Green-oriented organization Oceana informs us that, according to a new report made public by the US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS, for short) as much as 156 million pounds (78,000 tons) of fish were simply discarded by the fishing industry from July 2010 to June 2011.
To make matters even worse, this report only takes into consideration the fisheries whose working agenda focuses on the US Northeast, from North Carolina to Maine. Thus, one can only speculate that a similar report targeting fisheries worldwide would bring forth even more troubling estimates.
reports, more often than not the fish simply thrown back into the water by fishermen were either dead or dying, which means that such practices are bound to significantly impact on local fish stocks.
To cut a long story short, this organization claims that, on various occasions, the fish discarded amounted at almost half of the vessel's total catch.
Moreover, what should worry authorities is the fact that nearly 50% of the fishing fleets presently carrying on with their daily routine in these waters fail to report bycatches, something that makes it difficult for conservationists to efficiently monitor the aquatic ecosystems in this part of the world.
Gib Brogan, presently working as a representative for the aforementioned organization, made a case of how, “If modern fisheries management is to succeed, we must account for every single fish that is caught, whether it's done intentionally or not.”
“What is bycatch to one fishery is often targeted catch to another. Take skates for example, which are a common bycatch species in the lucrative scallop fishery. Nearly 75% of the 101 million pounds (50,500 tons) of skates that were caught were discarded while New England skate fishermen struggle to increase their quotas,” he further elaborated on this issue.
Hopefully, the findings of this report will be given due consideration and authorities will push for better management policies concerning the fisheries in the US Northeast.