Helping Fish Live can Generate Billions in Economic Activity

People who live on coasts tend to live off of the sea, which is a fantastic way to at local. However, due to modern commercial fishing fish populations and local ecosystems are being destroyed -so much so you can see damage done by commercial fishing from space. For years fisheries have argued that they have a right to continue their fishing practices because it’s how they earn a living. Well, here’s a better way to ensure they can earn a living: help those fish before you eat them (or don’t eat them 😉 ).

Pew has released a study that argues that rebuilding fish populations can generate billions of dollars for costal communities.

“Results from this study provide strong analytical evidence that there is significant value in rebuilding fish populations and lost financial benefits from delayed action,” said Dr. John M. Gates, report author and professor emeritus, Departments of Economics, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, University of Rhode Island. “It’s important to note that the primary, direct benefits represent a conservative estimate and, if related economic benefits had been included, the result would likely expand well beyond the figures estimated in this study.”

Delays in rebuilding translate to lost opportunities for commercial and recreational fishermen to catch the maximum amount of fish that can sustainably be taken from a population. Failing to quickly address overfishing and allow populations to rebuild as quickly as possible forgoes current financial benefits and may result in more costly regulations in the long–term.

Key findings from the report show that:

Commercial landings would have increased by 48%, if the four populations had been rebuilt by 2007. The financial value would be approximately $33.6 million per year in perpetuity.
Rebuilding would bring an increase in recreational landings of 24% more per year than the status quo management. The economic value would be approximately $536 million per year in perpetuity.
These direct economic benefits would also likely generate secondary financial benefits in the Mid-Atlantic region through increased income, sales and jobs from businesses associated with commercial and recreational fishing, including bait and tackle shops.

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