The United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement
It is generally conceded that world marine fisheries are facing difficult times. Quantitatively world fish catch has levelled off, and qualitatively the portion of total fish catch representing high-quality, high-priced, and high-demand fish stocks is declining. A recent study indicates that fishing effort is proceeding farther down the food chain as the desired species at the top of that chain are becoming less abundant.1 While there is some discussion as to whether and to what degree the problem is due to natural causes such as El Niño or to anthropogenic causes such as overfishing and habitat destruction, it is clear that in many cases overfishing, associated with modern technology, increased effort, and open access, has been a significant contributor to fishery decline.
- Miscellaneous