats;• the increased farming of fish species which are bredwithout fishmeal;• the further development of high quality proteins andfats from plants and microorganisms.


A bright future for fish farming The Pacific oyster has colonized the entire Wadden Sea. It overruns the banks of blue mussels that are a vital source of food for seabirdssuch as eider ducks. It was originally introduced by mussel farmers in Holland and on the North Sea island of Sylt.


90> Chapter 04Effluent to feed plantsThe excrement from fish farms can be used to sustain other organisms.For instance, the excretions from shrimps serve as food forlarge marine algae. Haddock feed on faeces particles and shrimpshells. This integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) is nowfound in many different countries. It is operated mainly in breedingfacilities along coastal areas.Another type of integrated feeding used in inland breedingfacilities is the aquaponic process. Effluent is used to fertilize cropplants; uneaten food, faeces and fish excreta provide the plantswith nutrients. The plants in turn clean the water, thus closing theloop. Bacteria are often a part of the system which converts thefood, faeces and excreta into chemical compounds that the plantscan utilize. When animals and plants are combined with skill, suchaquaponic facilities can be quite self-sufficient: operators neitherhave to feed the fish nor process the water. Tilapia, flowers andvegetables, among others, are farmed in aquaponic facilities. Todate such facilities have seldom been operated on an industrialscale. The technology still needs optimization.4.11 > Impressive aquaculture: fish and vegetables are produced together in this facility in the USA. Fish excrements provide nutrients for theplants. The plants purify the water. Such a closed-loop system is called “aquaponic”.


A bright future for fish farming


92> Chapter 04Production of salmon (in 1000 tonnes)500604004030020020100001980 1985 1990 1995 2000 20054.12 > The exampleof Norway shows thatthe intensificationand professionalizationof productioncan lead to improvements.Despiteincreasing numbersof salmon, the use ofantibiotics in theNorwegian salmonfarming industry hasdeclined.the rivers in many places. Conversely, in Europe carpfarming is considered very environmentally-friendly, asthe aquatic animals are bred under extensive productionmethods. This is mainly due to the fact that, unlike in China,the demand for carp is comparatively low.The results for eel and shrimp farming in ponds arepoor. As far as cage production along coastal areas is concerned,finfish are problematic. They involve a very highlevel of energy use, partially because of the frequent supplytrips in boats. They also perform badly in terms of carbondioxide emissions and acidification of the seas.Improvement in sightEurope imports large numbers of shrimp and fish fromAsia in response to customer demand in countries such asGermany and France for affordable products. Cheap, however,can be synonymous with intensive, industrial, andoften environmentally-damaging factory farms, whichEuropean consumers would prefer to be situated in someoneelse’s back yard. Scientists claim that this is just outsourcingthe problems from Europe to Asia, and the situationwill not improve until attitudes change. The signs arepromising, with many consumers now mindful of foodsafety and sustainability certificates. The certification ofwild capture fisheries is already well established. Awarethat such eco-labelling on product packaging can impacton purchasing decisions, the trade is now putting pressureon suppliers in the aquaculture industry, demanding fishfrom sustainable production. In the coming monthsAntibiotic use (in tonnes)farmed fish will appear on European shelves bearing thenew “Aquaculture Stewardship Council” (ASC) label cofoundedby the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), variousfood trading initiatives and fisheries. The “MarineStewardship Council” (MSC) standard, the equivalent forocean fish, has been around for many years.There is no question that fish farming sustainability isgaining momentum or that the topic is being debated atthe highest levels. Two years ago the Food and AgricultureOrganization of the United Nations (FAO) publishedguidelines setting out clear standards for the certificationof aquaculture operations. It is expected that traders willin future measure their producers against these guidelines.Certificates and voluntary commitments by thetrade are already in existence, but consumers are unawareof them as they are only relevant for direct contactsbetween traders and suppliers. The same objectives, however,apply. For instance, trade cooperation agreementshave been adopted for the distribution of pangasius fromcertified aquaculture operations along the Mekong Delta.Some major and international supermarket chains havealso concluded individual agreements with producers.For about 10 years now development aid agencies andnon-governmental organizations in Asia have been tryingto set up sustainable aquaculture operations. Converting avast number of small operations is proving a challenge.For this reason efforts are being made to include as manyfarmers as possible in cooperation projects with the aim ofimproving production within an entire region. In somecases the solutions are extremely pragmatic. For example,extra ponds act as a buffer to protect rivers from theinflow of nutrients from farming ponds. The nutrients andsuspended matter then settle as sludge for later use as fertilizer.In some regions of Vietnam there is now a brisktrade in sludge.Experts also see a growing awareness in China forproducts from sustainable aquaculture, especially amongthe burgeoning middle class. National seals of sustainabilityare thus being promoted aggressively. Although thistrend is promising, it will nonetheless take years for environmentally-soundaquaculture to finally become established.


A bright future for fish farming


94> Chapter 055 Getting stock management right


Getting stock management right Overexploited stocks, unemployed fishermen, short-sighted structural policy –it is impossible to ignore that fisheries management has failed in many respects. Nonetheless, we canall learn from the positive approaches being taken in some regions. These aim to conserve fish speciesand ecosystems and take account of the social dimension – objectives which the European Union has yetto achieve with its current reform of fisheries policy.


96> Chapter 05Fishing at its limit> The size of fish stocks can fluctuate considerably from one year to thenext. Setting catch limits at sustainable levels is therefore a challenging task. Although there havealready been some good scientific approaches to the problem, these have not translated into fisheriespolicy. Now, at last, a new fisheries management regime should safeguard the long-term sustainabilityof global fisheries.The coming and going of fishFish stocks increase and decrease, with or without fishingactivity. We have been aware of this natural phenomenonfor hundreds of years. In the past it has spelled disaster formany people when fish stocks have suddenly declined.For instance, in 1714 and 1715 the cod inexplicably failedto appear along the barren west coast of Norway. In thepoor region of Søndmør the fishermen, to avoid starvation,were forced to sell their most important possession – theirboats.For a long time it was unclear what triggered suchfluctuations in fish stocks. Many fishermen and scientistsbelieved that in some years the fish simply migrated toother maritime regions. Finally in 1914 the Norwegianfisheries biologist, Johan Hjort, produced a comprehensivestatistical analysis of data he had gathered over numerousresearch expeditions. One of his most important findingswas that variability in the number of fish and offspring islargely dependent on environmental factors – includingthe salinity and the temperature of the water.Hjort’s work dates back almost 100 years. Since then,our knowledge about the growth and decline of many fishstocks has increased tremendously. Today we know thatmany factors impact on the natural development of stocks.We still do not fully understand how everything interacts,however.The natural factors with the greatest impact includethe biotic environment with its species interactions, andalso the abiotic environment, particularly the salt and oxygencontent, temperature and quality of the water. The latterare also changed by long-term climate fluctuations – afurther complicating factor in reaching an understandingof stock development. Of course, the size of fish stocks isnot affected only by nature but also by human fishingactivity. The condition of an exploited stock can bedescribed by the following three factors:STOCK BIOMASS (B) is the total weight of all large andsmall, juvenile and adult fish in a stock. This figure is estimatedwith the aid of mathematical models using fisheries’catch data and scientific samples and is quoted intonnes. But even these mathematical estimates are riddledwith uncertainty. Biomass can also fluctuate greatly fromyear to year. Of particular significance is the number ofadult, sexually mature fish – the spawners – because theyare responsible for producing offspring. This section of thestock is known as the “spawning biomass” which is alsostated in tonnes. The spawning biomass level is crucial forfisheries scientists because they use it to derive vitalbenchmarks, known as reference points, used in fisherymanagement. The total biomass of a stock is made up ofthe spawning biomass and the biomass of the juveniles,which have not yet reached sexual maturity.THE FISHING MORTALITY RATE (F) is a somewhatabstract measure of fishery pressure. It can be convertedto a relative value which indicates the proportion of thestock biomass which is removed by the fisheries.THE PRODUCTIVITY of a stock is calculated by subtractingthe number of fish which have died of natural causesfrom the increase in mass resulting from offspring andnatural growth of the fish. This correlation makes it clearthat the productivity of a stock is highly dependent on thespawning biomass. It follows that the stock declines whenthe natural mortality rate and the fishing mortality ratetogether are greater than the productivity.


Getting stock management right


98> Chapter 055.2 > > Barren land,poor fishermen: Inthe Søndmør regionof western Norwaypeople’s livelihoodsused to dependalmost exclusivelyon fishing, andparticularly on thedevelopment of fishstocks.The offspring production of a fish stock is limited. If thespawning biomass is large, the habitat at some stagereaches its maximum carrying capacity. Even if thespawning biomass then continues to grow, the number ofjuvenile fish remains at a certain level. At this stage theamount of offspring depends entirely on the environmentalconditions. Various factors come into play here: eggsand larvae may be eaten by predators, for example, orstarve because insufficient food is available. In additionthere can be competition for suitable spawning sites todeposit eggs. The Baltic Sea herring, for example, depositsits adhesive eggs on aquatic plants. When there are toomany spawners, they deposit the eggs on top of eachother, and those underneath die from a lack of oxygen. Asthese conditions can fluctuate from year to year, so toodoes the number of offspring when spawning stocks arehigh. There can be strong but also very weak years foroffspring.If a stock is exploited too intensively the following canoccur. The spawning mass is at some stage so small thatfew offspring can be produced. In such a case the numberof offspring depends directly on the number of spawners.It is no longer capable of reaching its carrying capacity,even when good environmental conditions prevail. Thevalue at which the spawning biomass is so small is calledlimit biomass (B LIM). The corresponding fishing mortalityrate is described as F LIM.The failure of the precautionary approachThe massive overfishing of many stocks by the industrialfishing industry in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s made theimportance of limiting catch volumes abundantly clear. In1995, the international community adopted a more cautiousapproach to fishing with the United Nations StraddlingFish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA). In the same year


Getting stock management right Twelve hours before hatching: the large, well-pigmented eyesof the transparent herring larvae are particularly striking.5.3b > Eat or be eaten: at eight days old, herring larvae feed mainlyon the larvae of smaller crustaceans. They are themselves the prey oflarger fish. Only about 1 per cent of herring larvae survive this stage.5.3c > After 30 days the larvae have all the fins of adult fishes. Thegills and scales are formed at this stage. The swim bladder is partiallyformed, so that the larvae can move up and down the water columnfollowing the food.5.3d > Still almost scale-free. At 60 days the larvae look like fullygrownherring, but the stomach is not yet fully developed and theyhave few scales. However, the swim bladder is now fully functional.The larvae can swim strongly and flee from predators.


