Halting overfishing is itself effective climate action.
- Halting overfishing is itself effective climate action.
- The intricate relationship between climate change and ocean ecosystems was the subject of recent collaborative research — led by researchers at the University of British Columbia — that highlighted the crucial links between overfishing and climate change.
Finding the connections
- Doing so would bolster marine life resilience in the face of climate shifts and reduce associate carbon emissions.
- 2 — Large subsidized fishing boat fleets can actually be a burden on small-scale fisheries, leaving them disproportionately vulnerable to shocks.
- In turn, overfishing not only depletes resources but also escalates carbon emissions, intensifying climate impacts on these fisheries and their communities, particularly women.
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6 — Overfishing exacerbates climate and biodiversity threats.
- 7 — International fisheries management must play a central role in promoting biodiversity and retaining the ocean’s carbon sequestration potential.
- While 87 nations have signed the UN’s Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty (also known as the High Seas Treaty), only one has ratified it.
- Future regulations should allocate a percentage of the annual fish quota to maintain the carbon sequestration function of marine animals.
A simple goal
- Ending overfishing isn’t just an ecological imperative but a linchpin for climate action.
- Furthermore, fisheries aren’t mere victims in these dynamics, but have real agency to play a pivotal role in either exacerbating or mitigating climate change.
- Regulation of fisheries, while controversial, is essential to not overly exploit such a valuable public resource.
Rashid Sumaila receives funding from Canadian Research Councils, the Belmont, intergovernmental organizations, e.g. the World Bank, foundations and philanthropies (e.g. Pew, Oceana and the Dona Bertarelli).