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Overfishing: What Everyone Needs to Know (What Everyone Needs to Know)by Ray Hilborn
Synopses & Reviews
Over the past twenty years considerable public attention has been focused on the decline of marine fisheries, the sustainability of world fish production, and the impacts of fishing on marine ecosystems. Many have voiced their concerns about marine conservation, as well as the sustainable and ethical consumption of fish. But are fisheries in danger of collapse? Will we soon need to find ways to replace this food system? Should we be worried that we could be fishing certain species to extinction? Can commercial fishing be carried out in a sustainable way? While overblown prognoses concerning the dire state of fisheries are plentiful, clear scientific explanations of the basic issues surrounding overfishing are less so - and there remains great confusion about the actual amount of overfishing and its ecological impact.
Overfishing: What Everyone Needs to Know® will provide a balanced explanation of the broad issues associated with overfishing. Guiding readers through the scientific, political, economic, and ethical issues associated with harvesting fish from the ocean, it will provide answers to questions about which fisheries are sustainably managed and which are not. Ray and Ulrike Hilborn address topics including historical overfishing, high seas fisheries, recreational fisheries, illegal fishing, climate and fisheries, trawling, economic and biological overfishing, and marine protected areas. In order to illustrate the effects of each of these issues, they will incorporate case studies of different species of fish.
Overall, the authors present a hopeful view of the future of fisheries. Most of the world's fisheries are not overfished, and many once overfished stocks are now rebuilding. In fact, we can learn from the management failures and successes to ensure that fisheries are sustainable and contribute to national wealth and food security. Concise and clear, this book presents a compelling "big picture" of the state of oceans and the solutions to ending overfishing.
What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.
"Organized as a series of questions and answers, this small book may not captivate, but it does provide an overview, supported with detailed facts, of the state of fisheries in the U.S. and abroad. Writing with his wife, Hilborn, a professor of aquatic and fisheries science at the University of Washington, aims to guide readers 'through the scientific, political, and ethical issues of harvesting fish from the ocean.' He defines basic terms like 'sustainable harvest' and 'collapsed fishery' and explains more complex concepts such as growth overfishing vs. recruitment overfishing, addresses such issues as the viability of harvesting whales and the importance of habitat, details various management systems and their relative successes, and reveals, through the history of orange roughy management, just how little we know about what goes on in the ocean, as well as the difficulty of managing fish in international waters. Along the way, he offers some fun facts — who knew that the ear bones of fish have annual growth rings similar to trees' that can determine their age? The book's careful, somewhat pedantic tone may be off-putting, but for those who want to understand the way fisheries are studied, evaluated, and regulated, as well as their current health and future prospects, it gives the basics in a short, relatively painless read." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Ray Hilborn is Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. Ulrike Hilborn is a writer and has worked with her husband, Ray, for 37 years.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Overfishing
What is overfishing?
What is a sustainable harvest?
Can fisheries be sustainably harvested?
Is overfishing a new problem?
Why does sustainable fishing reduce the number of fish in the ocean?
What is a collapsed fishery?
I have heard stories of the Canadian cod, what happened?
Why did the Canadian cod collapse?
Are all cod fisheries collapsed?
Chapter 2: Historical overfishing
Is overfishing a new problem?
Can whales be sustainably harvested?
How do we estimate the abundance of animals in the ocean?
Can scientists estimate the sustainable yield?
Is there any value in Japanese "research whaling"?
Is depleting one population and moving onto the next a common problem?
Chapter 3 : Recovery of Fisheries
Can fish stocks recover from overfishing?
How important is habitat to fish populations?
What about the enormous numbers seen by John Smith?
What is the difference between recruitment overfishing and growth overfishing?
Can recreational and commercial fisheries co-exist?
Chapter 4: Modern industrial fisheries management
What is an example of a well-managed fishery?
What is different about the pollock fishery that makes it such a good example of sustainable management?
Why does the allowable catch change so much from year to year?
What is a stock assessment?
What is an observer program?
Why are there not more observer programs in world fisheries?
What is a certified fishery?
Why do some NGOs believe the Eastern Bering Sea pollock fishery is not well managed?
