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Destructive fishing- part II: 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),
  • fisheries management,
  • sustainable development,
  • FAO,
  • One ocean Hub
Target Group
  • Community workers,
  • Policy makers,
  • Artists,
  • Researchers,
  • Entrepreneurs
  • English
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The blog post discusses the ongoing challenges in addressing destructive fishing practices, highlights their significant economic and environmental impact.

This second part of the blog post published on 26 August 2021 discusses the efforts to eliminate destructive fishing practices, highlighting their significant impact on marine ecosystems and coastal communities. It underscores the importance of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, Target 14.4, which aims to regulate and end overfishing, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and destructive fishing practices to restore fish stocks. The economic losses associated with these practices are estimated to be in the billions of dollars annually.

Despite global goals and measures, challenges persist in addressing destructive fishing. The article explores several determinants of these practices, including:

1. The pursuit of economic development by some countries, often leading to the use of destructive gear without proper regulation or planning.
2. Inadequate legislation and enforcement, driven by corruption and lack of regulatory oversight.
3. The emergence of “blue crime,” where transnational organized crime intersects with marine fisheries, leading to a range of illegal activities, impacting coastal communities and maritime security.
4. The endorsement of short-term economic benefits over long-term sustainable practices by industries and governments issuing permits for destructive fishing gear.
5. The need to consider and distinguish between indigenous and traditional practices, some of which have become unsustainable, while others have been practiced sustainably for centuries.

To address destructive fishing comprehensively, the article suggests the need for an improved definition that considers the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of these practices. It emphasizes the interconnections between these dimensions and the importance of human rights, especially for indigenous and small-scale fishing communities. The One Ocean Hub proposes an inclusive approach that recognizes the intangible heritage associated with fisheries, preserving indigenous and traditional small-scale fishing practices. This holistic perspective can help tackle destructive fishing as a human rights challenge.

In conclusion, the two-part blog post sheds light on the lack of a clear definition for destructive fishing and the reasons for its persistence. It underscores the need for a comprehensive approach that considers the interconnected impact on the environment, society, and the economy. The Hub’s efforts focus on promoting sustainable practices, preserving cultural heritage, and addressing the issue of destructive fishing as a human rights challenge.