A recent research shows that dwindling fish populations worldwide could be fixed within a decade if proper measures are taken. Furthermore, global fish stocks could double by 2050 if governments take action.
As of now, some fish stocks are not looking too good. For instance, mackerel and tuna stocks plunged 74 percent over the last four decades. But despite the grim situation researchers believe that they may fully recover by 2026.
Amanda Leland, co-author of the study and senior researcher at the Environmental Defense deemed the study results ‘surprising’ and ‘inspiring.’ She recently said in an interview that we do have a positive story, and that story is that “we can have our fish and eat it too.”
Leland noted that solving the issues related to world’s fisheries may be the easiest environmental challenge we currently have to face.
For the recent research, scientists sifted through data on 4,713 fisheries worldwide, which account for 77 percent of world’s fish capture. The analysis revealed that the current methods are not sustainable and thus will lead to a “continued collapse” of fish stocks worldwide.
Researchers, however, found that adopting a sustainable approach such as limiting the fish catch on a scientific basis could boost seafood population by 16 million metric tons annually, which could translate into $53 billion annual profits for fishermen globally.
The study concluded that environmental reforms would not only benefit the inhabitants of our sea and oceans but also fishermen and coastal communities. Chris Costello of University of California, Santa Barbara, and lead author of the study noted that his team’s findings show that we can have the fish in the sea, enough food on the plate, and thriving fishing communities at zero environmental costs.
The new findings represent a glimmer of hope in what seems to be hopeless times for the environment. Few past studies had been so optimistic. For example, World Wildlife Fund published in 2015 a study showing that global fish stocks were on the brink of collapse.
Furthermore, earlier this year the World Economic Forum researchers revealed that the planet’s oceans would hold more plastic waste than fish in the next 35 years. But Costello’s team is positive that a turnaround can happen. Yet, that could be achieved if people in key leadership position will take the best decisions.
The new study was published Mar.28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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