The journal Science has published a paper in Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on a two-year study of fisheries by scientists in North and South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, which reports progress towards recovery of fish stocks in several regions.
In 2006, Dr Worm predicted total global collapse of fish and seafood populations by 2048. "I am somewhat more hopeful that we will be in a better state … than what we originally predicted, simply because I see that we have the management tools that are proven to work," he said.
These tools include: restrictions on gear like nets so that smaller, younger fish can escape; limits on the total allowable catch; closing some areas to fishing; certifying fisheries as sustainable; offering shares of the total allowable catch to each person who fishes in a specified area.
The report pointed particularly to successes in the New Zealand and Alaskan fisheries as the basis for the increased optism but pointed out that two-thirds of the world’s fisheries still need to be rebuilt and that the situation off Africa was deteriorating as fishing fleets supplying richer countries compete with local fishermen..