Twenty-fifth Report: Turning the Tide : Addressing the Impact of Fisheries on the Marine Environment

Front Cover
This Royal Commission report on protection of the marine environment focuses on the impact of marine fishing in the seas around the UK, both on fish populations and the wider ecosystem. It consider a range of issues including the role of the fishing industry and its growth over the last 50 years; the legal framework for the marine environment and fisheries, at the national, European and international levels; the impact of fishing and the legacy of overfishing; aquaculture fisheries; marine protected areas; improved fisheries management; and a system of marine spatial planning. The report concludes that, as a society, we give much lower priority to protecting our seas compared with the land, and over-fishing is a global problem which has led to the collapse of fisheries in many areas. This situation requires significant urgent change which recognises the need for sustainable fisheries management and avoids the degradation of our seas, placing it within the context of wider management of human activities in the marine environment. Recommendations made include: the introduction of a Marine Act to establish a statutory framework with strategic objectives for marine environmental protection; a move away from a presumption in favour of fishing rights to a precautionary approach which requires demonstration that fishing activity is environmentally sustainable; establishing a network of marine protected areas within the UK over the next five years, which would lead to 30 per cent of the UK's exclusive economic zone being closed to commercial fishing; and a change in the emphasis of research away from management of fish populations towards a wider focus on the marine environment.
 

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Contents

Chapter
1
Chapter
2
Description of OSPAR area 2 2
9
INFORMATION BOXES
14
REFERENCES 271
18
Animals that live on the seabed
22
a and b Carbonate mound and hydrothermal vents
24
Figure 2XXIV Orange roughy
26
98
121
1 Global use of compound feeds in aquaculture 2001
125
3 Comparative energy usage for different aquaculture and livestock
133
Interactions with wild fish 6 50
134
Local environmental impacts 6 82
140
Box 6A Less common diseases and categories of concern for notification
142
Interactions with wildlife 6 122
149
Box 6B Summary of welfare considerations in aquaculture
150

Distribution of marine ecosystems 2 51
30
Figure 2XXXI Regional seas around the UK
32
The growth of capture fisheries over the last fifty years 3 6
36
Figure 3IV Projected decline in per capita seafood availability
38
UK demand for fish 3 30
41
Box 3B Where do longchain n3 polyunsaturated fatty acids come from?
43
Technological development in the marine fishing industry 3 53
47
Chapter 4
53
Box 4A Key features arising from the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
55
APPENDICES
60
Regional agreements 4 45
62
European Measures 4 61
65
TABLES
67
Figure 4I Territorial coverage of UK designations
68
Box4C Effort reduction and the cod recovery plan
74
Figure 4II Seasonal area closures around the British Isles
75
2 Third party commitments under fisheries agreements 19992000
78
UK organisations involved in managing fisheries 4 130
79
A LEGACY OF OVERFISHING
89
Figure 5I Status of EU commercial fish populations
90
Figure 5V Green sea urchins grazing kelp
96
Box 5A Broadcast spawning
99
Figure 5VII The extent of declines in fish populations
102
Box 5E Subpopulations and dispersal
109
Figure 5XII A furrow left by a scallop dredge
111
Figure HIII
113
Box 5G Coldwater coral
118
4 Farmed shellfish production in tonnes for the UK in 2001
152
148
155
Box 7A Fish population models
158
1 Common reference points used in fisheries management
165
Better management of human activities in the marine environment 7 37
169
Box7C Defining the ecosystem approach
170
Box 7D The Azores deepsea fisheries
176
71
179
Box 8A Examples of national policies to establish largescale marine
186
The case for networks of marine protected areas MPAs and reserves 8 50 8 50
195
Box8C How much of the ecosystem needs to be protected by MPAs?
197
The policy response 8 93
205
Regulating fishing effort 9 17
212
Box 9A Effort control in Western Waters
214
Fisheries management in the Sound of Arisaig Special Area
218
Bycatch monitoring and management plans 9 54
221
Box 9C International examples of discard bans
224
79
227
Box 10A Marine planning in Australia
233
Effective institutions 10 47
240
Box 10B Public participation in rezoning the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
247
88
250
Shortterm measures to protect the marine environment 11 20
256
Research to understand the marine environment 11 52
262
Box El The 12 principles of practical application of the ecosystem approach
354
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