The transition to a more sustainable management of global fisheries offers a significant financial return, while also delivering environmental and social benefits, a joint report by the Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit (ISU) and the US Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has suggested.
The report, compiled by ocean and financial experts, says that restoring global fisheries, currently under enormous pressure by overfishing and pollution, could be a considerable investment opportunity and has major benefits for the ocean.
Kate Bonzon, senior director at EDF Oceans program and lead author of the report, said, “Ineffective fisheries management has led to declining fish populations and declining value for fishermen and communities, but there is potential for change.
“The World Bank estimates that $50 billion dollars’ worth of additional value could be derived from the world’s fisheries each year, if they were sustainably managed.”
The charities called for philanthropic, public and private investment in fishing communities and sustainable fisheries to deliver a ‘blue economy’ and restore ocean health.
The report says, “Investments that take on board the opportunities and risks that are particular to fisheries can lead to transitions in management, fishery health and economic development that not only substantially enhance ecological resilience, but which also improve food and employment security.”
The report adds that strategies to ensure fisheries are structured to be profitable and transformed into investable propositions are needed. It follows a series of separate recent reports and conferences about the necessity to act to restore and protect the ocean.
Speaking to Blue & Green Tomorrow in May, Cindy Forde, BLUE Marine Foundation’s managing director, said that making money out of sustainable fisheries was possible.
“You can make money out of responsible fisheries. Within five to seven years, the fish stocks replenish, you make less effort to catch more,” she said.
Overfishing is the greatest threat to the ocean ecosystem, along with habitat destruction, pollution and climate change. Some studies suggested that oceans could be empty by 2048, while 90% of large predatory fish in the world has already disappeared since industrial fishing took off in the 1950s.
Photo: Oktaviani Marvikasari via freeimages