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Groundfish stocks recovering, thanks to good management

Many groundfish stocks seem to be recovering from years of overfishing. In the USA, for the first time in many years, scientists say that there are signs that stocks are becoming increasingly healthy, Globefish repots

August 23, 2011

Many groundfish stocks seem to be recovering from years of overfishing. In the USA, for the first time in many years, scientists say that there are signs that stocks are becoming increasingly healthy, Globefish repots.

Good management is behind these achievements and sustaining this positive situation will be a challenge for the future, not only for fishing companies but also for the authorities that oversee them. New challenges will arise as well; China and several other developing countries are rapidly growing as seafood consumption markets and are already having some impact on prices as the middle class in these countries expands.

Depending on the growth in aquaculture, rising demand and increasing consumption could lead to a long term shortfall in global seafood supply. In the short term this will not impact supply as low priced species are currently in the greatest demand, but availability and prices will be affected in the long term. Chinese demand is increasing rapidly for wild and high-value seafood. It is expected that prices for all types of seafood are going to move upwards somewhat over the next five years, which will present a demanding scenario and a new challenge for the food sector.

Recently, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) announced that for the new fishing year,starting on 1 May, 12 out of 15 major stocks in New England will have higher catch limits, although two species were reduced: haddock and pollock. However, as the current catch of these species compared with their Annual Catch Limit (ACL) is very low, the reduction in the total ACL should not have an impact on landings.

Argentinean authorities have also announced catch quotas for 2011, although the quotas may be modified depending on scientific recommendations. Quotas for the first semester are 193 000 tonnes for hake, 150 000 tonnes for hoki, 45 000 tonnes for pollock and 3 250 tonnes for Patagonian toothfish. Fish landings declined by 30% during January and February and export volumes dropped, but value rose because of stronger prices [Read more at Globefish.org]

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