100> Chapter 05the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UnitedNations (FAO) published its Code of Conduct for ResponsibleFisheries. The overriding aim of this precautionaryapproach (PA) is to prevent a stock from being reduced tosuch an extent that it can no longer produce sufficient offspringand becomes overexploited. It also stipulates thatfisheries should err on the side of caution: the less that isknown about a stock and its development the more carefullythat stock should be managed, and the less it shouldbe exploited. In principle, therefore, the precautionaryapproach aims to avert the risk of harm to fish resources.Limits were accordingly set for many commerciallyexploited fish species, in order to minimize fishing mortalityand prevent severe depletion of stock biomass. ForGuidelines against overexploitationFisheries science is geared to two parameters: the fishing mortality rate (F)and spawning biomass. If fishery is to be sustainable, F should be sufficientlylow, and the spawning mass sufficiently large. Experience hasshown that functioning fisheries management systems need limit referencepoints and target reference points. An adequately low F Targetshouldachieve a low mortality rate. An additional limit reference point (F MSY)should prevent the fishing mortality rate from ever rising to critical levels,indicating that catches are too high. In future the F MSYshould replace theconventional F PA-value. In practice these F-values are extremely importantpoints of reference for the fisheries. In terms of total biomass, however,only a target reference point, the B MSY, is specified. B LIMis the crucial lowerthreshold for spawning stock which should never be reached. In thisevent the stock would be overfished.5.4Fishing mortality rate (F)F LIM1,0 0,5B LIMF PALimitreferencepointB PALimitreferencepointF MSYLimitreferencepointB MSYTargetreferencepoint100 500 1000Spawning biomass (tonnes)F Targetreferencepointexample, each year the EU Council of Ministers sets thetotal allowable catch (TAC) for stocks in the waters of theEuropean Union, thus stipulating how many tonnes of afish species may be caught in a specific area.The precautionary approach also takes the dynamicsof the stocks into account, because environmental conditionscan change the size of a stock. If there is little foodavailable, for instance, the productivity of the stockdeclines accordingly. The biomass shrinks. If there is plentyof food, the productivity rises and the stock grows. Thefishing industry must take these stock fluctuations intoaccount and adjust catch volumes accordingly, not continueto catch the same amount of fish. Such adjustmentshould be achieved using several benchmarks and limitreference points, terms which are still used for fishingaccording to the precautionary approach:BIOMASS PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH (B PA): It is difficultto predict the status of a fish stock, for several reasons.One is that the current fishery and research dataused to calculate fish abundance is unreliable. Another isthat all mathematical analysis programs are to a certainextent inexact. There is no 100 per cent certainty. TheLimit Biomass (B LIM) is therefore too risky as a referencepoint. The probability is too great that the biomass doesactually fall below this limit in any given year, threateningpopulation growth. In line with the precautionaryapproach, therefore, it was decided to stipulate a limitreference point which takes such uncertainties intoaccount. This limit is known as the Biomass PrecautionaryApproach (B PA). It is designed to guarantee that the biomassdoes not inadvertently fall below the B LIM-threshold.The area between B LIMand B PAis therefore a buffer zone,as it were. Today it is still the most important benchmarkused to ascertain the health of many stocks.PRECAUTIONARY FISHING MORTALITY RATE (F PA): Asthe biomass is a fundamentally unreliable and changeablevariable which cannot be directly influenced by humanactivity, it is not practical to stipulate a limit referencepoint for the fisheries which takes only the biomass as itsparameter. Therefore there is an additional limit reference


Getting stock management right


102> Chapter 05Why fishing at MSY levels delivers moreThe maximum sustainable yield (MSY) is achieved at a certain levelof biomass (B MSY). This differs in size from fish stock to fish stock.At B MSYthe annual production of new biomass is at its maximum –firstly because the fish grow particularly well and increase theirweight, and secondly because more eggs and larvae survive todevelop into fish.Above or below B MSY, the stock is less productive. At about200,000 tonnes biomass, for example, the stock provides only15,000 tonnes of new biomass per year. This is because there aremore fish in the stock to compete for food, and they each put onless weight. Also, more eggs and juvenile fish are cannibalized. Astock of only 50,000 tonnes biomass experiences a similar level ofbiomass growth. Although this smaller stock contains fewerspawners, the total achieved from the increase in weight of theindividual fish (as a result of reduced competition for food) andthe biomass of the offspring (which have a greater chance of survivalwithin a smaller stock) is the same as for a large stock.It is interesting that sustainable fishing is also possible withlarger or smaller sized stocks than the B MSY, but the annual fishyield is lower.5.5Biomass growth per year (1000 tonnes)252015MSY10500 50 100 B MSY 150 200 250Biomass (1000 tonnes)


Getting stock management right


104> Chapter 055.6 >Blindtext westnorwegischen Region Søndmørhing das Wohl der Menschen lange Zeitfast ausschließlich vom Fischfang und vor allemder Entwicklung der Fischbestände ab.Netz mit Kabeljau und Schellfisch5.6 > Fishermen on the deck of the trawler“Messiah” sort cod that they have caught inthe Pacific near the Aleutian Islands.


Getting stock management right


106> Chapter 05ator and prey – cod, herring and sprat. Scientists believefisheries management according to the multi-species principleshould be possible in the Baltic Sea within the nextfew years. By contrast, 17 species interact in one complexsystem in the North Sea. For this area, therefore, it is difficultto develop a multi-species concept. Although scientistshave learned a lot in recent years about how speciesfundamentally interact and prey on each other, little isknown about the volumes involved.Analysing the stomach contents of fish or the faeces ofsea birds and marine mammals is one way of determininghow much of a given species is eaten. If these analyses arecombined with data on speeds of digestion, a rough estimatecan be made of how much fish is being consumed.But in most cases the required data is only available forcertain years, as individual research projects tend to betime-limited. The data is, therefore, very unreliable. Withthe aid of mathematical models, however, efforts can bemade to reduce these uncertainties and make a betterassessment. Various projects are currently attempting todo this. The researchers hope to be capable of making amore reliable evaluation within the next 10 to 15 years.CONCEPTS FOR MIXED FISHING: Fish of several differentspecies are often caught in fishing nets at the sametime – whether or not they are closely linked within theecosystem. This is called mixed fishing.One example is cod and haddock. Both cod and haddockare predators, but they do not prey on each other.Their similar size and habits mean that when one speciesis caught, the other inevitably ends up in the net too. Thismakes it difficult to optimize the catch volume for a singlespecies. Cod is more valuable than haddock but occurs insmaller numbers and is classed as overexploited in theNorth Sea. If we concentrate on catching cod, we cancatch very little without placing the stock under furtherpressure. But at the same time we forgo a large volume ofhaddock. If, alternatively, we rely on the cheaper, more5.7 > Stomach contentanalysis shows whatmarine fauna feedon – in this case acrustacean, snails anda bullhead, a bonyfish.


Getting stock management right Natural beautyagainst an urbanbackdrop: for thecitizens of Seattle,orcas in the PugetSound are a commonsight.freely available haddock, cod will also end up in the net asbycatch. Intensive haddock fishing will cause the codstocks to dwindle. There are many such interdependencieswhich complicate mixed fishing, especially in theNorth Sea. Although not all the details are yet known,researchers are hoping to establish an initial pragmaticconcept for the North Sea at last, within the next two tothree years. This will take the problems of mixed fishinginto account and simultaneously optimize the multi-speciescatch in terms of the MSY.The ecosystem-based approach –the ultimate disciplineThe situation becomes even more complicated if we lookat the entire ecosystem – all the fish along with all theother marine dwellers. Currently there is controversyamong the experts about whether it is better use of theexpensive, time-consuming fishery research expeditionsto find out more about the development of individual fishspecies – or whether all species in the ecosystem shouldbe recorded as a whole in order to increase our understandingof the food web. Although our knowledge ofthese interrelationships has increased enormously, particularlyover the past 20 years, we are still a long wayfrom implementing an ecosystem-based fisheries managementregime.US researchers have developed a concept for ecosystem-basedfisheries management in the Puget Sound offSeattle on the west coast of the USA, and are showing howthis could perhaps function. Although not yet introducedby the US authorities, this concept is considered by otherexperts to be viable and could serve as a model for otherparts of the world. The researchers analyse the extent towhich a certain species may be exploited without causingany damage to the environment. They also take intoaccount other human impacts on marine life such as constructionwork, shipping and tourism.


108> Chapter 05Towards better fisheries management> For many years, fishing around the world has been organized on the basisof management plans. And yet stocks have been overexploited and thousands of fishermen have losttheir livelihoods. Future-proof fisheries management must master both these challenges: it must supportsustainable fishing while achieving high long-term yields. The Alaskan fishing industry is oneexample of how this can work.5.9 > A scene fromthe Cod Wars: theIcelandic vessel “Ver”(left) attempts tocut the fishing linesof the British trawler“Northern Reward”(right). The Britishtugboat “Statesman”intervenes.Conflict over a living resourceThe importance of establishing clear regulatory arrangementsfor fishing activity was demonstrated with particularlydramatic effect by the Cod Wars in the NortheastAtlantic in the 1950s and 1970s. At the time, many foreigntrawlers used to fish close to the Icelandic coast, for unliketoday, there was no exclusive economic zone (EEZ)extending 200 nautical miles out from the coastal baseline.This led to a conflict over access to fish stocks, mainlybetween Iceland and Great Britain. At the peak of theconflict in 1975/1976, Britain even sent in warships. Thesituation was not defused until 1982, when the UnitedNations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)was adopted, establishing exclusive economic zones.This example shows the high level of demand for fish,a lucrative and highly tradable commodity. It also showshow serious the consequences of a poorly regulated fisherycan be. Even today, there are periodic conflictsbetween countries over fishing rights or the allocation offishing quotas. A much greater challenge at present, however,is the overexploited status of many stocks. The primarytask of modern fisheries management is thereforeto limit catch volumes to a biologically and economicallysustainable level and ensure equitable access to fish as aliving resource.Fisheries policy or centralized fisheries managementtherefore focuses either on catch volumes (direct approach)or fishing effort (indirect approach):• Fishing volume: To prevent too many fish beingcaught, the authorities can limit catch volumes (output).In most cases, this means setting a total allowablecatch (TAC). This defines the maximum quantityof a given species that may be caught in a specificarea, generally the EEZ, in any year.• Fishing effort: To prevent too many fish being caught,the authorities can also limit fishing effort (input). Forexample, their effort-based management measurescan include limiting the number of fishing days, fishingvessels’ engine power, or the size of the fleet, orsetting minimum mesh size for nets.Fishing quotas – equal rights for all?In fact, it is quite possible to regulate fishing effectivelywith the aid of fishing quotas. To that end, a total allowablecatch (TAC) is set for a specific marine area. The TACis then broken down into separate national fishing quotasfor the various countries which border this maritimeregion. For example, each Baltic Sea state has a nationalfishing quota. Of course, for this system to function effectively,more is required than a single national quota:


Getting stock management right CatchTotal Allowable Catch (TAC)• Limits the maximum catchper speciesLanding fees• Introduces payments per tonneof landed fishIndividual (tradable) quotas• Allocates shares of the TotalAllowable Catch to individualfishermen/fishery enterprisesInput > Fishing effortFishing licences and capacity restrictions• Granting of fisheries licences• Restrictions on fishing capacityTechnical restrictions• Criteria to increase selectivity• Bans on certain fishing practicesSubsidies/taxation of inputs• Fuel subsidies• Support for modernization programmes5.10 > Classicapproaches tofisheries managementeither focus onrestricting catchesor attempt to limitfishing effort.The term “fisheriesmanagement”encompasses a varietyof methods whichcan be used toregulate the fishingindustry. Theirsuitability in anygiven context dependson the fish stockand region.Selectivity criteria (age/sex)• Establishes minimum size criteriaLimits on the number of fishing days/engine power• Number of days at sea• Compliance with closed periodsotherwise, fishermen within a single country would findthemselves in direct competition with each other andwould attempt to catch as many fish as possible at the startof the season in order to fulfil a large share of the quota.This would lead to a glut of fish on the market for a shortperiod, pushing down prices and ultimately harming thefishermen’s livelihoods.So in order to give fishermen a measure of security toplan their fishing activities for the entire season, the totalallowable catch is generally allocated to individual fishingvessels, fishermen or cooperatives.Fisheries policy strategies in which fishermen are allocatedlong-term fishing rights in some form are known asrights-based fisheries management. Individual transferablequotas (ITQs) are the prime example.In an ITQ system, fishermen are allocated individualfishing quotas as a percentage share of the total allowablecatch. As a rule, the ITQs are allocated for a period of severalyears, giving the fishermen the stability they need toplan ahead. The fishermen can trade their ITQs freelywith other fishermen, which often results in relativelyunprofitable enterprises selling their quotas to more efficientcompanies. Less economically efficient companieswould be inclined to sell, and more profitable companieswould be likely to buy the ITQs. The main goal of the ITQsis to achieve the greatest possible economic efficiency andsustainability. There is less focus on social objectives. Inextreme cases, the quotas become concentrated in thehands of a small number of companies.One example is the New Zealand hoki fishery, whichis now dominated almost completely by a small number oflarge fishery enterprises.Another example is the Icelandic fishery. The managementof Iceland’s cod stocks is considered to be fairly goodnowadays as regards sustainability. Following the introductionof ITQs, however, many family-owned companiesleft the fishing industry and sold their quotas to otherenterprises.


110> Chapter 05An end to discards?Fishing quotas are generally allocated for individual fish stocks. Infisheries in which individual species can be caught on a targetedbasis – in the main, these are schooling fish such as herring ormackerel – this works well. Often, however, various species of fishend up in the net. Fishery experts call this a mixed fishery. In theNorth Sea sole fishery, for example, large quantities of plaice,another flatfish species, are caught as bycatch. This causes problemsbecause fishermen can only land the species for which theyhave been allocated a quota. All the other fish and marine faunacaught as bycatch are dumped overboard. Most of the discards arealready dead when they go back into the water. This discarding ofbycatch has been practised for decades. The European Union (EU)is keen to prohibit the practice of discarding under its new CommonFisheries Policy (CFP). A frequent criticism is that it is almostimpossible to monitor compliance with a ban. For that reason, variousmeasures and strategies are currently being discussed toreduce bycatch on a general basis in future and make monitoringmore effective. They include:• Use of sealed CCTV cameras to monitor activity on deck. Thistype of system is now being trialled on a number of fishingvessels in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.• More intensive onboard deployment of government observers.• Counting of non-quota species against the quota. A shrimpfisherman, for example, who catches plaice as bycatch mustthen count this species against his shrimp (prawn) quota,based on a specific formula. This reduces the quantity ofshrimp that may be caught under his remaining quota. Thepurpose of this measure is to exert gentle pressure on fishermento switch to more sophisticated fishing gear that fishesmore selectively and minimizes bycatch. For prawn fishing, forexample, new nets are now being developed that use a mildelectric pulse to disturb the prawns while the flatfish remainon the seabed..The new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) will probably allow a transitionalperiod of several years for the introduction of the newtechnology. Based on the current stage of the discussions, it seemslikely that the possibility of counting non-quota species againstthe quota will also be introduced on a progressive basis. The aim isto carry out fewer checks and compel fishermen to take moreresponsibility – in other words, to increase their ownership of theprocess. On the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, an attempt hasbeen made to solve the problem of discards as follows. Instead ofallocating fishing quotas, restrictions are imposed on fishing effort.The fishermen can only spend a limited number of days at sea.However, they can land their entire catch, so there is no need forthem to discard any fish. This approach does not solve the problemof high-grading, however; this term describes fishermen’s practiceof sorting out the most valuable components of the catch, such asthe largest and heaviest individuals from a given species, becauselarge fish bring in more money per kg of body weight. Smaller ordamaged fish are then dumped overboard. This is a waste ofresources. High-grading is already banned in the EU, Iceland andNorway but is still practised despite the bans, so properly functioningcontrols are vital.5.11 > In the North Sea, a typical bycatch is likely to include small flatfish and a great many crabs, such as shore crab (Carcinus maenas).


Getting stock management right Hot competitionfor limitedresources: in SitkaSound in Alaska, theherring fishery is onlyopen for a few hoursa year. Dozens ofboats then competefor the catch.


112> Chapter 055.13 > Different fishing techniques and their impacts on theenvironment> GILLNETS are anchored at a fixed position in the water. Thereis a low level of bycatch of other species because of the specificsites selected for the setting of gillnets. However, turtles, marinemammals and seabirds can become entangled in these nets.> PURSE SEINE NETS are used to encircle a school of fish. Thenet is then drawn together to retain the fish by using a line atthe bottom, allowing the net to be closed like a purse. There isa low level of bycatch of other species as purse seines targetschools of one species. However, dolphins or turtles are oftencaught as bycatch. Modern purse seines therefore have escapemechanisms.> PELAGIC TRAWLS are funnel-shaped nets that are towed byone or two vessels. The fish are scooped up and captured inthe “cod end”, i.e. the trailing end of the net. Bycatch of otherspecies can be a problem in some areas, depending which speciesis being targeted for trawling.> BOTTOM TRAWLS work in a similar way to the pelagic trawl,but are dragged along the seabed. They are one of the mostimportant techniques used in deep-sea fishing. The nets candamage underwater habitats such as cold-water coral reefs.> BEAM TRAWLS are bag-shaped bottom trawls that are mountedon a heavy metal beam and towed along the seabed. Thisdestroys many fauna living in and on the seabed> LONG-LINES consist of a long main line, up to 100 km inlength, with a large number of short lines (called snoods)carrying thousands of baited hooks. Bycatch is a problem.Dolphins, sharks, turtles and seabirds become trapped on thehooks


Getting stock management right


114> Chapter 05are fished sustainably and are in a good state. In manycases, TACs and ITQs have been set in accordance withthe maximum sustainable yield (MSY) principle, i.e. themaximum annual catch that can be taken from a species’stock over an indefinite period without jeopardizing thatstock.In some fisheries, the limit reference points and targetreference points for the maximum annual catch are evenmore stringent than the MSY. The following factors contributeto successful fisheries management:• The fishing industry and policy-makers comply withresearchers’ recommendations on catch volumes andwith limit reference points and target reference points.• Various interest groups are involved in the managementprocess at an early stage. Researchers’ expertiseplays a key role in the setting of quotas. In addition tocommercial fishing companies, recreational fishingassociations and non-government organizations areinvolved in the allocation of fishing rights, in measuresto avoid bycatch, and in other aspects of fisheriesmanagement.• Responsibilities for the various aspects of fisheriesmanagement are clearly defined and hierarchicallystructured. Fishing in international waters is regulatedby one of the Regional Fisheries ManagementOrganizations (RFMOs). Fishing in the exclusive economiczone is managed by national authorities, whilefishing in coastal waters falls within the jurisdiction oflocal authorities.• Government observers are deployed and their operatingcosts are covered by the fishery enterprises, generatingfunds for the research community. The entireAlaska pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) fishery, forexample, is monitored by onboard observers. Landingsin port are also monitored by CCTV.• The focus is not only on individual fish species: effortsare also made to manage fishing in a way which protectsthe ecosystem as a whole. Experts call this theecosystem approach. Among other things, it meansthat no heavy fishing gear can be used that wouldpotentially damage the seabed.• The management authorities are willing to learn fromothers’ mistakes and, from the outset, target theirmeasures towards avoiding overfishing. This is thecase in both Alaska and New Zealand, where industrialfishing began only around 20 years ago.In the USA, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservationand Management Act adopted in 1976 contains the mainlegal provisions applicable to fishing. The Act has beenrevised several times over the years, most recently in2007. The latest amendments introduce measures for theUSA as a whole which are very much in line with some ofthose already in place in Alaska. For example, fishingshould now take greater account of environmental conservationaspects and protect important fish habitats. Theobjectives defined in the Act are to be achieved with theaid of fishery management plans (FMPs) which incorporatethe economic, ecological and social dimensions.Although there is some opposition to these stringent rulesin the USA, they are now established in law and non-governmentalorganizations can bring legal actions in theevent of violations.The right management regime for each stockSo which management measures are most appropriate togenerate a high but sustainable yield over the long termwhile protecting fish stocks and marine habitats? This willultimately depend on the fish stock and the local situation.In industrial fishing, which is carried out using vast vesselsand provides employment for around 500,000 fishermenworldwide, the fishing activity could, in theory, bemonitored by onboard observers, although this is associatedwith high costs. However, in countries where artisanalfishing involving hundreds of small boats is the norm,as in West Africa, this type of surveillance measure cannotpossibly work. With an estimated 12 million artisanal fishermenworldwide, it is quite impossible to monitor all ofthem at work. Nonetheless, there are some promisingstrategies for monitoring the catches of small and medium-sizedcoastal fisheries as well. In Morocco, for example,the authorities have introduced automated systems to


