This menu organises news, documents, projects, profiles and links into key topics, and the menu along the top divides the contents of the site by type.
18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
The Sunken Billions: The Economic Justification for Fisheries Reform
The Sunken Billions shows that the difference between the potential and actual net economic benefits from marine fisheries is in the order of $50 billion per year – equivalent to more than half the value of the global seafood trade. The cumulative economic loss to the global economy over the last three decades is estimated to be in the order of two trillion dollars. In many countries the catching operations are buoyed up by subsidies, so that the global fishery economy to the point of landing (the harvest sub-sector) is in deficit.
The focus on the declining biological health of the world’s fisheries has tended to obscure the even more critical economic health of the fisheries. When fish stocks are fully exploited in the biological sense, the associated fisheries are almost invariably performing below their economic optimum. In some cases, fisheries may be biologically sustainable but still operate at an economic loss. The poor economic performance is an underlying driver of illegal fishing.
With effective economic incentives, rather than being a net drain on the global economy, sustainable fisheries can create an economic surplus, be a driver of economic growth and a basis for livelihood opportunities. Illegal fishing is seen as a symptom of poor governance requiring a broad-based reform process to replace pernicious incentives with incentives, which foster improved governance and responsible stewardship.
A reform process requires political will and leadership based on a clear consensus vision of a healthy fishery economy and steps towards this vision. Strengthened tenure and fishing rights and phasing out of subsidies are important ingredients of reform. Regular public reporting on the state of nation’s fish stocks and their contribution to national wealth promotes accountability and good governance. Transparency in the allocation of rights and benefits can combat corruption and illicit practices.
See details for related event '5th International Forum on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing'
The Sunken Billions
Link to document