Overexploited global fisheries in critical conditions
Thu Dec 07 2006
OVER 60 per cent of major fish stock globally, is largely
overexploited with some in relatively critical conditions.
That is according to Dominique Greboval, Senior Fishery
Planning Officer, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
Headquarters, Rome, as he delivered remarks at the Grand
Barbados Beach Resort for the Regional Workshop for CARICOM
Member Countries on Factors of Unsustainability and
Overexploitation in Marine Fisheries.
The FAO official said that this situation is occurring
against the backdrop of relatively stagnant world catches,
a possible indication that we might have reached maximum
world production prior now.
In this context it would seem imperative that strong
actions be taken to strengthen fishery management measures.
A number of steps have been taken by the international
community towards this end over the last few years.
International instruments have been and are being developed
within the context of FAO and other fora. This is the case
for the FAO International Plan of Action on the management
of fishing capacity and on fighting illegal, regulated and
unreported fishing, he said.
To that end, he noted that the mission of the Fisheries
Department of FAO is to facilitate and secure the long-term
sustainable development and utilisation of the worlds
fishery and aquaculture. This, he maintained, implies an
awareness of the fundamental social and economic role which
is played by the fisheries sector and the need to meet the
basic objectives global and national sustainable food
security, alleviating poverty in fishing communities and
generating national income.
However, he said, these objectives can only be met if there
is responsible fisheries management and compliance with the
standards and principles contained in the Code of Conduct
for Responsible Fisheries.
The FAO official lamented that in spite of these
developments, fishery management remains weak in most
countries and as such the international community keeps
stressing the need for stronger and more decisive measures
as is seen in the World Summit on Sustainable Development
Greboval added that the FAO with financial assistance from
Japan launched a project to study the factors of
unsustainability and overexploitation, which aims at
helping them to better understanding the reason behind the
difficulties that most countries face in ensuring
sustainable fishing and in developing robust and efficient
fishing management systems.