The progressive elimination of fish discards established by the European Union Council in 2013 has stimulated the valorization of flesh from discarded high-quality species with good protein functional properties but which frequently have excessive fish-bones, fat, strange flavours, soft texture, etc. The present study therefore focuses on valorization of the extracted muscle (minced muscle), from several fish species frequently discarded in north-western Spanish fisheries (Atlantic Ocean): Blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou), Mackerel (Scomber scombrus), Red scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa), Pouting (Trisoreptus luscus) and Gurnard (Trigla spp.). Valorization of these discarded fish resources is a key objective for the survival of the fishery sector in this area. In this regard present study was planned to examine the behaviour of the mince during 6 months of frozen storage by means of physicochemical and sensory analyses, and to test consumer acceptance of three technologically different products (burgers, nuggets and structured fingers) prepared with fish mince from different species. Results indicated that protein aggregation started at the outset of frozen storage but progressed very slowly, with the exception of non-washed blue whiting and red scorpionfish minces. Moreover, during frozen storage lipid oxidation increased in all samples; the increase was with two objectives highest in minced mackerel, a fatty fish, but no rancid flavour was detected. All mince samples presented acceptable physicochemical properties and good sensory acceptability after 6 months of frozen storage. Acceptability of final products made with these minces was high in all cases. Burgers were more acceptable for consumers aged over 40 and fingers and nuggets more for younger people.
Fisheries and Fisheries Management
Stock enhancement activities provide an opportunity to examine density-dependent suppression of population biomass which is a fundamental issue for resource management and design of no-take-zones. We document ‘catch-and-wait’ fisheries enhancement where all but the largest lobsters are thrown back, recapturing them later after they have grown to a larger size. The residency, rate of return, and potential negative density-dependent effects of this activity are described using a combination of tagging and v-notching and by relating spatial growth patterns to population density defined with Catch Per Unit Effort. The results successfully demonstrated the concept of catch-and-wait practices. However, a density-dependent suppression of growth (in body size) was observed in male lobsters. This demonstrates a mechanism to explain differences in lobster sizes previously observed across EU fishing grounds with different stock densities. This negative effect of density could also affect individual biomass production in marine reserve or no-take zones.
Fishery improvement projects (FIPs) are emerging as a popular market‐based means to improve fisheries sustainability and have been employed in scores of fisheries around the world; however, project ability to realize improvements has been highly variable, and little is known about how fishery and project conditions affect improvement efforts. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the FIP model as a tool for improving diverse fisheries around the world, we compile a unique dataset of social, ecological and economic characteristics for over 60 FIPs globally, which we use to identify key attributes correlated with improvements in fishing practices, management and/or on‐the‐water outcomes. Using a random forest classifier, we identify three important attributes related to FIP effectiveness in demonstrating improvements. Specifically, FIPs are more likely to have achieved improvements with increased cumulative project time, when regional‐level management arrangements are present and when the target species has a moderate inherent vulnerability to fishing. Interestingly, improvements were not correlated with a number of expected features, including a fishery's socio‐economic setting or baseline performance against the desired sustainability standard (e.g. the Marine Stewardship Council fisheries standard). This study improves our understanding of factors related to FIP effectiveness in improving fisheries practices and management and provides key insights for practitioners into important attributes to consider when implementing the FIP model to promote fisheries sustainability.
Stock enhancements are commonly advocated as a solution to declining fish populations. They consist of releasing hatchery individuals in the wild, to increase stock abundance and provide socio-economic benefits. Some argue that stock enhancement science focusses too narrowly on technical and economic aspects, with insufficient investigations of the social impacts (positive and negative) on local communities. The present study investigated the potential impacts the planned Marava (Siganus argenteus) stock enhancement could have on local fishers from Taiarapu (French Polynesia). Ninety-six local fishers were interviewed, using semi-structured questionnaires, to gather information on the data-poor coastal fishery, the importance of Marava as a target species, and the fishers’ perceptions of stock enhancement and of the fisheries management regime. Fishers reported overall finfish abundance to have declined and attributed this mainly to overfishing caused by the growing number of fishers, undersized fish being caught, and pollution. Results suggested that wild Marava was insignificant within this coastal fishery, as it was rarely caught. Although 90.6% of the interviewees approved of enhancing Marava stocks, this intervention was thought unlikely to enhance fishers’ livelihoods through mitigating overharvesting (particularly due to certain fishing practices including night spearfishing and harvesting juveniles). Our results also showed that coastal fishers were more concerned with inequalities between different stakeholders of the fishery, especially offshore fishers, under the current management regime than the state of the fishery and suggest that the local fisheries agency should attempt to address these existing inequalities before engaging in stock enhancement.
Human-induced climate change such as ocean warming and acidification, threatens marine ecosystems and associated fisheries. In the Western Baltic cod stock socio-ecological links are particularly important, with many relying on cod for their livelihoods. A series of recent experiments revealed that cod populations are negatively affected by climate change, but an ecological-economic assessment of the combined effects, and advice on optimal adaptive management are still missing. For Western Baltic cod, the increase in larval mortality due to ocean acidification has experimentally been quantified. Time-series analysis allows calculating the temperature effect on recruitment. Here, we include both processes in a stock-recruitment relationship, which is part of an ecological-economic optimization model. The goal was to quantify the effects of climate change on the triple bottom line (ecological, economic, social) of the Western Baltic cod fishery. Ocean warming has an overall negative effect on cod recruitment in the Baltic. Optimal management would react by lowering fishing mortality with increasing temperature, to create a buffer against climate change impacts. The negative effects cannot be fully compensated, but even at 3 °C warming above the 2014 level, a reduced but viable fishery would be possible. However, when accounting for combined effects of ocean warming and acidification, even optimal fisheries management cannot adapt to changes beyond a warming of +1.5° above the current level. Our results highlight the need for multi-factorial climate change research, in order to provide the best available, most realistic, and precautionary advice for conservation of exploited species as well as their connected socio-economic systems.
