U.N. Report: High Food Prices Could Threaten Fisheries


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
June 4, 2008

Rising global food costs may add pressure on fisheries in regions already at risk to pollution and climate change, according to a United Nations University report released Wednesday.

The report said 40 percent of the world's population lives within 30 miles of coasts and that governments must enact better policies to manage marine resources. Rising wheat and rice prices may mean greater pressure on fishing, said the report, which concluded, "Management of fisheries is failing."

"The decline is terminal, unless we introduce much more effective management immediately," said the study by the university's International Network on Water, Environment and Health.

This week's U.N. summit in Rome is exploring ways to resolve a global food crisis that threatens to leave up to 1 billion people hungry, caused by rising populations, high oil prices and a shift to biofuels.

"Coastal marine systems have declined progressively in recent decades due to the growth of human populations and their demands on the marine environment and resources," the report said. "Bays and estuaries, sea grasses, and mangroves and wetlands have suffered dramatically in the past 50 years."

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