Fisheries managers should sharpen their ability to spot environmental conditions that hamper or help fish stocks, rather than assuming that having a certain abundance of fish assures how much can be sustainably harvested.
That's because the potential harvest of fish is only closely linked to abundance in 18 percent of 230 fish stocks assessed in a University of Washington-led study, according to Ray Hilborn, UW professor of aquatic and fishery sciences. For the other 82 percent of stocks, potential harvest of fish was primarily controlled by irregular shifts in environmental conditions or was random and not controlled by either abundance or shifts in environmental regimes.
Yet targets based on abundance of fish stocks are the mainstay of most management plans in the U.S. and a growing number of other countries: If a stock reaches certain abundance, it is thought, then potential harvest is maximized.
The findings are being published the week of Jan. 14 in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"There have been competing ideas about productivity," Hilborn said. "One is that it depends primarily on abundance. The other is that productivity of a stock mostly depends on whether there's a period of good conditions or a period of bad conditions."
"What we've done in this study is take 230 fish stocks and ask which of these explanations explains the data for each fish stock better," he said.
In contrast to the 18 percent of stocks where abundance controls productivity, there were 39 percent of stocks – more than two times as many – where productivity appears to jump between periods of high and low environmental regimes in an irregular fashion. Another 30 percent showed a weak relationship between productivity and abundance mixed in with irregular regime shifts. The remaining 13 percent fluctuated randomly.
"Regime shifts can affect the number of young fish that reach adulthood, their ability to grow or how long they live. A shift can be caused by such things as changing ocean temperatures or increases in predators," said lead author Katyana Vert-pre a UW master's student in aquatic and fishery sciences.
The authors write, "Although there may be little that fishery managers can do to avert shifts to a lower productivity state, improved methods for early detection of such shifts may permit managers to reduce harvest in time to avoid collapse."
Study co-author Olaf Jensen of Rutgers University says, "We can think of fisheries like natural savings accounts, where we're trying to harvest the interest – what fisheries scientists call the 'surplus production' – without causing a long-term decline in the principal or abundance of mature adult fish. Fisheries scientists have generally operated under the assumption that the 'interest' is determined by the abundance of mature adults."
"Our research shows that this is rarely the case. Instead of operating like a simple savings accounts, fisheries are more like volatile stocks where the rate of return is determined by a variety of complex factors outside the control of managers," Jensen said.
The findings don't mean we shouldn't attempt to manage fisheries or try to maintain fish stocks at high abundance, Hilborn said, because having plenty of fish benefits natural food chains and ecosystems and lowers the costs of harvesting fish.
This deserves particular attention, he said, as plans and timetables are formulated to rebuild an ever-increasing number of fish stocks. In many cases natural causes are the reason stocks are at low abundance, rather than overfishing, although fishing will cause even lower abundance in such cases, he said. Also, rebuilding fish stock abundance often won't result in promised increases in sustainable yield, he said.
As the paper says, "If fish populations experience substantial shifts in productivity unrelated to stock size, then management based on a single set of management targets (for example maximum sustainable yield) will be either inefficient or risky. If the targets are based on a higher productivity regime, then a shift to a low productivity regime will result in increased risk of overfishing. Conversely, management targets based on a lower productivity phase will result in overly cautious harvest during regimes of high productivity."
The fish stocks analyzed are part of a database initially created in 2006-7 in an effort led by Hilborn and Dalhousie University's Boris Worm. The fourth co-author is Ricardo Amoroso with the Centro Nacional Patagónico in Argentina. Funding came from the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In economic terms, overfishing can be regarded as borrowing natural capital at a high rate of interest, according to a new study. Combining economic and biological principles, the study develops a concept that expresses overfishing in terms of the ‘interest’ that the fishing industry have to repay in future years as a result of lost income from depleted fish stocks.
The EU is currently reforming its Common Fisheries Policy1 to promote sustainable fishing. The plans for reform are centred on the concept of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) as a limit, above which fishing is unsustainable because only a small number of fish available to breed remain. Fishing more sustainably benefits the industry, because it leaves a larger breeding stock and therefore increases future profits. Figures from this year2 suggest that some recent progress has been made in the EU; a rise in the number of fish stocks being harvested sustainably is associated with additional profits of €135 million.
