The Beacon

Blog Tags: Fisheries

Oceana Opens Copenhagen Office

A duck perched near Oceana's new office in Copenhagen. © Oceana

Big news from across the pond: Oceana is growing.

We have just opened a new office in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark and one of Europe’s greenest cities. Copenhagen is perched between two major bodies of water: the brackish Baltic Sea to the east and the North Sea and Atlantic to the west.

While the Baltic region has provided enormous amounts of seafood historically -- most famously, cod -- today the Baltic faces pressure from industrial fishing. In addition, Copenhagen is an important city for diplomacy, and Oceana’s European offices in Madrid and Brussels will be well complemented by a team in Copenhagen.

The leader of our new Copenhagen office is a familiar face at Oceana. Anne Schroeer has worked as an economist for Oceana in Madrid for years, and she brings an intimate knowledge of fisheries and European diplomacy to the job. She will have her hands full in the coming months staffing the new office and planning her campaigns, which will include on-the-water expeditions.


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UN Report: No Improvement in Global Overfishing

The world’s appetite for fish continues to grow. Fish stocks, though? Not so much. 

That’s the bottom line from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which released its latest State of the World's Fisheries and Aquaculture report yesterday. Global per capita consumption of fish reached a "new all-time high" in 2008.

Here are some of the facts from the report:

  • Fish consumption increased to an estimated 17.1 kilograms per person in 2008, up from 16.9 kilograms in 2007.
  • Fisheries and aquaculture support the livelihoods of an estimated 540 million people, roughly 8 percent of the world's population.
  • Much of the increase is due to fish farming, which is set to overtake fisheries as the main source of seafood.
  • In the early 1950s, aquaculture production was less than one million tonnes per year; in 2008 it was 52.5 million tonnes worth $98.4 billion US, the report authors said.
  • There has been no improvement in the level of global fish stocks -- the overall percentage of overfished, depleted or recovering stocks is expected to be slightly higher than in 2006.
  • Slightly more than half of the world's fisheries were estimated to be "fully exploited," meaning their current catches are "at or close to their maximum sustainable productions, with no room for further expansion."
  • About 32 per cent of world fish stocks are estimated to be overexploited, depleted or recovering and need to be rebuilt, the report said.

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The Value of an Abundant Ocean

What are healthy fisheries worth? What, then, are healthy oceans worth?

Well, we’d argue they’re priceless, but a new report quantifies their value, and it’s no small change.

The first comprehensive, peer-reviewed estimate of the global social and economic contribution of fisheries was recently published online in four papers. In the report, scientists from the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Centre quantify the value of the world’s fish, and calculate the loss of both revenue and dependable protein sources from overfishing.

Here are a few highlights from the report:

*Global fisheries, a vital source of food and revenue throughout the world, contribute between $225-$240 billion per year to the worldwide economy.


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Chile Reduces Jack Mackerel Overfishing

A Chilean purse seiner catches jack mackerel. (Image via Wikimedia Commons.)

Our Chilean colleagues are really on a roll lately. Adding to their recent victories in Sala y Gomez and Punta de Choros, last week the Chilean government announced a drastic reduction in the fishing quota for jack mackerel and other fisheries, starting in 2011.

The triumph against overfishing comes after Oceana sent the Minister of Economy a report analyzing the annual quota set for jack mackerel during the past 10 years. The study, put together with data that Oceana obtained through Chile’s Freedom of Information Act, shows that between 2003 and 2010 the National Fisheries Council set the annual quota for jack mackerel at higher catch limits than was recommended by the Institute for Fisheries Development. In fact, in 2009 the quota was 87 percent higher than what was recommended by the agency.

As a result, the Minister of Economy went to a session of the National Fisheries Council to express his frustration, and in an unprecedented event, he asked them to set smaller quotas for next year. 

 Another hard-earned victory for Oceana Chile and the oceans!


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Oceana Meets With WTO on Fisheries in Geneva

Leading up to what will be one of the heaviest fisheries negotiating rounds in recent memory at the World Trade Organization, Oceana is in Geneva this week holding its Board of Directors meeting. Oceana is working to stop fishing subsidies by working with the WTO to produce new trade rules.

The board had a chance to meet with WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, and Oceana was also welcomed into the Australian Mission, where CEO Andrew Sharpless spoke briefly on the state of the oceans and how the WTO can help.


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Dr. Daniel Pauly on The Spill

Oceana board member and renowned fisheries biologist Daniel Pauly spoke to OnEarth magazine about the gulf oil spill’s effect on marine life and fisheries.

“We cannot really grasp the measure of this accident because we don’t know if we are at the beginning, the middle or near the end of it,” he says.

Watch the video for more from Pauly.

Andy Sharpless is the CEO of Oceana.


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Factsheet: The Gulf Spill’s Effect on Fisheries

To read more, click here for the PDF factsheet.

The federal government has closed commercial and recreational fishing in a wide swath of the Gulf as a result of the oil spill, which is a serious economic blow to the region.


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Ocean Hero Finalists: Carolyn Caggia

carolyn caggia

Carolyn Caggia with NC Rep. Jimmy Love and part of the 72 yard long scroll she created.

This is the eighth in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.

Today’s featured finalist is 16-year-old Carolyn Caggia, who is devoted to protecting sea turtles from gillnets in her home state of North Carolina.

Gillnet fisheries use hundreds of yards of fishing net that remain in the water for days or longer, ensnaring sea turtles and other species incidentally.

Carolyn was inspired to act after visiting Jean Beasley’s sea turtle hospital in Topsail Island, NC several years ago. She decided to undertake a grass roots advocacy effort to help save sea turtles as her Girl Scout Gold Award project.  


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