The Sunken Billions Revisited: Progress and Challenges in Global Marine Fisheries

Last modified: 
December 16, 2019 - 1:23pm
Type: Report
Year of publication: 2017
Date published: 02/2017
Authoring organizations: World Bank
Publishing institution: The World Bank
Series title: Environment and Sustainable Development series
ISBN: 978-1-4648-0947-7

The primary objective of this study is to reinforce the messages of the 2009 publication and to catalyze calls for accelerating and scaling up the international effort aimed at addressing the global fisheries crisis. The analysis reveals economic losses of about $83 billion in 2012, compared with the optimal global maximum economic yield equilibrium.

These sunken billions represent the potential annual benefits that could accrue to the sector following both major reform of fisheries governance and a period of years during which fish stocks would be allowed to recover to a higher, more sustainable, and more productive level. These stocks cannot be recovered immediately, even if ideal sector governance were somehow imposed overnight. Rather, the process of recovery implies large transition costs and long-term sector restructuring. 

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