To develop a better understanding of the relationship between sustainable fisheries and economics, German researchers from economic and oceanography backgrounds worked together to develop a shadow interest rate (SIR) for the fishing industry. In other industries, shadow prices and shadow interest rates are sometimes used to express values that differ from the market value due to external factors, for example, shadow prices for steel production account for the social cost of pollution from the industry3.
For the fishing industry, the SIR developed by this study is high when the level of overfishing is significant and low when overfishing is minimal. The higher the value of SIR, the more an ‘investment’ is worth. An ‘investment’ in this case, is catching fewer fish. SIR therefore links the level of overfishing to the level of profit that fishermen will make in the future.
The researchers calculated the SIR for 13 different fish stocks, including herring, plaice and sole stocks in the North Sea, and Eastern Baltic cod, one of the most important fish stocks in Europe, based on data from 1984-2008 stock assessments published by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
The results suggest that, based on the concept of SIR, all stocks were overfished during this time. According to the researchers, lowering the total allowable catch – the catch limit under EU fisheries policy – and thus reducing catches, could be regarded as an investment in future fish stocks that could lead to a considerable return in profits.
The concept could be used to help those responsible for setting catch limits understand the economic impacts of different limits. In addition, SIR values can be calculated and compared for different fish stocks. For example, if reducing the catch limit for one fish stock promises a larger economic benefit in the future than for another, this might be considered a more profitable management strategy.
Source: Quaas, M.F., Froese, R., Herwartz, H., et al. (2012). Fishing industry borrows from natural capital at high shadow interest rates. Ecological Economics. 82: 45–52. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.08.002
A mixed school of tuna are visible here in a purse seine net. Credit: Bill Boyce
Marine zoning in the Pacific Ocean, in combination with other measures, could significantly improve numbers of heavily overfished bigeye tuna and improve local economies, a fish modelling study has found.
Scientists working at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (Honolulu, HI), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC, Noumea, New Caledonia) and Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS, Toulouse, France), have found that a network of marine zones in the Pacific Ocean could be a more effective conservation measure than simply closing relatively small areas to some types of fishing. These marine zones, where different fishing activities are allowed in different areas, may have significant and widespread benefits for bigeye tuna numbers. Dr John Sibert of the University of Hawaii Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Research is one of four scientists leading the study. After testing the effectiveness of a range of conservation measures with an ecosystem and fish population model, Dr Sibert says the team found that the most effective measures were to:
"We found that simply closing areas off to fishing doesn't work, because the boats just move their operations to neighbouring zones and fish even harder. It's going to need a combination of approaches," he says.
"The model will help people evaluate alternative policies to manage tropical tuna fisheries. Our predictions can help countries estimate how effective conservation measures might be, relative to any economic effects, and tailor measures to suit their goals. The advantage of this approach is that effects can be estimated locally, as well as for the stock as a whole."
Half the current bigeye tuna catch is by longline, which targets high-value tuna sold as fresh fish. These fish command a market premium and sell for over $10 per kilogram.
The other half is caught in purse-seine nets as incidental bycatch when aiming to catch skipjack tuna. These juvenile bigeye tuna are sold to the canning industry for $1.70 per kilogram.
Dr Sibert says the study calls for a complete economic valuation of the Western Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) tuna fishery.
He says the most effective conservation measures are those "which protect fish throughout their lifetime."
Rebuilding the bigeye-tuna stock will take at least 15 years, and will be affected by any climate changes the ecosystems experience.
The Spatial Ecosystem and Population Dynamics Model (SEAPODYM) used in the analysis was developed with support from a series of European Union–funded projects implemented by the Oceanic Fisheries Programme of the SPC, the NOAA-funded Pelagic Fisheries Research Program at the University of Hawaii and CLS.
Reference: Sibert, J., I. Senina, P. Lehodey, and J. Hampton. 2012. Shifting from marine reserves to maritime zoning for conservation of Pacific bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus). PNAS 109(44): 18221.
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Commenting on a study published in the same issue by Costello et al., which found that globally, the abundance levels of fish populations are well below those recommended by conventional fisheries management guidelines, Dr. Pikitch writes, "Of even greater concern, most species are on a continuing trajectory of decline."
