Analysis shows temporarily stopping fishing would lead to gains of up to 10 times above the status quo after 30 years.
At least a quarter of major fish stocks in Canada are in decline, but efforts to rebuild them — such as closing fisheries or setting catch limits — are often met with strong opposition due to negative socioeconomic effects. Now a new study by University of British Columbia researchers shows the short-term financial pain can lead to long-term gain — and that pain can be eased by providing fishers with social and economic assistance.
The study, published in the September 2020 issue of Ocean & Coastal Management, found the most optimistic rebuilding scenario would lead to economic gains of up to 10 times above the status quo after 30 years for five of the six studied species. The analysis also found the gains would continue to climb over 50 and 100 years.
“If you look at societal, national or provincial problems, the struggle between the short term and the long term is huge. Most of us think of today, today, today,” co-author and professor of bioeconomics Rashid Sumaila said in an interview.
Sumaila said the First Nations concept of creating sustainability over multiple generations inspired his work.
“We shouldn’t discount the fish of our grandchildren.”
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