This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
Three years ago, a study of overfishing
led to sharp debate. It warned that the world's ocean fish could be almost gone
by the middle of the century. Now, a new study offers more hope. It shows that the
risk of fisheries collapse has recently decreased in some areas -- some, but
BORIS WORM: "This means different regions are
heading in different directions and some regions have indeed begun to eliminate
Boris Worm at Dalhousie University in Canada and Ray
Hilborn at the University of Washington in Seattle were lead authors of the new
Professor Worm also led the earlier study
published in two thousand six. Professor Hilborn publicly disagreed with those
findings. The result: the two scientists agreed to work together on a new study.
led a team that studied ten areas. In five of them, the rate at which fish are
being taken out of the sea has dropped to a level that should let the
populations recover. Three areas still had overfishing, but corrective measures
Yet, in all, almost
two-thirds of fish populations studied worldwide still need rebuilding.
Only two areas did not have an overfishing problem in
either the new study or the earlier one. They are New Zealand and the American
state of Alaska.
new study found that overfishing has been reduced in Canada's
Newfoundland-Labrador area and in Iceland and southern Australia. It also found
improvements in the northeastern United States and the California Current that
flows south along the West Coast.
study found that better controls are still needed in the North Sea, the Baltic
Sea and the Bay of Biscay between France and Spain.
findings from two years of research appear in the journal Science.
Using nets that let smaller fish
escape and agreeing not to fish in certain areas can help reduce overfishing. The
study showed that these measures helped fish populations grow in Kenya.
But one of the authors of the study, Tim
McClanahan from the Wildlife Conservation Society, says fisheries in Africa
face another threat. Most countries in Africa, he says, are selling fishing
rights to industrialized nations which catch large amounts of seafood.
The study shows what happened when
industrialized nations increased restrictions on fishing in their own waters. Seafood
companies moved their boats to developing countries with fewer restrictions.
that’s the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn Watson
with Steve Baragona. I’m Bob Doughty.