Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless Responds to Alarming New Report on the Status of the World's Fisheries Head of largest international ocean conservation organization offers ideas on how to rebuild fish stocks to curb world hunger

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Andrew F. Sharpless, CEO of the largest international ocean conservation organization, issues a statement on the new report: Status and Solutions for the World's Unassessed Fisheries.

"This study finally lays to rest the question of whether or not the world's fisheries are in crisis – they are. As the authors report, more than half of the world's fisheries are in decline. And as they point out, worst hit are small scale fisheries which are critical for feeding hungry people all around the world. 

"We believe that this report provides a clear call to action. We need to quickly put in place responsible management measures in the countries that control most of the world's wild seafood.  As the study finds, putting in place these measures would allow depleted stocks to recover to sustainable levels and could result in future catches that are up to 40 percent larger than are predicted if current unsustainable fishing practices continue.

"We know from past experience all around the world – including in the 'assessed fisheries' described by the authors – that putting in place better fisheries management allows fisheries to rebound. And we agree with the authors' prescription for these measures – science-based quotas and habitat protection. We do believe that they (and the world's fishery managers) should place a great emphasis on reducing bycatch which is critical to the future of our wild fish stocks.

"One other critical point not covered in this study is that putting in place these management measures does not take an international treaty. Just 25 countries control 75% of the world's fish catch and can – through their own legal systems – put in place the policies that can allow fisheries to recover.

"The world has a moral obligation to act on the findings of this study as it would enable the sea to feed 400 million hungry people living in major fishing nations and would help offset the projected dramatic increase in demand for protein from a world population that is forecasted to rise to 9 billion people by 2050."

Andrew Sharpless is available for interviews and comments.

Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world's oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 550,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.

Contact: Jessica Wiseman
jwiseman@oceana.org
202-467-1934

This press release was issued through eReleases® Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Oceana



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