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Close the high seas to fishing?

Wild fish are in peril around the world, and in some places their populations are in precipitous decline. This is particularly true on the high seas, or international waters. Operating as a massive unregulated global commons, where any nation can take as much as it wants, the high seas are experiencing a latter-day “tragedy of the commons,” with the race for fish depleting stocks of tuna, billfish and other high-value migratory species. A new paper published in PLOS Biology written by SFG PI Christopher Costello and former SFG Postdoc Crow White suggests a bold approach to reversing this decline: close the high seas to fishing.

Sound like a radical notion? Not according to White and Costello, who found that such a policy could actually provide a triple-bottom-line benefit, increasing not only global stocks of high-value species, but also fisheries harvests and profits from them.

To learn more, check out the paper and recent media coverage:

Link to PLOS Biology article

NPR Press

UCSB Press