Fish populations are on the rise

Positive news is always appreciated, especially in the context of endangered and/or dwindling animal populations. An article from The Good News Network happens to fall into this category, and I figured I would share this happy news with all of you.

This time, the good news has to do with an increase in fish stocks.

“In the most comprehensive review of fisheries’ management and fishing management on a per region basis, to date, an international team of researchers concluded that fish stocks are mostly increasing in these world waters,” the article says. “In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research team gathered data from 50% of the world’s fish stocks, which include harvest rate, recovery rate, fishing pressure, and population numbers, as well as 50% of the world’s fisheries—including management strategies, fluctuations, and predictions in maximum sustainable yield.”

Surprisingly enough, fish stocks are actually increasing where commercial fishing is properly managed.

Up until 1996, fish stocks were steadily decreasing and eventually came to a standstill. Fast forward to 2005, the stocks started to increase, and as of 2016 “the biomass of animals was higher than the maximum sustainable yield marker and fishing pressure was lower than the unsustainable maximum yield marker—averaged across all measured fish stocks worldwide,” the article says.

The areas that were included in this observation of fish stocks are “North America, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Europe … the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, Northwest Africa, South America, Russia, and Japan,” says the article.

The research team came up with a model that enables locations hoping to up their fish stocks biomass a relatively simply solution; “keep the fishing pressure below the unsustainable maximum yield marker, and fish stocks will recover. Their paper details that 19% of fish stocks that are still depleted are poised to recover based on fishery management along this basic principle,” explains the article.

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