Patrick Cordue, the stock assessment author of the 2014 New Zealand orange roughy assessments, reflects on how the science and management of New Zealand’s orange roughy fisheries have advanced in the last two decades.
“Sustainable fishing” may sound simple, but measuring whether or not a fishing operation is sustainable is actually quite complex, requiring plenty of research and data.
Fisheries scientists dedicate their time to studying how fishing can be balanced so as to allow aquatic species to maintain thriving populations, in a dynamically fluctuating and changing environment. Decades of research and managers’ experiences, trying to apply scientific advice on the ground, have shaped current practices in monitoring and managing fisheries sustainably.
When you look at a piece of meat, or a piece of fish, it’s often difficult to tell what species it is. Turn it into a pie or a fish cake and the difficult becomes the impossible. That’s where DNA testing helps. With a sample half a centimetre wide dropped into a little tube of preservative, you can find out if your fish is what the packet says, or if it is something else. It’s not even very expensive.
I cannot over emphasise the importance of our oceans. Not only do they provide a vital source of protein, a playground for recreation and our first line of defence against climate change, it is estimated that some one billion people rely on the oceans for their livelihood.
A new analysis of global fish catch published this week by scientists at the University of British Colombia serves as a timely reminder of the contribution that fishing makes to food security and the potential it has to damage marine ecosystems if not managed effectively.
The findings make a strong case for the need for sustainability and good management of our oceans resources. Something that the MSC program is tackling across the world.
As one of MSC’s lead scientists, I often support scientific research into the sustainability and protection of marine ecosystems.
This week, I’m particularly proud to see one of these projects published in the journal Science.
Ecosystems and the biodiversity that underpin them are vital for sustaining human life. Recognising this, in 2010, 193 nations agreed on a set of 20 biodiversity-related goals, known as Aichi Biodiversity Targets. At the halfway point to the 2020 deadline, a team of 51 experts, including myself, from over 30 institutions got together to assess progress towards these targets, and projected whether or not they will be met.