Sustainable Fisheries Are Community-Led
The collapse of fisheries worldwide endangers the livelihoods and food security of tens of millions of people. These fisheries are often small and ill-suited to top-down regulatory intervention. In many cases, a “tragedy of the commons” scenario—in which each individual fisherman seeks only to maximize his own catch—leads to overfishing and collapse. But a recent article in Nature describes a different, far more promising trend. It analyzes the surprisingly successful preservation of small fisheries through devolved systems of comanagement. As Ray Hilborn, professor at the University of Washington and one of the article’s coauthors puts it, the report’s findings “[illustrate] the world’s growing ability to manage fisheries sustainably … in small-scale fisheries or countries without strong central governments.”
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