Protecting 30% of the oceans by 2030 would have little impact on fishing

Frontiers in Marine Science (2022). DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2022.826587″ width=”800″ height=”399″/>

Each major FAO fishing area was divided into areas within EEZs and areas within the high seas, resulting in 37 administrative regions. Credit: Marine Science Frontiers (2022). DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2022.826587

Conserving marine biodiversity, preventing species extinction and maintaining food security from wild capture fisheries can all be achieved simultaneously if a comprehensive, non-regionalized approach to marine spatial management is undertaken by signatories of IUCN Resolution 50, which calls for the protection of 30% of the ocean by 2030.

In a new article published in Marine Science Frontiersresearchers from the University of Auckland and the University of British Columbia’s Sea Around Us initiative present a multi-objective solution that, if implemented, could lead to the protection of 89% of areas of biodiversity representative of the ocean and 89% of threatened species, i.e. approximately 860 species, while maintaining access to fishing areas which provide 89% of global catches.

The solution is based on a spatial prioritization of the ocean, which looked at biodiversity hotspots, areas where nearly 1,000 endangered species live, and fishing grounds where more than 2,000 species are caught.

“We analyzed three possible scenarios that took into account the three objectives and two of them showed that protecting 30% of the ocean would not lead to food insecurity, because the majority of catches can be maintained alongside marine conservation,” said Dr Maria ‘Deng’ Palomares, Sea Around Us project manager and co-author of the study. “Our multi-objective solution, which we call ‘Scenario 2’, uses a global approach to ocean management that takes into account access to resources for artisanal fishing, considering that since 2009, more than 90% of catches come from coastal and inland waters. shelf areas.”

In this scenario, certain areas of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, Australia, the Red, Mediterranean and Tasmanian Seas, as well as various islands in the Western Pacific Ocean should be prioritized for the protection of biodiversity and species. threatened. At the same time, however, parts of western South America, western Africa, the northeast Atlantic, southern and southeast Asia, and the Yellow Sea should remain open to low-impact fishing, thereby balancing the loss of catches in other ecologically important regions. areas.

The analyzes also compared the effectiveness of protecting endangered species and biodiversity in the high seas against countries’ exclusive economic zones. They found that the majority of the threatened species studied, in particular seabird species and the iconic bluefin tuna, venture far offshore and thus justify the extension of marine protection and fisheries management in high sea.

“In addition to being home to endangered species, many areas of high biodiversity are found on the high seas, yet fishing accounts for only 2.5% of the global catch,” said Tamlin Jefferson, Ph.D. University of Auckland and lead author of the study, said. “This, combined with the fact that deep sea fishing has low profitability, supports our conclusion on the importance of closing at least 22% of the high seas to fishing.”

The study also shows the importance of integrating resource access for small-scale communities when designing global ocean management, so that the livelihoods of local fishers are factored into scenarios. conservation.

“Our findings help inform discussions about future spatial management of the global ocean, illustrating potential win-win solutions for conservation and fisheries benefits,” said Dr Carolyn Lundquist, University of ‘Auckland and co-author of the study. .

The document “Safeguarding seafood safety, marine biodiversity and endangered species: Can we have our fish and eat it too?” was published in Marine Science Frontiers.

Moving ocean closures is the best way to protect animals from accidental capture

More information:
Tamlin Jefferson et al, Safeguarding seafood safety, marine biodiversity and endangered species: can we have our fish and eat it too?, Marine Science Frontiers (2022). DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2022.826587

Provided by Sea Around Us

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