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July 16,2012 | Source: Phys.org
The aim is straightforward: In 1982, more than 160 countries agreed to maintain the global fish stocks at levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) over a long term. This agreement is part of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which came into force in 1994 and which has been ratified by Germany and all other countries of the European Union. While the USA, Australia or New Zealand started to change their fishing policies on the basis of UNCLOS years ago, reforms in the EU only started in 2012. One basic problem in fisheries reform is the specification of a reference point for sustainable management of fish stocks. "Until now one needs a long time series quantifying the total number of fish belonging to one stock", explains Dr Rainer Froese, fisheries scientist with GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. For these stock evaluations, extensive and expensive research is necessary. Therefore, for many fish stocks, the MSY is still unknown. Now Dr Froese and Dr Steven Martell, biologist with the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (CA), have come up with a new, much simpler method to estimate MSY. They present it online in the international journal Fish and Fisheries. "Instead of using the total number of fish in one
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Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.