Pollock stocks crash

Published by FiskerForum, 11-10-2008 · info@fiskerforum.dk

Alaskan pollock, a favourite in the North American fish filets, are on the verge of a population collapse after stocks fell by half over the past year, says Greenpeace.

According to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, which regulates fish harvests in Alaskan waters, it reduces the permitted catch level to avoid a complete failure. The environmental group said that the federal council meets to decide catch limits in December. It is fact that the Alaska pollock industry supplies about 1 million tons of fish annually and overfishing is depleting the stock quicker than its ability to reproduce.According to Greenpeace fisheries worldwide supply the main source of protein for about 40 percent of the world's population and are stressed by growing demands for seafood, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, or UNEP. The organization also said that pollock are being fished excessively and cannot keep up with the pressure.Record says that over-fishing has led to the extinction of Atlantic salmon and European oysters in the Wadden Sea off the Netherlands and the Atlantic sturgeon in the U.S.'s Chesapeake Bay. It is told that a catch-share program helped the Alaskan halibut fishery recover, said University of California, Santa Barbara, fisheries economist Christopher Costello. According to Costello it's very important that stock assessment and the science behind them are taken into account when harvest levels are considered. UNEP report says that global warming and climate change put additional stresses on fishing grounds such as the Bering Sea off Alaska and may destroy commercial fisheries in the coming years as ocean currents are disrupted and seas become more acidic.

Source: Bloomberg

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