Politico: Fish flourish under lockdown — but fishermen flounder


Fish flourish under lockdown — but fishermen flounder

Politico.eu: 12 May 2020:

The pandemic is keeping boats at home, raising the possibility that fish stocks could rebound.

“While disruption in seafood supply chains has brought temporary relief to wild fish populations, this should not be celebrated,” a group of 11 NGOs wrote in a policy paper released in late April. “This environmental improvement has not come about due to any deliberate transition plan for workers, nor will any environmental relief prove lasting once the public health crisis passes.”


“Just as some fishing vessels are not going to sea due to safety concerns, the same applies to control vessels and the operation of fisheries observer programs,” the NGOs wrote in the policy paper. “This presents a serious risk of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing from vessels that continue to fish.”

With more fish in the sea, some see that as an opportunity.

Europêche is asking for the possibility to roll over more than 10 percent of this year’s fishing quotas to next year. Otero is confident that the fish populations “are going to boom” this year, which could justify the higher numbers.

But Griffin Carpenter, an economic modeler specialized in natural resources management at the New Economics Foundation and the author of the policy paper, warned “that could make things worse.”

“The science doesn’t really work like that, you cannot add up all of the quotas or you’ll eliminate the entire fish stock,” he said.

Read full article: Politico: Fish flourish under lockdown — but fishermen flounder

Read full NGO policy paper: Covid-19 Blue Recovery – Setting the Right Safety Net: A Framework for Fisheries Support Policies in Response to Covid-19