Rebecca Goldburg, director of Marine Science at the Pew Environment Group, issued the following statement today in response to a paper published in the journal Science. The paper's lead authors, Dr. Ray Hilborn and Dr. Boris Worm, who have held differing views about the status of global ocean fisheries in the past, collaborated on the research for this study. They were joined by 19 co-authors.
“A large and diverse group of leading fisheries scientists and ecologists have concluded that the common benchmark now used to determine the amount of ocean fish to catch is not a viable approach for managing our oceans. The study disproves the notion that we can push catch targets to their limits and still maintain healthy ocean ecosystems. Fishing targets must be more conservative than they have been in the past.
“Two scientists who once held opposing views about the state of ocean fisheries now agree about the significance of global fisheries declines and the solutions needed to reverse these trends. If fishery managers worldwide heed these important scientific findings, then we have an extraordinary opportunity to restore ocean fisheries.”