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Destructive fishing- part I: defining destructive fisheries in a rounded manner

Senia Febrica, Warwick Sauer, Alexander Winkler, Joseph Aggrey-Fynn, Bernadette Snow and Alana Malinde S.N. Lancaster

One Ocean Hub, University of Strathclyde, UK

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  • Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU),
  • One ocean Hub,
  • UNEP,
  • policy,
  • FAO,
  • fisheries management,
  • sustainable development
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  • Community workers,
  • Entrepreneurs,
  • Policy makers,
  • Researchers,
  • Artists
  • English
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This two-part blog post outlines the One Ocean Hub's involvement in the Cambridge Conservation Initiative's "Defining Destructive Fishing" Project Survey.

This two-part blog post published on the 26 August 2021 outlines the One Ocean Hub’s involvement in the Cambridge Conservation Initiative’s “Defining Destructive Fishing” Project Survey, a collaborative effort with partners including the United Nations Environmental Programme, Fauna & Flora International, the University of Cambridge, BirdLife International, and Brunel University. The survey aims to gather diverse perspectives from academia, conservation, fisheries management, the seafood industry, indigenous and community fisheries representatives, civil society, and decision-makers to clarify the concept of destructive fishing.

Part I of the blog focuses on the absence of a clear definition for destructive fishing, which poses challenges for tracking and addressing this issue. While recognized as detrimental to sustainable fishing and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14, the term remains vague. The lack of consensus on its definition is evident in academic literature and regional discrepancies in identifying destructive fishing practices. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) also struggles to differentiate it from illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing.

Part II delves into the description of destructive fishing practices, which encompass a wide range of activities, such as using harmful fishing gear, explosives, and chemicals, leading to the depletion of marine species and the destruction of marine habitats. These practices are detrimental to both marine ecosystems and the safety of fishermen.

Efforts to combat destructive fishing include legal, policy, and management measures at national, regional, and international levels. Examples from Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia illustrate various responses, including regulations against prohibited gear and the protection of important marine and fishery grounds.

The blog post sets the stage for Part II, where the determinants and drivers of destructive fishing, as identified by the One Ocean Hub’s research, will be discussed. The post underscores the need for a clearer definition and a more comprehensive approach to address this pressing issue in marine conservation.