Re-Interpreting the Fisheries Crisis

Commercial fishing boats at Ang Sila, ThailandA recent article in Science suggesting that the world’s major fish stocks could collapse by 2048 was big news – significant enough to capture the attention of The Economist, and to grab front-page headlines in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Interestingly this has generated a lively debate on the topic between one of the authors, Dalhousie University’s Boris Worm, and Professor Ray Hilborn of the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.

In a recent paper “Moving to sustainability by learning from successful fisheries,” which will be published by the Swedish Journal Ambio, Professor Hilborn has turned the volume down on the debate. The paper tilts away from gloom and toward optimism, noting, for instance, that well-managed stocks sometimes recover – including Pacific sardines, the “icon of 1950s collapses.”

An excellent video entitled “Re-Interpreting the Fisheries Crisis” and featuring Professor Hilborn is currently available for viewing on ResearchChannel.org – please click here to view.



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