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Sustainable Fisheries

  • By: Liza Griffin
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Until well into the 20th century, ocean resources were believed to be infinite. The “freedom of the seas” paradigm that existed from the 1800s was largely informed by Hugo Grotius, the 17th-century natural rights writer, who argued that the oceans’ resources were inexhaustible and that fishing regulation was unnecessary. However, more modern scientific reports represent a very different state of affairs, making apocalyptic predictions about the state of the planet's fish stocks. The most alarming forecasts claim that the stocks of all commercial fish and seafood species could collapse by the middle of the 21st century if present trends continue. Indeed, fears have reached such epic proportions that many commentators argue that the current international fisheries situation amounts to a crisis, second only to global ...

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