By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 30 October, 2012
One billion people in the world depend upon fish for their primary protein. This supply is vulnerable from overfishing and ocean pollution, but wild fisheries can be restored to health.
Representatives of 30 organizations are designing a global collaboration to bring 50 percent of fish and fisheries within sustainable management in 10 years. Economists at the World Bank estimate that the benefits of reform would add at least USD 20 billion (GBP 12.45 billion) annually to the global economy.
Many major retailers have sustainable seafood programs and frequently pledge that by a certain date some or all of their seafood cases will be filled with products that are certified sustainable. But will they achieve this goal? A fish buyer for one of the world’s largest retailers simply told me: “It’s not going to happen.”
Fisheries that have been certified over the last 10 years are primarily those fisheries that were already best managed before. The next wave of fishery improvement to feed demand in rich countries is not keeping up, and as more and more consumers demand sustainable products, the gap between supply and demand will grow.
The hopeful news is that, with the right interventions, ocean and fishery health can rebound.