Menhaden Catch. Credit: NOAA
Costello et al. found that fisheries that represent 80 percent of the world's catch are in worse shape than those than those on which global status reviews have been conducted. Dr. Pikitch writes, "Costello et al.'s findings are even more alarming in the context of the evolving understanding of fishing and its ecological effects." Dr. Pikitch explains that traditional fisheries management focuses on obtaining maximum sustainable yield (MSY), which is a single-species approach that does not take into consideration the effects of the fishing on the entire ecosystem, including declines of other fish and marine animal species.
The findings of a recently published report, "Little Fish, Big Impact: Managing a Crucial Link in Ocean Food Webs," by the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force, found that moving away from a single-species management approach toward an ecosystem-based approach requires more precautionary management. The task force, of which Dr. Pikitch is the chair, determined that the amount of information available about the ecosystem and the fishery should establish the level of precaution managers should apply, requiring a shift in the burden of proof for fisheries management. In the Perspectives article, Dr. Pikitch writes "[This shift] is justified not least because the risks of continuing fishing when it results in serious negative consequences are generally much greater than the risks of curtailing fishing when it does not have a deleterious impact."
The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University is dedicated to advancing ocean conservation through science. The Institute transforms real-world policy while pursuing serious science, both of which are essential for ocean health.
Contact: Cindy Yeast
The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science
Hammerhead sharks migrate to warmer waters in winter to breed and to cooler waters in summer, often tracking migratory fish. Photo © Jeremy Stafford Deitsch.
New facts about marine life enable scientists to locate some of the ocean’s most ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs), in the planet’s most remote places. At the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) calls on the international community to protect them.
This is the first time the world ocean, including its international waters, comes under scientific scrutiny, combining new facts about the distribution, migration routes and reproductive, nesting and nursing grounds of many threatened species, such as tuna, sharks, turtles and whales. The Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative, of which IUCN is a partner, has been engaged in compiling and processing the new data.
“Many of these important areas lie outside of national jurisdiction, and thus remain neglected or poorly protected,” says Kristina Gjerde, IUCN Senior High Seas Advisor. “We need to bring these remote places to the center of government attention.”
Over 120 marine ‘hotspots’ located by experts in the Western South Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Wider Caribbean and Western Mid-Atlantic are now waiting to be approved by the CBD. This approval is needed to push the international community to recognize and protect these areas. The new knowledge gathered about them should be used by those managing marine activities to preserve areas beyond national boundaries, in line with international law – according to IUCN.
“We are calling the Convention to approve the proposed EBSAs and urge the international community to protect them – for the sake of our oceans and the services they provide to people around the world,” says Patricio Bernal, IUCN Coordinator of Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative. “If we fail to do this, we risk losing rich marine life before we even have the time to explore it.”
Very little is known about deep sea habitats, except that they are extremely vulnerable. Credit © Alberto Lindner - NOAA fisheries.
The oceans are a vital part of the earth's life support system and are home to an estimated 80% of the world's biodiversity, from tiny phytoplancton to blue whales – the largest creatures on the planet. They provide us with oxygen, food and water and regulate the earth’s climate. While unsustainable human use, climate change and ocean acidification continue to threaten their biodiversity, only about 2% of the world's oceans is protected – including less than 1% of their international waters – and much of them remains unexplored.
Among other features, scientists assessed the biological diversity and the number of rare species in the areas. They also looked at how important these places are for the survival of threatened species and how vulnerable they are to threats such as climate change and human activity, including pollution and illegal and badly managed fishing.
“Unregulated fishing is responsible for the mass mortality of sharks, which can cause dramatic shifts in the whole of the marine environment,” says Kristina Gjerde. “Plastics are pervasive in all ocean basins, contaminating the food chain with unknown effects. Emerging activities such as deep seabed mining threaten to industrialze the seafloor on a scale as yet unimagined.”
One of the areas, the Sargasso Sea serves as a crossroad of the Atlantic Ocean. Its iconic floating Sargassum seaweeds provide a unique shelter to many species some of which, like the Sargassum anglerfish, are unique to the area. Some 30 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises breed, live in or migrate through the Sargasso Sea, as do species of tuna, turtles, sharks, rays and the European and American eels.
