Legasea Potential benefits from abundant fisheries
Having six internationally-renowned speakers focused on defining the economy of abundance at the recent Fisheries Symposium was a real boost for Legasea and provided the vision of more abundant fisheries for all New Zealanders.
Around 100 attendees from various backgrounds welcomed the presentations from Daniel Pauly, Dr Evelyn Pinkerton, Rob Southwick, Dr Glenn Simmons, Bruce Hartill and John Holdsworth.
After two days of discussions at Snells Beach, the overwhelming outcome was a collective commitment to identifying the existing management and policy gaps and then communicating the need and benefits of restoring abundance and productivity to New Zealand’s coastal waters.
Daniel Pauly is a Canadian-based award-winning marine biologist specialising in human impacts on global fisheries. In 1995 he observed much of the historical or anecdotal information on fish abundance was not used by the next generation of scientists and managers. He called this ‘shifting baseline syndrome’, where each generation of scientists accepts the state of depletion at the beginning of their career when evaluating change.
His more recent work highlights the risks associated with the worldwide increase in fishing efficiency and effort, masking the drop in catch rates, along with the depletion of top species and the effects this has on the food chain. Due to the rapid industrialisation of fishing over the past 50 years, catch rates can no longer be considered representative of a species’ abundance.
Co-management is Dr Evelyn Pinkerton’s specialty. Her revelations on how successful co-management has been achieved between the authorities and indigenous people of British Columbia were inspiring. Success is dependent on coastal communities having direct control of, and access to, their fisheries and marine resources.
Rob Southwick, from Florida, presented results from the justreleased report