This paper reviews the provisions and efforts to implement the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) and the 1980 Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). It illustrates progress and continuing challenges to stopping the overexploitation of living resources in high seas areas beyond national jurisdictions. Progress includes recognition that living organisms interact with each other and the environment in complex ways and that single-species management to attain maximum sustainable yield (MSY) fails to account for these interactions. Continuing challenges include data limitations that allow differing views concerning the adequacy and interpretation of the available data, and decision-makingthat allows a minority of the decision-makers to block adoption of regulatory measures that the majority believe necessary to meet the intent and provisions of the regulatory agreements. The provisions and continuing challenges to meeting the objectives of these two conventions should be considered in the formulation of future international high seas regulatory agreements such as the regime to govern fisheries in the central Arctic Ocean as envisioned in the 16 year ban on commercial fishing there agreed in October 2018 by Canada, Denmark (for Greenland), Iceland, Russia, Norway, the United States, the European Union, Japan, China, and South Korea.
The Baltic Sea is one of the most eutrophied seas in the world, facing challenges with both hypoxia and algae blooms. In this study we analyse the effect of using different fishery policy instruments to reduce nutrient loads by removing fish biomass from the ecosystem. The study covers Danish, Finnish and Swedish pelagic fisheries. We distinguish between a private optimum maximising the net present value from fishing and a social optimum including the positive externality of removing nutrients. A dynamic bio-economic model, FishRent, is used to estimate the effect of three policy scenarios: Fisheries regulation using individual transferable quotas (ITQ); Economic compensation provided to fishers for reducing nutrients; and Environmental regulation maximising sustainable catches. The results show that the highest social welfare gain is achieved by maximising catch volumes while having a flexible system for quota trade within the fishing sector. The social welfare gain from the positive externality of the extra fish landed in this case outweighs the private loss of not fishing at the optimal individual level (maximum economic yield).
‘Due regard’ obligations occur when a state, in exercising a right, is bound to take into consideration the existence of conflicting rights and interests of other states and to balance their respective importance. They are frequently found in international law of the sea and the LOSC. Within the exclusive economic zone, where the applicable regime is the result of the balancing of the rights of the coastal state with those of other states, international practice shows that the balance shifts in favour of the coastal state if conflicting fishing activities are at stake. The balance may change if other kinds of activities are in conflict within the same zone. Two recent arbitral awards—on the Chagos Marine Protected Area case and the South China Sea case—elaborate on ‘due regard obligations’.
The European Union (EU) instituted a carding system via its European Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1005/2008 with the goal of incentivizing fish and fish products (fish) exporting countries to the Union to take action to reduce IUU fishing in their waters. This regulation stipulates that the EU will issue warnings, known as a “yellow card,” to countries that perform poorly in the effort to end IUU fishing in their waters. Failure to curb IUU fishing will result in a ban in the export of fish to the EU via the issuance of a red card. Here, I ask the following questions: what is the economic risk of being red carded by the EU? Is the economic risk big enough to significantly reduce IUU fishing in a targeted country’s waters? Would the risk be broad enough to result in a significant reduction in IUU fishing globally? What if the two other leading fish importing countries, i.e., the United States and Japan, also institute a similar carding system as the EU? To address these questions, I develop and compute an economic risk index for the carding system. This study suggests that the impact of an EU only IUU carding system could be significant for some targeted countries but its effect globally, with respect to reducing IUU fishing, would be minimal. However, I find that the economic risk to fish exporting countries would increase significantly if the United States and Japan also instituted similar carding systems, which would in turn help to reduce IUU fishing worldwide. This contribution shows that an IUU carding system could contribute significantly to the elimination of IUU fishing provided a critical mass of top fish importing countries participate in such a system.
The delineation of essential fish habitats is necessary to identify, design and prioritize efficient marine protected area (MPA) networks with fishery objectives, capable, in addition to other possible objectives and functions of MPAs, of sustaining the renewal of marine living resources. Generally, the first step to obtain maps of essential fish habitats consists in choosing one of the numerous existing statistical approaches to build robust habitat suitability models linking relevant descriptors of the marine environment to the spatial distribution of fish presence or density. When these descriptors are exhaustively known, i.e. maps are available for each of them, geo-referenced predictions from these models and their related uncertainty may be imported into Geographic Information Systems for the quantitative identification and characterization of key sites for the marine living resources. The usefulness of such quantitative maps for management purposes is endless. These maps allow for the quantitative identification of the different habitats that are required for these marine resources to complete their life cycles and enable to measure their respective importance for population renewal and conservation. The consequences of anthropogenic pressures, not only fishing but also land reclamation, aggregate extractions or degradation of habitat quality (e.g. nutrient excess or xenobiotics loadings, invasive species or global change), on living resources, may also be simulated from such habitat models. These quantitative maps may serve as input in specific spatial planning software or to spatialise population or fishery dynamics, ecosystem or trophic models that may then be used to simulate various scenarios. Fish habitat maps thus may help decision makers to select relevant protection areas and design coherent MPA networks and management levels which objectives are to sustain fishing resources and fisheries.