Deep sea trawling can be very damaging to deep sea coral communities. Photo © Crown New Zealand government.
New tracking technologies have allowed researchers to examine migration routes of many species, including the Pacific leatherback sea turtles, threatened by poaching and unintentional fishing. Better protection of these areas could ensure the survival of this species, listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.
The new data has been gathered through international cooperation of experts initiated by the 10th Conference of Parties to the CBD and was reviewed by the Convention’s scientific body in May 2012.
Contact: Ewa Magiera, IUCN Media Relations
Traditional fisheries management dating back to the 17th century benefits coral reefs in Aceh, Indonesia. Credit: WCS Indonesia Program
A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and James Cook University says that coral reefs in Aceh, Indonesia are benefiting from a decidedly low-tech, traditional management system that dates back to the 17th century.
Known as "Panglima Laot" – the customary system focuses on social harmony and reducing conflict among communities over marine resources. According to the study, reefs benefitting from Panglima Laot contain as much eight time more fish and hard-coral cover due to mutually agreed upon gear restrictions especially prohibiting the use of nets.
The study, which appears in the October issue of the journal Oryx, is by Stuart Campbell, Rizya Ardiwijaya, Shinta Pardede, Tasrif Kartawijaya, Ahmad Mukmunin, Yudi Herdiana of the Wildlife Conservation Society; and Josh Cinner, Andrew Hoey, Morgan Pratchett, and Andrew Baird of James Cook University.
The authors say Panglima Laot has a number of design principles associated with successful fisheries management institutions. These include clearly defined membership rights, rules that limit resource use, the right of resource users to make, enforce and change the rules, and graduated sanctions and mechanisms for conflict resolution. These principles are the key to the ability of the institution to reduce conflict among communities, provide sustainable access to marine resources, and limit the destruction of marine habitats.
"No-take fishing areas can be impractical in regions where people rely heavily on reef fish for food," said the study's lead author Dr. Stuart Campbell of the Wildlife Conservation Society. "The guiding principle of Panglima Laot was successful in minimizing habitat degradation and maintaining fish biomass despite ongoing access to the fishery. Such mechanisms to reduce conflict are the key to success of marine resource management, particularly in settings which lack resources for enforcement."
However, the institution has not been uniformly successful. In particular, reef conditions in the adjacent island group of Pulau Aceh were poor possibly because of destructive fishing and poor coastal management. The precise causes of this breakdown of the Panglima Laot system are the focus of current research efforts in the region.
Other work by WCS and James Cook University suggests that fishers who are poorer and had lower levels of participation in resource management, had correspondingly lower levels of both trust in local institutions and involvement in community events. These groups subsequently felt less benefit from the customary PL system. In these places fishing is largely uncontrolled.
When the PL system is strong, and motivated by the aim of producing social harmony, restrictions on gear use by the Panglima Laot in Aceh have direct conservation benefits such as high coral cover and enhanced fish biomass.
Additional surveys over a wider geographical scale and over a longer period are required to reveal whether these findings also apply across larger scales and over time.
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.
A study published in Science magazine contains new population assessments for thousands of fisheries around the globe, providing insight on the health of data-poor fisheries that account for more than 80 percent of the world's catch. The research confirms suspicions that these fisheries are in decline, but it also highlights hope for the future: most of these fisheries have not yet collapsed. If we act quickly to prevent overfishing and allow depleted stocks to recover to sustainable levels, they could provide more seafood over the long-term. This could increase the amount of fish brought to shore by 8-40 percent on average - and more than double it in some areas - compared to yields predicted if we continue current fishing trends.
"Until now, our sense of how fisheries are doing has been based on a minute fraction of the world's fisheries – the large, valuable stocks for which we have lots of data," says UCSB scientist Steve Gaines. "This represents only a few hundred of over 10,000 fish stocks. It's a tiny slice that can give us a skewed view."
