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Consolidation and climate change threaten U.S. fisheries, say FERN panelists by Leah Douglas February 12,2020   |  Source: FERN

While overfishing no longer threatens U.S. fisheries, other pressing sustainability issues, such as finfish aquaculture and consolidation, top the list of concerns among fishers and fisheries experts, according to panelists who spoke at FERN Talks and Eats in New York City on Monday.

The panel, called “Surf ‘n’ Turf: can our seafood survive Big Ag and climate change?”, took note of a few bright spots in fisheries management, such as the successful effort in the U.S. to reduce overfishing. Yet major challenges loom as fishers attempt to meet global demand for seafood without causing irreparable environmental harms, panelists said.

A major concern for fisheries advocates in the U.S. is the catch share system that limits how much fish an individual or group can harvest. Yet the buying and selling of shares has resulted in the consolidation of control over some fisheries. “None of the fisherman we work with are against putting limits on how much fish you catch,” said Niaz Dorry, coordinating director of the North Atlantic Marine Alliance. “It’s the fact that since those limits have been put into place, the limits have become profit-making tools. They have commodified the right to fish.”

Diaz, who also serves as executive director of the National Family


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