Getting stock management right Fishingwithout bycatch:stilt fishermen inSri Lanka’s coastalwaters wait patientlyfor their prey,which they haul outof the water withrods and landingnets.monitor coastal fishing. Machines are installed in port orin the coastal villages and fishermen are allocated a chipcard which they insert into the machines to register theirdeparture and arrival times. This gives the authorities anongoing overview of which particular fishermen are at seaat any given time. If a ship does not return to port on time,the authorities can run preventive checks. This systemalso allows fishing effort to be estimated very accurately.The catches are recorded by the authorities on landing. Atpresent, the system is used to record vessels of trawlersize, but from next year, smaller motor boats will also bemonitored using this system, with spot checks on thesesmaller vessels’ catches also being carried out. Penaltiesare imposed on fishermen who provide false informationabout their catch. These penalties depend on the severityof the offence, but in some cases can include the confiscationand scrapping of the boat.More regional responsibilityTerritorial use rights in fisheries (TURFs) are an alternativeto centralized approaches to fisheries management.Here, individual users or specific user groups, such ascooperatives, are allocated a long-term and exclusive rightto fish a geographically limited area of the sea. Catchesand fishing effort are decided upon by the individual fishermenor user groups.This self-organization by the private sector can alsohelp to achieve a substantial reduction in governmentexpenditure on regulation and control. Users also have avested interest in ensuring that they do not overexploitthe stocks, as this is necessary to safeguard their ownincomes in the long term. However, a use right for a stockof fish or other living resource in the ocean is exclusiveonly for non-migratory species such as crustaceans andmolluscs.One example of successful management by means ofTURFs is the artisanal coastal fishery in Chile, whichmainly harvests bottom-living species, particularly seaurchins and oysters. Fishermen here have shown thatthey have a vested interest in pursuing sustainable fishingonce they have the prospect of obtaining secure revenuesfrom these fishing practices over the long term. Similarapproaches are being pursued in the lobster fishery


116> Chapter 05Mauritania, Senegal and the difficult path towards good fisheries managementThe waters off West Africa are among the most heavily fished in theworld and the irresponsible approach to fishing there is heavily criticized.Mauritania is a good example of how difficult it is to movetowards sound and sustainable fisheries management. Mauritania isnot a traditional fishing nation, so fish is not a staple food here.Instead of engaging in fishing activity itself, Mauritania has, for manyyears, granted licences to foreign fishing companies – an importantsource of income for this desert state. However, the licences haveuntil now been granted solely on the basis of vessel size (tonnage) – avery imprecise measure for targeted management of fish stocks. Mauritania,with support from various other nations and developmentprojects, therefore decided to establish a more effective fisheriesmanagement system. In 2006, it adopted its first management plan,which focused on octopus fisheries. Then on 1 August 2012, a comprehensivenew fisheries protocol entered into force on a provisionalbasis with the aim of regulating many other fisheries as well. Amongother things, the protocol sets precise quotas for each species anddefines the number of ships and maximum catch per species. Thistype of arrangement makes it much easier to manage fishing activity.The licence fees were also increased. In order to monitor compliancewith the various quotas, catches of demersal fish (bottom-living speciesincluding shrimp and deep-water crab) must be landed in Mauritania’sonly fishing port, namely Nouadhibou. Pelagic fish, of whichup to 1 million tonnes are caught off Mauritania annually, cannot belanded here due to capacity limitations, however. The transshipmentof the catches from the trawlers to the large refrigerated transport5.15 > Worried about their livelihoods, Senegalese fishermen held protestsin March 2012. The President in office at the time intended to sellmore fisheries licences to foreign fishing companies.ships must therefore take place just outside the port of Nouadhibouso that random checks can be carried out at any time.With the new fisheries protocol, an effective management regimeis available – in theory. However, it is currently being boycotted bymost owners of the foreign fishing fleets on the grounds that it is toostringent. These are just some of their complaints:• Spanish octopus fishermen are no longer permitted to fish foroctopus as the stocks are overexploited;• the fishing ban area for pelagic fish has been extended from 12to 20 nautical miles, thus reducing yields;• 2 per cent of the catches of pelagic fish must be handed over tothe Government, which intends to distribute these fish to thepoor at low cost or free of charge;• 60 per cent of crew members working on international vesselsoperating in the exclusive economic zone must come from Mauritania,even though an appropriately skilled workforce for theindustry is virtually non-existent in that country;• licence fees have increased sharply.As a result of the boycott, virtually no new licences have been purchasedand many international fishing companies have withdrawntheir vessels from Mauritanian waters. As an expression of solidaritywith the Spanish octopus fishermen, for example, the Spanish shrimpfishermen have also pulled out. Only the French tuna fishermen andthe Spanish hake fishermen have acquired licences. This is resulting ina substantial loss in licence revenue for Mauritania. There is a strongpossibility that Mauritania will bow to international pressure andamend the protocol in the near future. This highlights a wider problemin Mauritania, namely that sound rules and good managementregimes are often implemented in a half-hearted manner by the Government,or are circumvented by means of exemptions. If in doubt,the Government invariably opts to make a quick profit instead of protectingfish stocks.As well as the difficulties of establishing a sound managementregime, a further sobering fact is that Mauritania is currently experiencingsetbacks with regard to its fisheries control system. In order tocurb illegal fishing far out in the EEZ, but also to monitor vesselsoperating legally, Mauritania has, over the past 10 years, establisheda fisheries inspectorate with international assistance. Monitoring vesselswere deployed to patrol the 200 nautical mile zone and the countryalso has an aircraft for this purpose. Radar systems were installedto monitor the coastal areas. These measures have done much to curb


Getting stock management right Artisanal fishing is pursued very intensively in some areas, as is apparent from the large number of pirogues moored on this beach in Senegal.illegal fishing. But now, aid organizations are lamenting the growingdisinterest on the part of the Government. The surveillance aircrafthas not been in operation for some time, and the fisheries inspectorate’svessels are generally in such a poor state that they cannot beoperated safely. The only vessel which is still seaworthy is often seenin dock, tied up by the quay, due to a shortage of fuel. When it doestake to the seas, its surveillance activities are generally confined tocoastal waters. As a consequence of this situation, the fisheriesinspectorate’s deterrent effect has recently decreased.Unlike its neighbour Mauritania, Senegal has a long tradition offishing. The Senegalese have for generations relied on long narrowwooden boats, around 14 metres in length, known as pirogues, whichcan carry more than 10 tonnes of fish. As Senegal is a much moreimpoverished country than Mauritania, however, it cannot afford afisheries inspectorate. Foreign fleets from China, Russia and evenSpain, operating under flags of convenience, are therefore engagedin illegal fishing on a massive scale in Senegal’s waters. What’s more,as the Government under former President Abdoulaye Wade allocateda very large number of fishing licences to foreign companies, the Senegalesepeople have been complaining for years that their once abundantfishing grounds have been ravaged. When Wade was about tosell even more licences to Russian trawlers in spring 2012, the Senegalesepeople took to the streets in protest. Already heavily criticizedfor his political power games, Wade lost the presidential election. Thenew President, Macky Sall, has now cancelled 29 of the 44 fisherieslicences allocated during Wade’s presidency – thus honouring one ofhis key election pledges.This example highlights the close bond felt by people in countrieswith a strong tradition of fishing towards this natural resource. It isalso clear that it is essential to take their concerns and interests seriouslyand to involve them in fisheries management. It is hoped thatthe new Government of Senegal will take this to heart and continuewith its vigorous measures to combat what has been, in effect, thesell-off of the country’s fishing grounds.


118> Chapter 055.17 > Generoussubsidies, largefleets: the Spanishfishing fleet inparticular – part ofwhich is seen here inthe port of Muros –was dependenton state subsidiesfor many years.in Canada. Experts use the term “co-management” todescribe this trend towards more individual responsibilityfor fishermen (ownership).Economic benefits ofsustainable fisheries managementOverfishing of stocks is not only an ecological problem. Itis also uneconomic. As fish stocks decline, the effortrequired to catch a given quantity of fish increases. Thefishermen spend more time at sea and use more fuel tocatch a given quantity of fish. So it makes sense to managestocks in accordance with the MSY principle. One problemis that even now, many countries are still heavily subsidizingtheir fishing industry. Government subsidies allow thefishery to be maintained even when the direct costs of thefishing effort, in the form of wages or fuel costs, havealready exceeded the value of the fishing yield. Fishermen’sindividual operating costs are reduced in many casesby direct or indirect subsidies. Every year worldwide,around 13 billion US dollars is paid to fishermen in theform of fuel subsidies or through modernization programmes,with 80 per cent of this in the industrializedcountries. A recent study concludes that restructuring ofsubsidized fisheries would pay off because it would put anend to overfishing. Stocks would recover, leading to higheryields in future. Restructuring would mean that fishingwould have to be suspended for a time or substantiallyreduced in certain regions. Instead of subsidizing the fishingindustry, the money would be used to support fishermenwho were unemployed, even if only temporarily, as aresult of these measures. The great importance of socialprotection schemes is shown by the closure of the herringfishery in the North Sea between 1977 and 1981. Althoughstocks were able to recover, small coastal fishing companiesdid not survive this enforced break, and today, theNorth Sea herring fishery is dominated by a small numberof major companies. However, if periods when restrictionson fishing activity are in force can be managed in a sociallyequitable manner and stocks recover, fishing can thenbe resumed. Of course, the fishing industry loses revenueas a result of the closure of a fishery or a reduction in fishingactivity. However, the study concludes that this type ofrestructuring measure would only take around 12 years topay for itself and would generate as much as 53 billion USdollars in additional revenue for the fishing industry annually.These calculations are very much in line with olderestimated figures produced by the World Bank. It estimatesthe loss of net benefits due to overfishing, inefficiency andpoor management to be in the order of 50 billion US dollarsannually worldwide – a substantial figure comparedwith the total annual landed value of fish globally, i.e.around 90 billion US dollars. Admittedly, this global analysisis based on generalizations to some extent, as there arestrong variations between countries’ fishing industries,but experts regard the estimated figures as sound.Certificates increase the appealof sustainable fishingOverall, the status of fish stocks worldwide still givescause for concern. On a positive note, however, sustainablefisheries management is becoming increasingly attractiveto many fishing companies. The reason is that fishingcompanies that fish sustainably can now market theirproducts under an ecolabel. For many food retailers inEurope and North America, the most important importing


