Fighting illegal fishing

Can PMSCs help in the fight against IUU fishing?

Thunder Road: Outsourcing the Fight Against Illegal Fishing

By Claude Berube

Sometimes the problem no one admits to has the answer no one wants. This year’s chase by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society of the illegal fishing trawler Thunder highlighted the problem ever briefly in the news and among a few world leaders. The world’s population faces a quickly growing crisis of potentially irreversible magnitude that will affect the security of nations as well as the fundamental ability of people to survive.

Estimates on fish stock depletion range from extremely troublesome to practically catastrophic. A 2003 National Geographic article reported that only ten percent of all large fish remained in the sea (a decrease of 90 percent since 1950.) According to one report by the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), which monitors over 600 fish stocks, 80 percent are either overexploited or depleted while global demand for seafood continues to rise.Even the United States is impacted from overfished stocks. The World Wildlife Fund suggested that 53 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion.

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