"For most fisheries, we simply didn't know how many fish were out there and whether their populations were trending up or down," adds lead author and economist Christopher Costello. "Without good information on fish populations, managing sustainably can be a hard thing to do. It's like trying to decide how far you can drive your car without knowing how much gas is in the tank."
The study provides a new global status report that includes these previously unmeasured fisheries. It brings thousands of what managers call "unassessed" fisheries into focus, using new methods to estimate fish populations. The results show that over half the world's fisheries are in decline. Across the globe, stocks with robust data are doing better than those less-studied, regardless of the country that manages them.
"If we look at assessed stocks we can be pretty satisfied that fishery management systems are generally working to assure long term sustainability," says University of Washington scientist Ray Hilborn, a co-author of the study. "For unassessed stocks, this doesn't appear to be true."
The scientists found that for large-scale fisheries, the stocks that we measure and track are at similar levels as those that we have not formally measured. However, under current fishing pressure their futures look very different: the assessed stocks are starting to show signs of recovery, while large, data-poor populations continue to decline. In small scale fisheries, the data-poor or "unassessed" stocks are in far worse shape than their studied counterparts, and many are plummeting at alarming rates. These fisheries are critical to local food security in many parts of the world.
"Without good population estimates, political pressure tends to dominate decision making, and we end up catching too much," says Costello. "Over time, this can lead a fishery to collapse."
"The impact on food security is most significant for local-level fisheries in poorer countries, but this isn't just a developing world problem," explains UCSB ecologist, Sarah Lester. "Small, unassessed fisheries in the U.S. and Europe are often in as bad a shape as those in the developing world."
The scientists caution that the new method cannot take the place of formal assessment programs for individual fisheries, but their approach provides accurate global and regional information that they hope will inform fisheries management decisions. "At a regional scale, we can gain up to 80 percent of the insights of traditional assessment approaches with just 1 percent of the cost," says Gaines.
The Benefits of Recovery – Environmental and Economic Gains
The closer a fishery is to collapse, the harder and more uncertain its recovery. However, the researchers say that with prompt action the majority of the world's fish populations could still rebound.
"Strong management could increase the number of fish in the ocean by over 50 percent," says Gaines. "When fish populations are healthy they produce more young. It may seem paradoxical, but we can get more fish on our plates by leaving more in the water."
The gains expected from recovery are most pronounced for small scale fisheries, many of which are in countries that face rapid population growth and depend on fish for local food security. Even in North America and Europe, recovery would bring both economic and environmental benefits.
"The good news here is that it's not too late," explains Costello. "These fisheries can rebound. But the longer we wait, the harder and more costly it will be to bring these fisheries back. In another ten years, the window of opportunity may have closed."
Getting to Recovery – Changing the Race for Fish to a Race for Sustainability
The new study in Science is embedded in a larger study, Charting a Course to Sustainable Fisheries, released this week by the consulting firm, California Environmental Associates. This broader study evaluates the successes and gaps in fishery management and conservation programs around the world. It points to the fact that we know how to bring back dwindling fisheries, but political battles often trump putting these concepts into action.
"We know what works. Fishery management policies and practices have been tried, tested, and proven," says report author Matthew Elliott.
In the U.S., for example, many large fisheries are starting to recover. The report's analysis shows that these gains result from a combination of efforts: relying on strong science to set total allowable fishing levels, closing some areas to allow for rebuilding, and using sustainable seafood markets and policies that help fishermen have secure access to a proportion of catch. While there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to eliminate overfishing, the report shows that many of the same principles are applied in successful, local management efforts around the world.
"The key is to use and share these practices more broadly," says Elliott. "In many areas of the world, particularly in the tropics and sub-tropics, we see fisheries expanding quickly with little in the way of management. This research fills an important information gap for these fisheries. We hope it will draw more international attention to fisheries management in the many parts of the world that we have historically ignored."
The scientists and economists involved in the research echo this call for international collaboration. "This isn't something where we need another twenty years of science," says Gaines. "We know what it takes."
"Healthy ocean fisheries hold the potential to feed a growing population without destroying the supporting ecosystems to the point where they no longer produce seafood," adds Elliott. "Within our lifetime, we can make sustainable global fisheries the norm rather than the exception."
Reference: Charting a Course to Sustainable Fisheries.
