Wildlife

High Seas Fishing Ban Proposed to Protect Stocks

Commercial fishing would be banned on the high seas under a proposed agreement designed to create a “fish bank” to ensure the survival of the most overexploited species.

Approximately half of the world’s fish stocks are being caught to their maximum sustainable limits, as well as to levels causing commercial extinction for some species.

Researchers and policymakers from Canada, Australia and elsewhere say commercial trawlers should be limited to operating within 200 nautical miles of the maritime countries that hold rights to fishing in those waters.

They claim the move would have only a tiny impact on the global fishing economy while providing a vast safe place for species to survive.

According to their study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, less than 1 percent of the global catch comes from the high seas.

The bulk of the world’s fisheries actually come from fish stocks that straddle both territorial waters and the high seas.

This unexpectedly high level of exchange means that most fish stocks would still be available to be fished even if the high seas were closed to trawlers.

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