Chapter 5: Economic Overfishing
Is overfishing only a biological problem?
What are individual fishermen's quotas, the IFQs?
What are the benefits of IFQs?
What are the negative impacts of IFQs?
What is economic overfishing?
How economically efficient are world fisheries in general?
How do we prevent economic overfishing?
Are there ways to prevent the tragedy of the commons without privatizing fisheries?
What are community development quotas?
How does sector allocation work?
What other mechanisms have been used to allocate fish?
Chapter 6: Climate and fisheries
How does climate affect fish populations?
Are many fisheries affected by climate?
How can we tell if a fishery is declining because of climate or fishing pressure?
What are going to be the impacts on fisheries from a warming ocean?
What will be the impacts of ocean acidification?
Chapter 7: Mixed fisheries
Do fisheries catch one species or more?
What determines how hard a fish species can be harvested?
How do we balance harvesting high- and low-productivity species in mixed fisheries?
What is "underfishing"?
Is it better to give up potential yield of productive species to keep unproductive species at high abundance?
How can we manage fisheries to reduce the mixed nature of the fishery?
Chapter 8: High Seas Fisheries
What is the status of bluefin tuna that were proposed for CITES listing?
What is the status of tuna around the world?
Are there examples of international fisheries management organizations that have been successful?
Why are some tuna stocks under-exploited and others overexploited?
Is there hope for managing these high-seas fisheries?
Chapter 9: Deepwater fisheries
We hear a lot about the collapse of orange roughy stocks - what happened to them?
Can very slow growing fish like orange roughy be sustainably managed?
What is the experience with orange roughy in other countries?
Does closing large sections of New Zealand's economic zone assure the sustainability of orange roughy?
Should we have left potential orange roughy stocks unfished until we know more about their biology and ecosystem?
How should we deal with new resources when their biology and sustainability is highly uncertain?
Chapter 10: Recreational fisheries
Are recreational fisheries fundamentally different from commercial fisheries?
What is the scale of recreational fishing in the United States and Europe?
How does recreational fish management differ from managing commercial fisheries?
How does freshwater recreational fisheries management differ from saltwater recreational fisheries?
Does recreational fishing play a role in overfishing?
Chapter 11: Small scale and artisanal fisheries
Many of the fisheries of the world are small scale - how can they be managed?
Is Chile typical of small scale fisheries?
How were fisheries managed prior to modern governmental fisheries agencies?
What are the characteristics of territorial fishing rights?
What are the general lessons for successful management of small scale fisheries?
Chapter 12: Illegal fishing
Is illegal fishing an important problem in overfishing?
Is the illegal fishing of Patagonian toothfish unusual?
How can some toothfish fisheries be certified as well-managed while there remains substantial illegal harvesting?
What methods can be used to reduce illegal fishing in international waters?
Chapter 13: Trawling impacts on ecosystems
How do trawls and dredges work and why are they still used to catch fish?
Is trawling the ocean like clear-cutting the forest?
How long do ecosystems take to recover from trawling?
Are there alternatives to trawling and dredging as ways to catch fish?
Chapter 14: Marine Protected Areas
What are Marine Protected Areas?
What do Marine Protected Areas protect?
How much of the world's oceans are now closed to fishing?
What is the impact of closing areas to fishing?
Do MPAs increase the abundance of fish?
Can MPAs solve some of the problems of overfishing?
How much of the ocean should be set aside as protected from fishing?
Chapter 15: Ecosystem impacts of fishing
How does overfishing affect ecosystems?
Are coral reefs particularly sensitive to fishing?
What is a trophic cascade?
Do forage fish need special protection?
What is by-catch and how important is it?
How does ecosystem based management differ from single species management?
What is the precautionary approach to fisheries management?
How many marine fish species are threatened with extinction?
Chapter 16: The status of overfishing
Are the world's stocks overfished?
What characterizes countries that have managed their fisheries well and those that have not?
How important are subsidies in the current problem with fisheries?
Is consumer action and certification an important part of stopping overfishing?
How do the environmental costs of fishing compare to those of livestock?
Should we all become vegetarians?
What is needed to stop overfishing?
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