As spatial planning is used increasingly to manage fisheries and other ocean resources, researchers are working to determine the best ways to use and refine the various spatial management tools. Among them are marine protected areas (MPAs), one of the most common methods, which limit or entirely curtail fishing in a given area.
A new paper published in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) on July 2 describes research in this area conducted by UCSB Marine Science Institute project scientist Andrew Rassweiler and co-principal investigators Christopher Costello, Bren professor of resource economics, and David Siegel, professor in the UCSB Geography Department and director of the Earth Research Institute.
According to Rassweiler, considerable research has focused on the ability of MPAs to increase fishery returns, but the potential for a broader range of spatial management approaches to outperform MPAs has received far less attention.
The team wanted to determine whether a fishery might be more profitable if a manager had access to tools other than MPAs, such as zoning (for fishing, energy, recreation, etc.) or spatial user rights, which would affect the distribution of fishing effort in a more nuanced manner.
They used bioeconomic models of seven near-shore fisheries in Southern California to explore the value of optimized spatial management in which the distribution of fishing is chosen solely to maximize profits.
They were able to show that, given the right circumstances, fully optimized spatial management employing a blend of management strategies, including but is not limited to establishing MPAs, can substantially increase fishery profits relative to an optimal non-spatial management in which the amount of fishing is regulated, but not its spatial distribution.
Strategically placed MPAs, they found, can also increase profits substantially compared with non-spatial management strategies; however, profit increases available through optimal use of MPAs only are roughly half those to be realized from fully optimized spatial management using a suite of management tools in addition to MPAs.
Further, MPAs must be placed carefully. Placed randomly, the researchers found, profits dropped. Thus, the higher profits resulting from spatial management strategies can only be achieved if the fishery is well understood and regulations are strategically designed.
"If you gave a manager a variety of management tools, how much could that manager increase profits in his fishery," says Rassweiler in defining the core research question.
The methodology involved modeling the results of three different distinctive management scenarios. In the simplest scenario, the manager is doing a great job of setting the total amount of effort, for example, by placing limits on the number of boats participating in the fishery or the number of days they are allowed to fish, but doesn't tell anyone where to go. In the most complex version, the manager tells everyone exactly how much they can fish in each location. And in a third, intermediate, scenario, which, Rassweiler says, is closest to actual practice, spatial management comes in the form of no-take MPAs, so that the manager can tell people how much to fish overall while also closing designated areas to fishing.
The limitation of the intermediate scenario, says Rassweiler, "is that it's a pretty blunt tool. The manager isn't able to add nuance by saying, 'You can fish there, but only a little bit.' An area is either open to fishing or it's not."
"What we've shown is first, that it's really valuable to give managers more tools, and second, that MPAs are a partial, less-nuanced tool that can get about half the profits as the most valuable tool. But a lot of science has to be done to decide exactly which method to use in a real fishery, and more knowledge has to go into setting spatial regulations than non-spatial ones, because a lot of spatial data is needed," says Rassweiler. "One question we ask but don't really finish answering in this project is, Is the extra effort worth the cost associated with it? Well, it could be if the resulting profits are much higher."
Rassweiler describes MPAs as "almost a silver bullet from a conservation perspective," because if a habitat-rich area is closed to fishing, the fish population will increase. "It's a pretty low bar to enhance conservation using MPAs," he says. "It's a much higher bar to use them as a fishing management tool."
Silent Seas - The Fish Race to the Bottom is the book that made the Swedish government reverse its fisheries policy and changed the author’s career from journalist to politician. Now, July 2012, the English translation of Isabella Lövin’s award-winning Silent Seas - The Fish Race to the Bottom is published.
Originally released in Sweden 2007 as Tyst hav, Silent Seas - The Fish Race to the Bottom is a revealing story about the fisheries crisis in Europe. Winning 14 awards, the book sparked such a debate in Sweden that the author, Isabella Lövin, was asked by the Green party to be a candidate in the 2009 European election.
After telling the story of how failed the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy has become, Isabella Lövin is now working to change it as a leading member of the European Parliament’s fisheries committee.
Read an interview with Isabella Lövin about the book: ”There’s a Limit to Fish Harvesting”