Getting stock management right


120> Chapter 05Turning the tide in fisheries policy?> In 2013, the European Union will agree a new Common Fisheries Policy(CFP), which will establish the regulatory framework for the management of fisheries in future. TheEuropean Commission has made numerous proposals for improving the disastrous fisheries policypursued over recent decades. Discussions are still ongoing, but it is hoped that the ambitious goalscan be translated into effective legislation.High ambitions, clear goalsThe EU’s fisheries policy has failed. Many fish stocks areoverexploited. The fishing fleet is too large: there are toomany boats out fishing, and not enough fish. For decades,catches have regularly exceeded the levels recommendedby scientists. But this situation is about to change. TheEuropean Commission has resolved to overhaul the EU’sfisheries policy and management at long last. A reform ofits Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) – the regulatory frameworkapplicable to all the EU Member States – is scheduledfor 2013 and aims to achieve the following goals:• In future, fish stocks in the EU will no longer be fishedin accordance with the precautionary approach;instead, stocks must be exploited at levels that producethe “maximum sustainable yield” (MSY) (i.e. theamount that can be harvested with a view to protectingstocks).• Fleet overcapacity is to be reduced.• The amount of unwanted bycatch is to be reduced anddiscards eliminated.• Fishing should not only exploit fish stocks sustainably,but should also have minimum impact on marinehabitats, the aim being to ensure that fisheries managementfollows the ecosystem approach.• There should be a stronger focus on regionalization.Fishermen in the various countries and regions shouldbe involved to a greater extent in fisheries management,with Brussels merely establishing the generalpolicy framework.Many of these goals have already been achieved in othercountries. In Europe, however, a sustainable and economicallyefficient fishing industry is still far from being a reality.It has become apparent that in a union of states likethe EU, reconciling highly diverse national interests is adifficult process. However, the mere fact that the Europeancountries were able to agree on a Common FisheriesPolicy in the first place should be viewed as a success initself. The Treaty of Rome, which created the EuropeanEconomic Community (EEC) – the precursor to the EU – in1957, contained a commitment to the formulation of acommon fisheries policy. In those days, however, the fisheriessector was still relatively small and industrial fishingfairly rare. Furthermore, the scope of European fisheriespolicy extended only to the 12 nautical mile zone then inforce.Much has changed since then. Firstly, as time wenton, major fishing nations such as Denmark, the UnitedKingdom, Portugal and Spain joined the EEC. And secondly,the scope of application of European fisheries policyincreased with the introduction of the exclusive economiczone (EEZ), which extends to a distance of 200 nauticalmiles out from the coastal baseline. As a result, individualMember States acquired exclusive rights to fish in muchlarger areas of the sea. A Common Fisheries Policy wasfirst adopted in 1982, and was accompanied by the introductionof the quota system. Under this system, the EUsets a total allowable catch (TAC) for the various species offish and then allocates a fishing quota (based on a percentageof the catch) to each fishing nation, calculated accordingto a specific formula.Fewer vessels, more efficiencyWhereas Denmark and Germany have already substantiallyreduced their fishing fleets, the Dutch, Portuguese


Getting stock management right Brussels:animal rights activistsprotest about overfishing.and Spanish fleets in particular are still too large. Inregions such as Galicia, the fishing industry is still animportant source of income, as very few jobs exist in othersectors. Politicians therefore shy away from any reductionin the fishing fleet, which is also heavily subsidized forstructural policy reasons. In the structurally weak fishingregions, EU funding has been – and is still – accessed inorder to put new fishing vessels into service or refurbisholder ships. The welfare of the region as a whole thustakes precedence over the greater goal of sustainable fishing.But generous subsidies create a vicious circle for thefishing industry. Government loans for fleet developmenthave to be repaid, which compels fishermen to fish intensivelywith no regard for the welfare of fish stocks. This isone of the reasons why the Fisheries Ministers, who formthe Fisheries part of the EU’s Agriculture and FisheriesCouncil and are responsible for setting the new TotalAllowable Catch (TAC) every year (in tonnes), have regularlyset TACs which are far higher than recommended byfishery scientists – in extreme cases, up to 48 per centhigher.An oversized fishing fleet also makes fishing inefficient,as there are far too many vessels in pursuit of theavailable stocks. In order to achieve even approximatecompliance with the fishing quotas, each individual vesselcan only harvest a small percentage of the Total AllowableCatch. It would be more sensible to reduce the number ofvessels in operation and utilize their capacity to the full.One possible solution for reducing overcapacity is to introducetradable quotas – initially at country level and laterEU-wide. Fishing companies could sell these individualtransferable quotas (ITQs) to others at a profit. Less economicallyefficient companies would be inclined to sell,and more profitable companies would be likely to buy theITQs. In this way, the industry gradually sheds the lessprofitable companies, and the number of fishing vessels isreduced.A system of catch quotas has already been introducedin Denmark. Here, in order to prevent the formation ofmonopolies and the bulk purchasing of quotas by a handfulof fishing companies, no more than four vessels may beoperated by a fishing company. The European CommissionTradable quotasTradable quotas are afisheries managementtool used by variouscountries around theworld. In 1986, NewZealand became thefirst country to incorporatea tradable quotasystem into nationallegislation. Thesetradable quotas areoften known as „individualtransferablequotas (ITQs)“.Theterm preferred by theEU is „transferablefishing concession“(TFC).


122> Chapter 05is proposing to subdivide ITQ trading according to vesselsize (i.e. vessels longer than 12 metres, and vessels under12 meters in length). Owners of smaller vessels would notbe permitted to sell their quotas to owners of ships in thelarger-vessel category. This measure is intended to protectartisanal coastal fishing using smaller boats.Doing battle against discardsIn its current draft of the new CFP, the European Commissionalso makes a number of proposals for dealing with theproblem of discards. All over the world, millions of tonnesof freshly caught fish and marine fauna are dumped backin the sea every year. Most of the discards are alreadydead when they go back into the water. This practice is amassive waste of natural resources. What’s more, the discardsare not systematically recorded, creating a large gapin the data that fishery scientists need to estimate the sizeof fish stocks accurately. In North Sea sole fishery, forexample, large quantities of plaice and other flatfish, suchas dab, are caught as bycatch. In some cases, this unwantedbycatch amounts to 70 per cent of the catch. As manyplaice are too small to be landed legally and other flatfishare unpopular as eating fish, the bulk of this bycatch –with the exception of a few high-grade individuals – isdumped overboard. As the discards are not recorded,researchers find it almost impossible to make an accurateassessment of the status of flatfish stocks other than soleand plaice.There are various reasons why fish are discarded:• For some species, such as crustaceans, starfish andsmaller fish such as the European eelpout and the familyof gobies, there is simply no market.• The fishermen sort out the high-grade components ofthe catch, such as the largest and heaviest individualsfrom a given species. The rest is dumped overboard.This high-grading has been prohibited in the EU since2010 but is still practised.• The fish are too young or too small. The rules currentlyin force prohibit the landing of these undersizedfish.• Fishermen are not permitted to land species for whichthey have not been allocated a quota. Nor can theyland species for which their quota is already fulfilled.This problem occurs in mixed fisheries, where severalspecies of a similar size occurring in a single habitatare sometimes netted together. A haddock fisherman,for example, is not permitted to land any cod caught asbycatch. Under the current rules, the cod must be discarded.Due to the rules currently in place under the existing CFP,this type of prohibition on landings means that discardingstill takes place on a large scale within the EU. As one possiblesolution, the European Commission is proposing areform of the old quota allocation system. At present, individualquotas are still allocated for many species, eventhough these species are only caught in mixed fisheries. Infuture, it would be possible or even obligatory to acquireadditional bycatch quotas, for example for cod and haddock.These bycatch quotas would be allocated in a flexibleand straightforward manner. For example, rather thanautomatically being allocated for an entire year, they couldbe assigned on an ongoing basis throughout the course ofthe fishing season, depending on the status and developmentof stocks. The aim is to encourage fishermen to avoidbycatch of unwanted species – for example, through theuse of better and more selective fishing gear. If they failedto achieve an appropriate reduction in the amount ofbycatch, they would be obliged to apply for a bycatch quota.A fisherman would then have to demonstrate that hehad been allocated a separate quota for each species likelyto occur in the fishing grounds. In a mixed fishery, hisfishing activities would then be oriented towards thestock with the smallest population.In the North Sea, for example, the haddock stock is ina good state but the status of cod is less favourable. At present,a fisherman can catch as much haddock as he needsto fulfil his quota. Inevitably, though, some cod are caughtas bycatch in the net and must be discarded. If the fishermanhad two quotas, he could land both haddock and cod.However, he would have to stop fishing – for both haddockand cod – as soon as he had met his cod quota. This


Getting stock management right Pot fishery: a form of artisanal fishingstill practised in Denmark.


