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.
©OECD Observer No 279 May 2010