Friday, July 31, 2009

Study: California has the lowest exploitation rate of fished stocks in the world

By Professor Ray Hilborn

The analysis presented in our Science paper shows that the California Current ecosystem has the lowest exploitation rates of any place we examined in the world. The drastic reductions in harvest have been designed to rebuild the overexploited rockfish stocks. At present the community of groundfish is now at about 60% of its unfished biomass, far above the 30-40% level target for maximum sustained yield.

Much of the motivation for the MLPA was concern about the state of the groundfish stocks - there is clear evidence that these can be rebuilt without MPAs resulting from the MLPA that have only recently begun to be implemented. The benefits of the MPAs established under the MLPA will be primarily to have some areas of high abundance of species with limited mobility.

You can read the article, "Rebuilding Global Fisheries," on the new study released today at Science Magazine (subscription required).

Professor Ray Hilborn co-authored the study and hails from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington

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