124> Chapter 055.20 > Discarding ofbycatch is a problemworldwide, not just inthe EU. This Mexicanprawn fisherman isdumping fish with nomarket value overboard.is intended to protect cod from overfishing and avoid discards.Furthermore, the European Commission is keen toencourage the use of more selective fishing gear in future,as more sophisticated fishing technology can also help toreduce the amount of bycatch. A further proposal aims toreduce bycatch by obliging fishermen to avoid certain areasof the sea with large stocks of bycatch species at certaintimes of the year. A further possibility being discussedwith a view to reducing discards is to equip the EU’s fishingvessels with electronic surveillance systems, includingCCTV, in future. This would enable checks to be carriedout to determine whether any fish had been discarded,and if so, of which species. More intensive deployment ofobservers is a further option. However, the advantage ofCCTV, compared with observers, is that it is far lessexpensive.More power for fishermenAt present, the EU’s fisheries policy is still largely a topdownpolicy. The rules are agreed in Brussels at the highestlevel and must be adhered to by every fisherman in thesame way. National or, indeed, regional approaches tofisheries management are virtually non-existent at present.As a result, conflicts are inevitable. Many of thesometimes contradictory rules agreed in Brussels areviewed by fishermen themselves as excessive or impractical.Indeed, some are ignored altogether. The Commissionis proposing to defuse the situation by involving fishermenin fisheries management and decision-making to a greaterextent, in the hope that this will increase their acceptanceof the rules.There is to be stronger regionalization of fisheries policy,as the Agriculture and Fisheries Council explains in itsproposal on CFP reform. The proposal envisages thatMember States would be able to devolve decision-makingto the regional level. In recent years, a number of RegionalAdvisory Councils (RACs) have been established by variousEU Member States, e. g. for the Baltic Sea and for thewaters in the Arctic and around Iceland. These RACs haveproduced a number of proposals for CFP reform. Up totwo-thirds of the members of the RACs are experts fromthe fisheries sector, with experts from other interestgroups, such as nature conservation organizations andtrade unions, comprising the remaining one-third. Infuture, the RACs, in conjunction with the relevant nationalauthorities, could potentially undertake the managementof fisheries in their specific region and submit theirproposals to Brussels. Provided that there were no objectionsfrom the European Parliament or individual countries,the proposed fisheries management strategy wouldthen enter into force.Open-endedOnly time will tell which of the European Commission’sreform proposals will be implemented; that will becomeclear when the new CFP is adopted in 2013. Ultimately, itis up to the Council and the European Parliament to decidewhich of the Commission’s proposals will be incorporatedas rules and provisions in the new CFP. We can only hopethat the two institutions manage to agree on a fisheriespolicy which is good for both the economy and the environment.In fact, there is cause to be reasonably optimistichere: with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, theEuropean Union, in 2002, imposed an obligation on allMember States to take the necessary measures to protectand conserve the marine environment and achieve ormaintain its good environmental status by the year 2020at the latest. The Council is therefore obliged not only toensure, with the new CFP, that fisheries are exploited atlevels which produce the maximum sustainable yield(MSY); it must also minimize the impact of fishing on themarine environment at the same time.


Getting stock management right


126> world ocean review


Overall conclusion


128 > world ocean review 2013Overall conclusion78.9 million tonnes of fish and seafood were harvestedfrom the sea. In order to catch such large amounts over aperiod of many years, the fisheries have spread further andfurther south from the traditional grounds of the NorthernHemisphere to take in all maritime regions. Once thestocks had been exploited, the fleets moved on to newfishing grounds. Overfished species were replaced byother lesser-known and scarcely-exploited species. Fisherieshave also penetrated into ever-deeper waters. Todaythe nets of some trawlers extend to depths of 2000 metres,partially or completely destroying important underwaterregions such as cold-water coral reefs and habitats atseamounts.Despite all the bad news, the situation is not entirelydesperate. There are some examples of good fishery practices,mainly in regions or nations which entered theindustrial fishing industry relatively late and were preparedto learn from the mistakes of others. These includeAlaska, Australia and New Zealand. Most nations have formany years oriented their fish catch to individual limitreference points which are calculated by fisheries scientists.The researchers make recommendations of maximumannual tonnages of fish which should be caughtwithin a certain region. Despite this, too many fish havebeen taken. One reason is that these reference points arebeset by uncertainties, and another is that policy-makersand fisheries regularly exceeded the limit referencepoints. Alaska, Australia and New Zealand, by contrast,pursue the concept of a long-term sustainable yield whichis guided by the current status of stocks. Their reasoningis that if the stocks are healthy, more fish can be caught inthe long run, and greater revenues can be generated. Thisconcept of “maximum sustainable yield” (MSY) was verycontroversial for a long time, because its original aim wassolely to maximize yields – not to conserve the fish resource.The current examples clearly show, however, thatthe concept conforms to local conditions and can beexpanded to take account of ecological and social aspectssuch as fishermen’s interests. For this reason manyexperts consider it a positive development that the MSYidea is slowly gaining acceptance at an international level.It does seem to be capable of preventing overfishing.A major problem today is illegal (IUU) fishing. Mostillegal fishing is carried out in the territorial waters ofdeveloping countries, as these nations cannot afford toestablish effective fisheries control structures. It is estimatedthat between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish arecaught illegally each year, further weakening alreadyoverfished stocks. But here too there are encouragingsigns. International cooperation projects, for instance,have been involved in developing monitoring systems inWest Africa which act as a deterrent and keep IUU fishermenaway. On the other hand illegal fishing is likely toremain an attractive option for black market dealersbecause rapid population growth will continue to drive upthe global demand for fish.From a nutritional point of view is makes sense to eatfish regularly because fish caught in the wild is a natural,healthy food. It contains high-quality proteins, valuablefatty acids and many minerals. Consumption today is the


Overall conclusion


130> Appendix


Glossary


132> AppendixAbbreviationsAIDCP Agreement on the International Dolphin ConservationProgrammeASC Aquaculture Stewardship CouncilB BiomassB LIMLimit biomassB MSYBiomass maximum sustainable yieldB PABiomass precautionary approachCCAMLR Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic MarineLiving ResourcesCCBSP Convention on the Conservation and Management ofPollock Resources in the Central Bering SeaCCSBT Commission for the Conservation of SouthernBluefin TunaCITES Convention on International Trade in EndangeredSpecies of Wild Fauna and FloraCPUE Catch per unit effortDHA Docosahexaenoic acidEEC European Economic CommunityEEZ Exclusive Economic ZoneEPA Eicosapentaenoic acidEU European UnionF Fishing mortality rateF LIMFishing mortality rate limit biomassF PAPrecautionary fishing mortality rateFAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsFMP Fishery management planGFCM General Fisheries Commission for the MediterraneanGFP Common Fisheries Policy of the European UnionIATTC Inter-American Tropical Tuna CommissionICCAT International Commission for the Conservation ofAtlantic TunasICES International Council for the Exploration of the SeaIMTA Integrated multi-trophic aquacultureIOTC Indian Ocean Tuna CommissionITQs Individual transferable quotasIUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature


Abbreviations


134> AppendixContributorsMany experts have contributedtheir specializedknowledge to the compilationof the WorldOcean Review 2013.In particular, scientistsworking together onquestions related to thedevelopment of ourseas in the Cluster ofExcellence ”The FutureOcean” participated inthe present workDr. Malcolm Beveridge, Director of Aquaculture and Genetics atWorldFish. His research interests include aquaculture and fisheriesand their impacts on poverty and hunger and on the environment.Beveridge is currently engaged with colleagues and partnersin developing pro-poor aquaculture value chains in Africa,Asia and the Pacific as part of the CGIAR Research Programs onLivestock and Fish and on Aquatic Agriculture Systems. He is alsoresearching into how the rise of aquaculture is impacting on foodand nutrition security.www.worldfishcenter.orgDr. Anthony Charles, interdisciplinary marine and coastal researcherat Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, and PrincipalInvestigator of the global Community Conservation ResearchNetwork. A. Charles engages in research that seeks broadly toimprove the governance, management and economics of fisheries,coastal and marine social-ecological systems. His particular researchinterests include fishery sustainability and resilience,governance of small-scale fisheries, adaptation of coastal communitiesto uncertainty and climate change, human dimensionsof ecosystem-based marine management, impacts of marine andcoastal disasters, and the role of participatory and communitybasedocean governance.http://husky1.smu.ca/~charles/PD Dr. Ulf Dieckmann, theoretical biologist and leader of theEvolution and Ecology Program at the International Institute forApplied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. His researchfocuses on fisheries-induced evolution, sustainable use of naturalresources, biodiversity and speciation, various model-based analysesin the field of spatial and evolutionary ecology, as well as investigationson the conditions of cooperative behaviour in human andanimal populations.www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/research/researchPrograms/EvolutionandEcology/New-page.en.htmlDr. Heino O. Fock, marine ecologist at the Thünen Institute ofSea Fisheries in Hamburg. His specialties are the assessment offish stocks, evaluation of environmental implications in fisheries,and deep-sea ecology. His interests in these areas include determinationof the fundamental conditions for sustainable use of fisheriesand ecosystem services.www.ti.bund.de/de/startseite/institute/sf/personal/wissenschaftler/fock.htmlDr. Rainer Froese, fisheries biologist at the Helmholtz Centre forOcean Research in Kiel. His specialties are fisheries biology, populationdynamics, aquatic biodiversity, biogeography, and fisherymanagement. Together, he and Daniel Pauly developed the Fish-Base database (www.fishbase.org). Since 1990 he has been itsproject leader and coordinator. R. Froese was also a foundingmember of “Species 2000” and of the Ocean Biogeographic InformationSystem (OBIS), which was a part of the “Census of MarineLife” project. He is presently coordinating various projects withthe goal of producing the first global atlas of life in the ocean(www.aquamaps.org).www.fishbase.de/rfroese/Dr. Matthias Keller, agrarian engineer in the Fisch-Informationszentrume. V. (FIZ – Fish information centre registered association).M. Keller is also the director of two other fishery scienceinstitutions and is chairman of the working group “Markets andInternational Trade of the Advisory Committee on Fisheries andAquaculture” in the European Commission. M. Keller is the authorof the handbook “Fisch, Krebs- und Weichtiere” (Fish, crustaceansand molluscs) published by Behr’s-Verlag.www.fischinfo.deDr. UIf Löwenberg, fisheries biologist; presently working as theleader of a project for sustainable management of fishery resourcesin Mauretania on assignment for the Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ, the Germanfederally-owned international development company). He hasbeen active in the field of fisheries for 30 years and has conductednumerous assignments abroad on behalf of German and Europeandevelopment institutions. He has been involved in numerous studiesas an independent expert for public and private contractors.www.giz.deDr. Gorka Merino, specialist for bioeconomic modelling of fisheriesat the Spanish research centre AZTI-Tecnalia. He is primarilyinvolved with aspects relating to the maximum sustainable exploitationof fish stocks. His scientific research has also focused on theinteraction of economic and environmental drivers and their impacton the sustainability of marine resources. G. Merino worked at thePlymouth Marine Laboratory (UK) until the end of 2012.www.azti.es/Prof. Dr. Christian Möllmann, fisheries biologist at the Institutefor Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science at the University of Hamburg.He studies the influence of fisheries and climate on the structureand function of marine ecosystems, particularly marine foodwebs. His research provides a basis for the development of ecosystem-basedapproaches for the management of living resources.C. Möllmann is editor of the journal “Fisheries Oceanography”.www.uni-hamburg.de/ihf/christianmoe_e.htmlRosemary E. Ommer, Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria,Canada. She has directed marine-related institutes at theUniversities of Victoria, Calgary and Memorial University of Newfoundland.She has also been the principal investigator on several


