Fisheries

‘Sharing of common stock among nations’ was the topic chosen for the fourth ComFish Regional Participatory Stakeholder Event (RPSE) held in Santander, Spain, in May 2013. Aimed at tackling specific fisheries issues of the European Atlantic waters, such as those relating to species caught in the Bay of Biscay and along the Iberian Coast as well as in the Celtic Sea basins, the event brought together a variety of stakeholders from the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and the UK.

One of the main objectives of every European Union (EU) country is to manage biological resources sustainably to preserve the natural environment for present and future generations. The negative impact on biological variety caused by humanity can result in the deterioration of valuable natural resources, which are then replaced by less valuable species.

The long years of tenacious struggle over the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy came to a successful end when it was officially adopted after the European Parliament’s plenary session gave its full support in December last year. It is to usher in a fundamental change in Europe’s fisheries policy, prevent overexploitation of the seas, and make sustainability a basic principle in fisheries.

A small group of fishermen on the west coast of Denmark is finding innovative ways to maintain the viability of their fishery and make it attractive for younger generations to join the business.

Fifty years ago, the advent of the first barrels, drums and tubs made of plastic heralded the end of traditional wooden containers in the fish industry. Tubs and bins made of plastic are robust, hygienic and easy to clean. Today, they are to be found almost everywhere in the fish industry. They are used for storing fish, for the transport of live fish, during maturation of fish products, and as bins for collecting fish waste.

For centuries people have benefited from the wealth of the seas but today many worry that we are placing undue burdens on the marine ecosystems. This is not just about the overfishing of individual stocks but about where and how we catch fish. Criticism mainly centres around bottom trawls and the deep-sea fishery that allegedly cause severe damages to the marine environment and to fish stocks.

The first of a planned three volumes on North America's freshwater fishes is a detailed study of the species within the families Petromyzontidae (lampreys) to Catostomidae (suckers). The book focuses on similarities in the species' morphology, behaviour, and genetics and their physiological peculiarities, among other aspects. Despite the complexity of the subject, the clear language and superior illustrations make this a volume for scientists, students, and fish enthusiasts alike. 

Nearly 27 million tonnes of algae and aquatic plants – a source of important ingredients for medicines, cosmetics and foods – were produced worldwide in aquaculture in 2013. Algae farming is work-intensive but not very lucrative. In some regions, however, it is one of the few possibilities for earning a living without having to make larger investments. For example on Lembongan, one of over 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia.

Fishing is one of the oldest ways by which people have fed themselves and their families. In a certain sense the original idea of the individual hunting for fish has survived to this day in sport fishing. Whereas in the past, however, people fished only for self-sufficiency, fishing is today also a form of recreation and a leisure activity for millions of people. That makes sport fishing a billion dollar business with enormous commercial importance.

The Arctic is one of the last original ecosystems that has so far not been commercially exploited to a significant extent. This is not the result of reason or rationality but solely thanks to the region’s inaccessibility beneath the metre thick crust of ice. This effective protection is now threatened: climate change is causing the ice to melt and opening the gate to lucrative resources that are presumed to exist there. But this also increases the dangers facing the icy waters in the realm of the polar night and the midnight sun.

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