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World Ocean Review Highlights Need to End Discards

28 February 2013

GLOBAL - Maribus, together with world-leading fisheries experts, has presented one of the most comprehensive studies of world fisheries in its new report 'World Ocean Review 2'. The report presents threats to world fisheries and, through looking at the complex relationships, provides solutions also. The prospects of aquaculture are also examined.

At present, more than one quarter of all edible fish are deemed to be overfished and a further 30 per cent are deemed to be endangered. The situation is even more drastic in Europe where almost half of all stocks are under threat from overfishing. Since 1950, the quantity of fish caught annually has increased fivefold to a current figure of 78.9 million tonnes of fish and seafood. The over-exploitation of fish as a resource not only threatens the food supply to a growing world population, but above all it poses a threat to the sensitive ecological balance of the oceans.

"In World Ocean Review 2, Maribus presents, for the first time, the relationships between the world's fisheries and the threats and consequences posed by these relationships in their full complexity," says Nikolaus Gelpke, mare publisher and founder of maribus gGmbH.

"In so doing, we are not just sounding the alarm, but are proposing specific solutions." Thanks to constructive co-operation between scientists and mare journalists, the report is easy to understand and can be read by anyone: this is a knowledge base for politicians and publicists who want to increase their awareness of the problem.

The new report provides a comprehensive overview of the significance of fish as part of the marine ecosystem, examines fish as a food source and livelihood for hundreds of thousands of fishermen and puts forward possible solutions in the form of long-term and sustainable management plans. Another chapter is devoted to the prospects for aquaculture - which is already the fastest-growing food sector in the world.

The report also provides advice on decisions on what to buy at the fish counter. "With World Ocean Review 2, we are raising public awareness about buying fish on a sustainable basis," says Professor Martin Visbeck, spokesman for the "Ozean der Zukunft" cluster of excellence, during his presentation on WOR 2 in Hamburg.

One of the greatest problems today, according to Mr Visbeck, is that individual fish species are currently often viewed in isolation, not in terms of their interaction with other species and their significance to the whole marine ecosystem.

"This has to change fast and on a fundamental basis," says Mr Visbeck. "There are now positive examples from around the world showing how fish stocks can be managed on a sustainable basis, both from an economic and social perspective. We want to publicise these examples in World Ocean Review 2."

 

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