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Profitable And Sustainable Fisheries

Sustainability Politics

GENERAL - Greening the fisheries sector would increase the added value to the world economy with US$ 50 billion a year, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates in a new report.

The UN report, released on Monday, highlights how a paradigm shift to a “green economy” can start the move towards a sustainable world while generating high growth rates.

Particularly interesting, in the light of the upcoming CFP reform, is the chapter on fisheries.

Fisheries subsidies – estimated at around US $27 billion a year globally, and US$ 3 billion in the EU – result in more damage than long-term gains to national economies, according to the report. The UN strategy includes limiting subsidies to those used for management, which would generate estimated global savings of US$ 19 billion annually.

“Greening” the world’s fisheries, as defined by the authors of the report, primarily means “acknowledging that rebuilding overfished and depleted fish populations is needed to maximise sustainable yield […] for the benefit of both current and future generations.”

The total value added to the global economy from fishing in the green scenario is estimated at US$ 67 billion a year, compared to US$ 17 billion a year with current fisheries. This would be a net increase of US$ 50 billion a year.

In the green scenario, there would be an investment of US$ 100-300 billion to reduce excessive fleet capacity, which would result in an increase in fisheries catch by the year 2050. The report recognizes that greening the fisheries sector will necessitate the loss of jobs and income in the short and medium term in order to replenish natural stocks and prevent a permanent loss of income and jobs.