Dangerous Fishing May Be Endangered
Catch shares, a form of “rights-based” fisheries management adopted for several fisheries in the Pacific Northwest, may put an end to the kind of daring exploits chronicled in the Deadliest Catch.
(From Science Daily) — A new study of fishing practices found that the “risky” behavior that makes fishing one of the most dangerous lines of work dropped sharply following the adoption of catch shares management in the West Coast fixed gear sablefish fishery. Fewer boats fished during the stormiest weather, with fishing on the highest wind days dropping by 79 percent under catch shares, according to the research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The decline in rough-weather fishing represents “a revolution in risk-taking behavior by fishermen,” wrote the authors, Lisa Pfeiffer of NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Trevor Gratz of the University of Washington. The researchers said they expect corresponding reductions in injuries, pollution events, vessel losses, search-and-rescue missions and deaths from fishing accidents under catch shares management.
Indeed, the safer practices corresponded with an 87 percent reduction in the rate of safety incidents the U.S. Coast Guard reported for the sablefish fishery before and after catch shares went into effect.
Read the full article here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160218144948.htm