As oceans are fished out, large vessels head south


ICIJ this week tells the story of how the world’s largest trawlers compete for what is left of the jack mackerel, down 90 percent in 20 years in once-rich southern seas. WWF releases a map that illustrates the expansion of global fisheries.

ICIJ: ‘Free-for-all’ decimates fish stocks in the southern Pacific
Stocks of jack mackerel in the southern Pacific have dropped from an estimated 30 million metric tons to less than 3 million in two decades. The world’s largest trawlers, after depleting other oceans, now head south toward the edge of Antarctica to compete for what is left.

An extensive eight-country investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists of the fishing industry in the southern Pacific shows why the plight of the humble jack mackerel foretells progressive collapse of fish stocks in all oceans.

Read the full story: ‘Free-for-all’ decimates fish stocks in the southern Pacific (Also in nytimes.com)

WWF: Wild west fishing in distant waters
This week, WWF also released a study on the topic of the global expansion of fisheries. The WWF study has transposed data about the global expansion of fishing activity, from 1950 to the present, to an animated map. It shows that European vessels are now traveling to the furthest corners of the world to exploit fish stocks. Declining domestic catches and efforts to reduce the number of vessels fishing in European waters have resulted in much of the European tuna and other pelagic fleets concentrating their fishing efforts overseas.

Read the report: EU fishing in distant waters

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