Contributors


136> AppendixBibliographyChapter 1 – The importance of marine fishBaum, J. & B. Worm, 2009. Cascading top-down effects ofchanging oceanic predator abundances. Journal of AnimalEcology 78: 699–714.Dieckmann, U., M. Heino & A.D. Rijnsdorp, 2009. The dawn ofDarwinian fishery management. ICES Insight 46: 34–43.Dunlop, E.S., M. Heino & U. Dieckmann, 2009. Eco-geneticmodeling of contemporary life-history evolution. EcologicalApplications 19: 1815–1834.Enberg, K., E.S. Dunlop, C. Jørgensen, M. Heino & U. Dieckmann,2009. Implications of fisheries-induced evolution for stockrebuilding and recovery. Evolutionary Applications 2: 394–414.Fock, H.O., 2011: Natura 2000 and the European CommonFisheries Policy. Marine Policy 35: 181–188.Frank, K.T., B. Petrie, J.A.D. Fisher & W.C. Leggett, 2011.Transient dynamics of an altered large marine ecosystem.Nature 477: 86–88.Frank, K.T., B. Petrie & N.L. Shackell, 2007. The ups and downsof trophic control in continental shelf ecosystems. Trends inEcology and Evolution 22, 5: 236–242.Geßner, J., M. Tautenhahn, H. von Nordheim & T. Borchers,2010. Nationaler Aktionsplan zum Schutz und zur Erhaltungdes Europäischen Störs (Acipenser sturio). Bundesministeriumfür Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU),Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN).Heino, M., U. Dieckmann & O.R. Godø, 2002. Reaction normanalysis of fisheries-induced adaptive change and the case of theNortheast Arctic cod. ICES CM 2002/Y: 14.Jørgensen, C., K. Enberg, E.S. Dunlop, R. Arlinghaus, D.S. Boukal,K. Brander, B. Ernande, A. Gårdmark, F. Johnston, S. Matsumura,H. Pardoe, K. Raab, A. Silva, A. Vainikka, U. Dieckmann,M. Heino & A.D. Rijnsdorp, 2007. Managing evolving fish stocks.Science 318: 1247–1248.Richardson, A.J., A. Bakun, G.C. Hays, M.J. Gibbons, 2009. Thejellyfish joyride: causes, consequences and management actions.Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24: 312–222.Sherman, K. & A.M. Duda, 1999. An ecosystem approach toglobal assessment and management of coastal waters. MarineEcology Progress Series 190: 271–287.Chapter 2 – Of fish and folkCharles, A., 2010. Good Practices in the Governance of Small-Scale Fisheries, with a Focus on Rights-Based Approaches.Prepared for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UnitedNations Regional Workshop on Small-Scale Fisheries.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, 2012: The state of theworld fisheries and aquaculture 2012.Miller, K., A. Charles, M. Barange, K. Brander, V.F. Gallucci,M.A. Gasalla, A. Khan, G. Munro, R. Murtugudde,R.E. Ommer & R.I. Perry, 2010. Climate change, uncertainty,and resilient fisheries: Institutional responses throughintegrative science. Progress in Oceanography 87: 338–346.Ommer, R.E., 2010: The Coasts Under Stress project: a Canadiancase study of interdisciplinary methodology. EnvironmentalConservation 37, 4: 478–488.Perry, R.I. & R.E. Ommer, 2003. Scale issues in marine ecosystemsand human interactions. Fisheries Oceanography 12,4: 1–10.Perry, R.I. & R.E. Ommer, 2010. Introduction: Coping withglobal change in marine social-ecological systems. Marine Policy,34, 4: 739–820.Perry, R.I., R.E. Ommer, M. Barange, S. Jentoft, B. Neis &U.R. Sumaila, 2011. Marine social- ecological responses toenvironmental change and the impacts of globalization.Fish and Fisheries, 12: 427–450.www.fischinfo.de/www.mri.bund.deChapter 3 – Plenty more fish in the sea?Agnew, D.J., J. Pearce, G. Pramod, T. Peatman, R. Watson,J.R. Beddington & T.J. Pitcher, 2009. Estimating the worldwideextent of illegal fishing. PLoS One 4, 2: e4570.Agriculture and Rural Development Sustainable DevelopmentNetwork, Worldbank & Food and Agriculture Organization ofthe United Nations, 2008: The sunken billions – the economicjustification for fisheries reform.www.lme.noaa.gov/


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138> AppendixChapter 4 – A bright future for fish farmingDeutsch, L., S. Gräslund, C. Folke, M. Troell, M. Huitric,N. Kautsky & L. Lebel, 2007. Feeding aquaculture growththrough globalization: Exploitation of marine ecosystems forfishmeal. Global Environmental Change 17: 238–249.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, 2012. The state of theworld fisheries and aquaculture 2012.Hall, S.J., A. Delaporte, M.J. Phillips, M.C.M. Beveridge &M. O’Keefe, 2011. Blue Frontiers: Managing the EnvironmentalCosts of Aquaculture. The WorldFish Center, Penang, Malaysia.Merino, G., M. Barange, C. Mullon & L. Rodwell, 2010. Impacts ofglobal environmental change and aquaculture expansion onmarine ecosystems. Global Environmental Change 20: 586–596.Merino, G., M. Barange, J.L. Blanchard, J. Harle, R. Holmes,I. Allen, E.H. Allison, M.C. Badjeck, N.K. Dulvy, J. Holt,S. Jennings, C. Mullon & L.D. Rodwell, 2012. Can marinefisheries and aquaculture meet fish demand from a growinghuman population in a changing climate? Global EnvironmentalChange 22, 4: 795–806.Nagel, F., H. Slawski, H. Adem, R.-P. Tressel, K. Wysujack &C. Schulz, 2012. Albumin and globulin rapeseed protein fractionsas fish meal alternative in diets fed to rainbow trout(Oncorhynchus mykiss W.). Aquaculture 354–355: 121–127.Naylor, R.L., R.W. Hardy, D.P. Bureau, A. Chiu, M. Elliott,A.P. Farrell, I. Forster, D.M. Gatlin, R.J. Goldburg, K. Hua &P.D. Nichols, 2009. Feeding aquaculture in an era of finiteresources. PNAS 106, 36: 15103–15110.Naylor, R.L., R.J. Goldburg, J.H. Primavera, N. Kautsky,M.C.M. Beveridge, J. Clay, C. Folke, J. Lubchencos, H. Mooney &M. Troell, 2000. Effect of aquaculture on world fish supplies.Nature 405: 1017–1024Samuel-Fitwi, B., S. Wuertz, J.P. Schroeder & C. Schulz, 2012.Sustainability assessment tools to support aquaculture development.Journal of Cleaner Production 32: 183–192.Tacon, A.G.J. & M. Metian, 2008. Global overview on the useof fish meal and fish oil in industrially compounded aquafeeds:Trends and future prospects. Aquaculture 285: 146–158.Tacon, A.G.J. & M. Metian, 2009. Fishing for Feed or Fishing forFood: Increasing Global Competition for Small Pelagic ForageFish. Ambio 38, 6: 294–302.Tusche, K., S. Arning, S. Wuertz, A. Susenbeth & C. Schulz, 2012.Wheat gluten and potato protein concentrate – Promising pro teinsources for organic farming of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchusmykiss). Aquaculture 344–349: 120–125.Chapter 5 – Getting stock management rightCostello, C., D. Ovando, R. Hilborn, S.D. Gaines, O. Deschenes &S.E. Lester, 2012. Status and Solutions for the World’sUnas sessed Fisheries. Science 338: 517–520.Cullis-Suzuki, S. & D. Pauly, 2010. Failing the high seas: a globalevaluation of regional fisheries management organizations.Ma rine Policy 34, 5: 1036–1042.Froese, R. & A. Proelss, 2012. Evaluation and legal assessment ofcertified seafood. Marine Policy (2012).Hilborn, R., 2006. Fisheries success and failure: The case ofthe Bristol Bay salmon fishery. Bulletin of Marine Science 78,3: 487–498.Hjort, J., 1914. Fluctuations in the great fisheries of northernEurope – viewed in the light of biological research. Rapports etProcès-Verbaux Des Réunions, Conseil International pourl’Exploration de la Mer 20: 1–228.Kraus, G., R. Döring, 2013. Die Gemeinsame Fischereipolitik derEU: Nutzen, Probleme und Perspektiven eines pan-europäischenRessourcenmanagements. ZUR 1/2013: 3–10.Southall, T., P. Medley, G. Honneland, P. MacIntyre & M. Gill,2010. MSC sustainable fisheries certification. The Barents Seacod & haddock fisheries, Final Report. Food Certification InternationalLtd.: 1–188.Sumaila, U.R., W. Cheung, A. Dyck, K. Gueye, L. Huang, L. Vicky,D. Pauly, T. Srinivasan, W. Swartz, R. Watson & D. Zeller, 2012.Benefits of rebuilding global marine fisheries outweigh costs.PLoS One 7, 7: e40542.Worm, B., R. Hilborn, J.K. Baum, T.A. Branch, J.S. Collie,C. Costello, M.J. Fogarty, E.A. Fulton, J.A. Hutchings, S. Jennings,O.P. Jensen, H.K. Lotze, P.A. Mace, T.R. McClanahan, C. Minto,S.R. Palumbi, A.M. Parma, D. Ricard, A.A. Rosenberg, R. Watson& D. Zeller, 2009. Rebuilding global fisheries. Science 325:578–585.www.asc-aqua.org/www.friendofthesea.org/www.globalgap.org/uk_en/www.msc.org/


