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World Bank report urges fisheries reform

Washington DC, July 2008. In a new report the World Bank and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation calculate the losses of the world's fishing fleet due to poor management and depleted fish stocks at 50 billion US dollars per year.

The report, entitled "The Sunken Billions: Economic Justification for Fisheries Reform" (see below) concludes that marine capture fisheries are an under performing global asset. The study shows that the difference between the potential and actual net economic benefits from marine fisheries is in the order of 50 billion US dollars per year. The cumulative economic loss to the global economy over the last three decades is estimated to be in the order of two trillion dollars.

The study argues that improved governance can recapture a substantial proportion of the 50 billion dollar annual economic loss. Rather than being a net drain on the global economy, sustainable fisheries can create an economic surplus, be a driver of economic growth, and a basis for livelihood opportunities. Sustainable fisheries are not only a challenge to biology and ecology, but one of managing political and economic processes the report says.

The Sunken Billions - The Economic Justification for Fisheries Reform (July 2008). To read the full report
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