Net losses

In 2004, net exports of fish reeled in more than $20 billion to developing countries– nearly four times more than coffee exports and nearly ten times more than tea exports. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), that same year, fish provided more than 2.6 billion people around the world with at least 20% of their average per capita animal protein intake. As Globalisation in Fisheries and Aquaculture: Opportunities and Challenges makes clear, only through international co-operation will these vast and crucial industries be saved from their own success.

Given that in 2005, according to the FAO, about half of all fish stocks were fully exploited or close to their maximum sustainable limits, and another quarter were overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion, a key policy objective for international fisheries is to ensure that stocks are sustainable. Developing and developed countries need to reassess domestic fisheries management and the development needs of the fisheries sector while strengthening fisheries governance. As a start, policymakers should eliminate fleet overcapacity and reduce subsidies for fleet operations. They should also provide development assistance and capacitybuilding, particularly for poorer countries.

Globalisation in Fisheries and Aquaculture examines the entire value chain of fisheries– from capture or farming, which itself produced 66.7 million tonnes of fish in 2006, worth an estimated $86 billion, through processing and retailing. It addresses some of the concerns raised about aquaculture, specifically the potential detrimental effects fish farming might have on the environment (see also “Aquaculture: A catch for all?” in OECD Observer No 278 and at www.oecdobserver.org). It also suggests policies to ensure that fish stocks are better protected and fish harvesting better managed, urges compliance with international regulations already in place and the development of new standards as needed. In short, better international fisheries management can result in a cleaner and fairer industry.

ISBN 978-92-64-07432-3

©OECD Observer No 279 May 2010




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