Combining economic outlook and fisheries population growth rates for all countries currently reported to fish in the ocean, UBC fisheries researchers William Cheung and Rashid Sumaila developed a conservation risk index to reveal the economic-conservation trade-offs of fishing.
"This index is a guide for determining the appropriate conservation and fisheries management policy for each region," says Cheung, an assistant professor in UBC's Fisheries Centre, who presented his research during a press briefing at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver, Canada.
"Fishing has a major impact on marine biodiversity, causing the depletion of many species," says Cheung
, who grew up in Hong Kong and focused his
earlier research on fisheries in the South China Sea - one of the most over-exploited areas in the world's oceans.
and Sumaila used published discount rates data for all countries that are reported to fish in the ocean, and intrinsic growth rate data for major exploited fish species to calculate the conservation risk index for each half degree square area of the world's oceans (2,500 square-kilometres, roughly the size of Metro Vancouver or three times the size of New York City).
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UBC Fisheries Centre