Corruption in global fisheries is compounding the devastating effects of overfishing – and the problem could get worse, according to The World Conservation Union (IUCN).
Corruption in fisheries is increasing against a backdrop of declining fish stocks and increased consumer demand. It taints all aspects of the fishing industry, from the scientific evidence that quotas are based on, to the mislabelling of fish.
“The large-scale occurrence of corruption adds insult to injury,” said Head of IUCN’s Global Marine Programme Carl Gustaf Lundin. “The world’s global fish stocks are already severely depleted by overfishing and this is just making the situation worse.”
Fisheries corruption undermines the ability of scientists to know how many fish are removed from the oceans, causing inaccurate stock assessments. Fisheries managers are therefore far more likely to approve total allowable catches that are higher than those that would be based on sound scientific advice.
“Scientists’ evidence is not being taken into consideration when it comes to management decisions on fisheries and quotas,” said Deputy Head of IUCN’s Global Marine Programme Andrew Hurd. “Fisheries managers should be held accountable when ignoring scientific advice.”
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