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Threatened Fisheries

August 2, 2002 • Volume 12, Issue 27
Do the oceans need more protection?
By Mary H. Cooper

Introduction

Gary Sharp off-loads his catch of king salmon in Quinhagak, Alaska. Nearly 95 percent of all U.S. salmon comes from Alaska, the world's largest salmon fishery. Although harvests are still healthy, they have declined due to low prices, competition from farmed salmon and warmer temperatures in the Bering Sea.  (AP Photo/Tundra Drums, Danielle Wolffe)
Gary Sharp off-loads his catch of king salmon in Quinhagak, Alaska. Nearly 95 percent of all U.S. salmon comes from Alaska, the world's largest salmon fishery. Although harvests are still healthy, they have declined due to low prices, competition from farmed salmon and warmer temperatures in the Bering Sea. (AP Photo/Tundra Drums, Danielle Wolffe)

The oceans yield nearly 100 million tons of fish annually. But global demand for seafood, combined with efficient, new fishing equipment, has driven many species nearly to extinction. Up to 75 percent of global fish stocks are overfished, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The debate over saving the oceans pits conservationists, who say tighter fishing restrictions are needed to restore depleted fisheries, against commercial fishermen, who contend stocks generally are sustainably managed. The fishermen further argue that pollution, ocean shipping and coastal development are largely responsible for degrading the marine environment, rather than overfishing. Meanwhile, both sides largely agree that policies spelled out in the sweeping 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Act, now up for reauthorization, are part of the problem.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Aquaculture and Maritime Policy
Oct. 2007  Oceans in Crisis
Jul. 27, 2007  Fish Farming
Nov. 04, 2005  Saving the Oceans
Aug. 02, 2002  Threatened Fisheries
Sep. 27, 1985  Whaling: End of an Era
Jul. 16, 1982  Troubled Maritime Industry
Jun. 07, 1974  Oceanic Law
Sep. 29, 1965  National Maritime Policy
Sep. 04, 1963  Fishing Rights and Territorial Waters
Oct. 05, 1955  Territorial Waters and the High Seas
Jul. 21, 1954  Plight of the Maritime Industry
Jul. 10, 1935  Merchant Marine Policy of the United States
Jan. 15, 1929  Sea Power and Sea Law
Jul. 24, 1928  Government Aid to the Merchant Marine
Oct. 17, 1925  The Merchant Marine Problem
Apr. 26, 1924  The New Merchant Marine Situation
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Wildlife and Endangered Species
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