Skip to main content

Global Analysis Shows that Fisheries Management Works

Professor Chris Costello part of international collaboration to assess the status of fish stocks

Jan 21 2020 UCSB Current

A school of fish

Nearly half of the fish caught worldwide come from stocks that are scientifically monitored and, on average, are increasing in abundance. Effective management appears to be the main reason these stocks are at sustainable levels or successfully rebuilding.

That is the main finding of an international effort, led by scientists including the Bren School’s Christopher Costello, to compile and analyze data from fisheries around the world. The results appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“There’s a common belief out there that overfishing is irreversible. Our research shows that when fishery managers are resolute and put sound management in place they can rebuild fish stocks and the livelihoods and ecosystems that depend on them,” said Costello, a coauthor of the paper.

The project builds on a decade-long international collaboration to assemble estimates of the status of fish stocks — or distinct populations of fish — around the world. This information helps scientists and managers know where overfishing is occurring, or where some areas could support even more fishing. Now the team’s database includes information on nearly half of the world’s fish catch, up from the approximately 20% represented in the last compilation in 2009.

Read the full story at: The UCSB Current

Credit: Harrison Tasoff