A new report on the expansion of fishing activity in the world oceans, commissioned by the WWF to the experts of the University of British Columbia and the Sea Around Us Project, was released just a few days ago. The aim of the study was to show how and why commercial fishing expansion is affecting our oceans.
The report reveals in greater detail how commercial fishing globally has dramatically expanded its areas of operation – to now cover over one-third of the world’s ocean surface – and seriously questioning the sustainablity of this level of exploitation of marine resources.
The report highlighted a number of factors have contributed to this expansion:
- Improved technology and subsidies have made European fleets more mobile than most global fleets since 1980;
- The negotiation of ‘access agreements’ with developing countries (usually African); and
- The practice of re-flagging (where EU boats evade EU rules by adopting a non-EU country’s flag).
The authors, based at the University of British Columbia in Canada, use the concept of “primary production required” (PPR) to illustrate the spread.
The results can also be watched in an interesting animated map reconstruction.