Global fishing practices may have been less sustainable: study

Global fishing practices may have been less sustainable: study

Global fishing practices may have been less sustainable and worse over the past many decades than what official reports indicate, a new study warned.

According to the study, stats submitted by many nations to the United Nation’s Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) have not always reflected the accurate amount of fish actually caught over the last 60 years, suggesting that the condition of world’s fish stocks may be in worse shape than previously estimated.

Official data shows that global fish catches increased in 1996 at 86 million metric tons and have since somewhat declined. But a joint study from more than fifty institutions around the globe found that global catches actually increased at 130 metric tons in 1996 and have slipped sharply at an average of around 1.2 million metric tons every year since then.

The effort led by University of British Columbia researchers Daniel Pauly and Dirk Zeller was designed to determine the level to which data submitted to the FAO was underreported.

Sharing the findings of the study, Pauly said, “Our results indicate that the declining is very strong and the declining is not due to countries fishing less. It is due to the countries fishing too much and having exhausted one fish after the other.”

The researcher noted that recreational fishing and illegal fishing often go unreported by various nations, which results in underestimation of the catch.

Thhe shocking findings of the study published Jan. 19th edition of the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

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