Stronger International Policies Are Key to Sustaining Global Fisheries

Sustainable global fish stocks

During a recent lecture at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Secure Fisheries’ Robert Mazurek argued that piecemeal fisheries management is undermining efforts for sustainable global fisheries. “Strong fisheries management is the key to future sustainability of wild fish stocks, but only thirty-six percent of the ocean is within a single country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and ten percent of the ocean falls within fragile or failed states,” Mazurek said. Making fisheries management more difficult, high seas fisheries, and those of many pelagic stocks that cross borders such as tuna, sharks, and swordfish, are managed by approximately seventeen separate (though sometimes overlapping) regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs). This management is based mostly on voluntary commitments, with few binding international treaties. Mazurek presented a vision for strengthening international fisheries policy, utilizing the UN’s Sustainability Goal 14—to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources—as a catalyst for change.