Short-term pain for long-term gain. When applied to the reform of global fisheries, this strategy could yield enormous benefits.
If only it were that easy.
For many countries—especially those in the developing tropics where fishery reform is needed most—the required costly short-run reductions in fish catch would be difficult to implement because of dependency on fisheries for food and livelihoods.
There is another way, according to UC Santa Barbara researchers and colleagues. In a paper published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, they demonstrate that for countries where illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is prevalent, addressing such activity could kick-start fishery recovery without reducing local fishing effort, catch and profit. Indonesia has proved this to be true, and this new work is the first to show that the country’s policies are effective.
“Indonesia’s anti-IUU fishing policies draw a lot of media attention and speculation about their effect, but no one has demonstrated or evaluated the efficacy of the policies,” said lead author Reniel Cabral, a postdoctoral scholar at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.
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