Restoring Fisheries

Carl Safina recently wrote a comprehensive essay in the National Academy of Sciences journal Issues in Science and Technology.

Carl touches on a whole slew of policies that government should take into consideration as they try to keep wild fish populations healthy, support ecosystem function and keep fishermen in business.

If you’ve read any stories in the news lately about catch shares, marine protected areas and zoning or aquaculture, this essay does a great job of explaining each of these management tools and issues in a clear and concise manner.

An offshore aquaculture cage

An offshore aquaculture cage

The last “Ingredient for Success” that Carl lists is sustainable aquaculture.  He points out that while fish farming has its benefits, there can be problems too, including the destruction of ciritical habitat, like marshes, in the construction of farms; pollution from food, feces or pesticides; or the loss of wild fish in the ocean when they become food for large carnivorous farmed species.

For aquaculture, “doing it right, should trump doing it fast.”

Along that line of thinking, our friends over at Ocean Conservancy are calling for opposition to proposed open ocean aquaculture legislation which fails to establish standards to make sure fish farming in the Gulf of Mexico is done right.  Take a moment to read more about the legislation and sign their petition.

As Carl notes at the end of his essay, “knowledge breeds understanding–and very often solutions.”  Hopefully this piece will help you better understand some current issues that your government will soon be taking action on.  Be part of the solution by letting your elected officials know that you expect policies that restore fisheries.

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