Bibliography and Table of figures


140> AppendixIndexPage numbers printedin bold draw attentionto passages withinthe text which areespecially importantfor an understandingof the concept inquestion.12 nautical mile zone 120AAbdoulaye Wade 117abyssopelagic 59Accra 82Acipenser sturio 25 fAgreement on the InternationalDolphin Conservation Program(AIDCP) 67Alaska 105, 108 ffAlaska pollock 49 f, 114albacore tuna 54albatross 26, 113algae production 83 falgal bloom 16, 85America 81 famino acids 36amphibians 82anchovies 14, 49 f, 86Andaman Sea 53 fAnoplopoma fimbria 62antibiotics 84aquaculture 33, 80 ff, 86 ffAquaculture Stewardship Council(ASC) 92aquaponic 90Arafura Sea 73 fArctic 124artificial feed 86artisanal fishery 32 ffAtlantic bluefin tuna 54Atlantic halibut 52Australia 47 ff, 55, 60, 73, 75,103, 113 ffBballast water 55Baltic Sea 17 f, 105, 124Bangladesh 37, 80 ffBarents Sea 119bathypelagic 59Bay of Bengal 53 fBay of Biscay 56beam trawl 112beef production 80 ffBelize 84Benguela Current 13benthopelagic 58Bering Sea 73 fbigeye tuna 54bioethanol 88biomass (B) 96 ffbiomass precautionary approach(B PA) 100 ffBlack Sea 52 fblack smoker 59 ffblue box 76bluefin tuna 24 ff, 54blue marlin 12blue whiting 52 f, 63 ffbottom trawl 112brackish water 80 ffBrazil 49British Isles 56bycatch 19, 26, 110 ff, 120 ffCCambodia 37Canada 34, 47 ffcannibalism 103capacity 15 fCape Verde 71 fcarp 81carrying capacity 97 ffcatches 42catch-licence 33catch per unit effort (CPUE) 42catfish 81certificates 118chemical industries 84chemosynthesis 61child labour 35Chile 17, 81 ff, 115China 47 ff, 71 ff, 80 ff, 84, 87cod 13 f, 34, 36, 44, 73, 96,103, 106, 122Code of Conduct for ResponsibleFisheries (CCRF) 75, 100cod-sprat swing 15 fCod Wars 108cold seeps 58 ffcold-water corals 58 ffcommercial depletion 24 ffCommission for the Conservationof Antarctic Marine LivingResources (CCAMLR) 67Commission for the Conservationof Southern Bluefin Tuna(CCSBT) 67Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)110, 120 ffCongo 37continental shelf 58 ffConvention on InternationalTrade in Endangered Speciesof Wild Fauna and Flora(CITES) 54Convention on the Conservationand Management of PollockResources in the Central BeringSea (CCBSP) 67corals 60 ffCoryphaenoides rupestris 62crabs 82crustaceans 122Ddab 122Danish seine 113dead zone 16deep-sea fisheries 58 ffdeepwater redfish 64demersal trawl fishing 69Denmark 35, 76, 120developing countries 36 ff, 71 ffdiscards 19, 110 ff, 122 fdocosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 37dodo 24 fEEastern Central Atlantic 49 fEastern Central Pacific 49 fEastern Indian Ocean 53 fecosystem 12 ffecosystem approach 107, 114,120 ffecosystem-based fisheriesmanagement regime 107eel 81effort-based management 111 ffEgypt 81eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 37eider duck 89El Niño 17, 55endemic species 25Engraulis ringens 55 fepipelagic 59Eucheuma 84EU Council of Ministers 100Europe 35European Commission 121 fEuropean Economic Community(EEC) 120European eel 89European eelpout 122European hake 49 ffEuropean sturgeon 25 fEuropean Union (EU) 73eutrophication 84, 91evolution 24 ffExclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)55, 62, 108 ff, 116, 120Ffactory ship 33 fFAO fishing areas 49 fffarmed fish 81 ffFaroe Islands 56, 110fatty acids 36 ffeed conversion 83first-time spawners 56fish consumption 36 ffisheries-induced evolution 27 ffisheries policy 108 ff, 120 fffishery-dependent data 42 fffishery-independent data 42 fffishery management 16, 28,35, 108 fffishery management plans(FMPs) 114fishery pressure 96 fffish exports 32 fffish imports 32 ffFish In – Fish Out (FIFO) ratio86 fffishing capacity 111 fffishing derby 111fishing effort 108 fffishing licence 75fishing mortality rate (F) 96 fffishing quotas 108 fffishing rights 108 fffishing techniques 112fishmeal 55, 85, 86 fffish oil 55, 85, 86 fffish production 32 fffish wastes 37Flabellum impensum 61flags of convenience 117flatfish 110, 122Food and Agriculture Organizationof the United Nations(FAO) 20, 24 ff, 32 ff, 58 fffood industries 84food web 12 ffFrance 81freshwater aquaculture 80Friend of the Sea 119GGabon 37gadoid outburst 19Gambia 73 fGeneral Fisheries Commissionfor the Mediterranean (GFCM)67genetic bottleneck 28genetic erosion 28genotyp 27Germany 32 f, 35, 120Ghana 37, 82gillnets 112gobies 122


Index


142> AppendixPuget Sound 107purse seine 57purse seine net 112Rrainbow trout 81rapeseed 88recruits 97 ffred bubble gum coral 65Red List 25 fred mullet 53Red Sea 55reef 61Regional Advisory Councils(RACs) 124Regional Fisheries ManagementOrganizations (RFMOs) 66 ff,71 ff, 114 ffreproductive capacity 27 fRockall 68roundnose grenadier 62Russia 47 ff, 63, 73Ssablefish 62salmon 34, 36, 73, 81, 86salmon farm 81salmonids 83Sardina pilchardus 49 fsardines 13, 49 f, 86Sargasso Sea 89schooling fish 49 fScomberomorus commerson 55Scomber scombrus 56sea bass 86sea breams 53sea cucumber 60, 82seahorse 25 fseamounts 58 ffsea squirts 82Seattle 107Sebastes alutus 62 ffSebastes marinus 64Sebastes mentella 64Sebastes spp. 58 ffseine fishing 57selenium 36Senegal 33, 73 f, 117 fsharks 60, 66Shetland Islands 56shrimps 83, 86, 90, 110Sierra Leone 73 fSitka Sound 111skipjack tuna 54slimehead 46small-scale coastal fishery 32 fsmall-scale offshore fishery 33 fSmart Gear initiative 113smooth oreo dory 62sociological approach 35SOFIA Report (The State of WorldFisheries and Aquaculture)42 ffsole 52 f, 110, 122Søndmør 96South Africa 33, 52, 75, 82South African Deep Sea TrawlingIndustry Association 119South America 17, 49 f, 83, 87Southeast Atlantic 52 fSouth East Atlantic FisheriesOrganisation (SEAFO) 67Southeast Pacific 49 fSouthern bluefin tuna 54South Indian Ocean FisheriesAgreement (SIOFA) 67South Korea 63, 71 ffSouth Pacific Regional FisheriesManagement Organisation(SPRFMO) 67southwest Africa 17Southwest Atlantic 49 f, 73 fSouthwest Indian OceanFisheries Commission 55Southwest Pacific 52 fSoviet Union 63Spain 35, 63, 81, 120Spanish mackerel 55spawners 20spawning biomass 56 f, 96 ffspiny dogfish 52sponges 60sprat 15 f, 106Sri Lanka 115starfish 122Statoil 61stock 18stock biomass 96 ffstomach content analysis 106sturgeon 24 ffsubmarine banks 58 ffSub-Regional Fisheries Commission(SRFC) 71 fsubsidies 35, 118Suez Canal 55surplus production 103 fsustainability 96 ff, 109 ffsustainability certificate 91Svalbard 73Sweden 17Sylt 89Ttarget reference point 100 ffTasmania 69taurine 36Te-Ika-a-Maui 32territorial use rights in fisheries(TURFs) 115 fThailand 81ffTheragra chalcogramma 114Thunnus maccoyii 54Thunnus orientalis 54Thunnus thynnus 24 ff, 54tilapia 81, 86total allowable catch (TAC)100 ff, 108 ff, 120transferable fishing concession(TFC) 121transshipment 72 ftrophic level 12 fftrout 73tuna 24 ff, 54, 66turbot 83Turkey 83turtles 26UUganda 82United Kingdom 120United Nations Convention onthe Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)101 ff, 108United Nations EnvironmentProgramme (UNEP) 21United Nations Straddling FishStocks Agreement (UNFSA)98unregulated fishing 71 ffunreported fishing 70 ffupwelling region 14, 17USA 35, 47 ff, 103 fVVessel Monitoring System (VMS)75 fVietnam 81 ff, 92vitamin B 636vitamin B 1236vitamin D 36vulnerable marine ecosystem(VME) 68 fWWest Africa 33 f, 73 f, 114Western and Central PacificFisheries Commission(WCPFC) 67Western Central Atlantic 52 ffWestern Central Pacific 53 fWestern Central Pacific Ocean73 fWestern Indian Ocean 53 fWorld Bank 21world cereal harvest 36World Summit on SustainableDevelopment (WSSD) 101 ffWorld Wide Fund For Nature(WWF) 92Yyellowfin tuna 54yellowtail flounder 52ZZambia 82Zanzibar 84zooplankton 13 ff


Index, Partners and Acknowledgements


Publication detailsProject manager: Jan LehmkösterEditing and text: Tim SchröderCopy editing: Dimitri LadischenskyCoordinator at the Cluster of Excellence: Dr. Jörn SchmidtEditorial team at the Cluster of Excellence: Dr. Jörn Schmidt, Dr. Rüdiger Voss, Dr. Kirsten SchäferDesign and typesetting: Simone HoschackPhoto-editing: Petra Kossmann, Peggy WellerdtGraphics: Walther-Maria ScheidPrinting: DBM Druckhaus Berlin-Mitte GmbHPaper: Recysatin, FSC-certifiedISBN 978-3-86648-201-2Published by: maribus gGmbH, Pickhuben 2, 20457 Hamburgwww.maribus.comclimate-neutral


World Ocean Review is a unique publication about the state ofthe world’s oceans, drawing together the various strands of currentscientific knowledge. The following report, the second inthe series, focuses on the future of fish and their exploitation.It is the result of collaboration between the following partners:The Kiel-based Cluster of Excellence brings together marinescientists, earth scientists, economists, medical scientists, mathematicians,lawyers and social scientists to share their knowledgeand engage in joint interdisciplinary research on climateand ocean change. The research group comprises more than250 scientists from six faculties of the Christian-Albrechts-Universityof Kiel (CAU), the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for OceanResearch in Kiel, the Institute for World Economy (IfW) and theMuthesius University of Fine Arts.The International Ocean Institute is a non-profit organizationfounded by Professor Elisabeth Mann Borgese in 1972. It consistsof a network of operational centres located all over the world. Itsheadquarters are in Malta. The IOI advocates the peaceful andsustainable use of the oceans.mareThe bimonthly German-language magazine mare, which focuseson the topic of the sea, was founded by Nikolaus Gelpke inHamburg in 1997. mare’s mission is to raise the public’s awarenessof the importance of the sea as a living, economic and culturalspace. Besides the magazine, which has received numerousawards for its high-quality reporting and photographs, its publi shermareverlag also produces a number of fiction and non- fiction titlestwice a year.

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