The Economics of Rebuilding Fisheries

Workshop Proceedings

image of The Economics of Rebuilding Fisheries

Rebuilding fisheries is a key challenge for many countries as some stocks are in a poor state while others are depleted.  In May 2009, economists, biologists, fisheries managers and policy makers participated in an OECD Workshop on the Economics of Rebuilding Fisheries. The workshop was designed to identify and analyse economic uncertainties, policy issues, biological conditions and information constraints, and to review the role of key players in program delivery. This conference proceedings presents an overview of the major economic and institutional issues associated with rebuilding fisheries and provides examples of national and international initiatives.




Rebuilding depleted fisheries and maintaining sustainable fish stocks is the central objective of fisheries management. At the international level this is espoused through agreements such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, and most recently through the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) commitment to rebuild fish stocks to maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels by 2015. In addition, ensuring a profitable fishing industry that supports coastal communities where few alternatives may exist, maintaining biodiversity and ensuring food security are key drivers for rebuilding fisheries. From an economic point of view, recent studies have estimated the lost rent from not rebuilding fisheries; the FAO/World Bank estimates that this could be as much as 50 billion USD each year. Moreover, many experts suggest that a necessary first step to rebuilding fisheries is evident and generally effective: a rapid reduction of fishing effort for overfished and depleted fisheries. But if that is the case, why does FAO data indicate that the percentage of overfished and depleted fisheries have been increasing, and now represent almost 30% of fisheries globally?


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