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Doug S Butterworth MARAM (Marine Resource Assessment and Management Group) Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics University of Cape Town,

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Presentation on theme: "Doug S Butterworth MARAM (Marine Resource Assessment and Management Group) Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics University of Cape Town,"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Doug S Butterworth MARAM (Marine Resource Assessment and Management Group) Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa “THE END OF THE LINE” : HOW SOUND IS THE SCIENCE?

3 OUTLINE I. Terminology II. Bluefin Tuna III. 90% of Large Predatory Fish Gone? IV. Collapse of Fisheries by 2048? V. Current World and South African Situation VI. The “MPA Solution” VII. Science, Advocacy and Ethics VIII. In Summary

4 I. TERMINOLOGY SUSTAINABLE YIELD vs ABUNDANCE % 100% Fisheries management target B MSY

5 TERMINOLOGY FISHERIES: OVER EXPLOITEDFULLY EXPLOITEDUNDER EXPLOITED B MSY B CONTRADICTION? IUCN RED LIST: IUCN fishing intended as flag waver based on crude analysis NOT definitive assessment of status NO CRITICALLY ENDANGERED VULNERABLE B

6 II. BLUEFIN TUNA North Pacific Bluefin Tuna North Pacific Bluefin Tuna Southern Bluefin Tuna Southern Bluefin Tuna North Atlantic Bluefin Tuna North Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Two populations: West ; East + Mediterranean

7 NORTH ATLANTIC BLUEFIN TUNA Regional Fisheries Management Organisation: ICCAT ICCAT International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas International Commission for Catching All the Tunas

8 NORTH ATLANTIC BLUEFIN CATCH DISTRIBUTION

9 ICCAT AND EASTERN BLUEFIN MID 1990’s to MID 2000’s Development of farming Development of farming Complete loss of control in the Mediterranean Complete loss of control in the Mediterranean Increasing uncertainty about size of catch Increasing uncertainty about size of catch Continued cynical attitude to science from EU Continued cynical attitude to science from EU

10 EAST ATLANTIC & MEDITERRANEAN BLUEFIN CATCHES

11 EAST ATLANTIC BLUEFIN RECENT DEVELOPMENTS 2009 ICCAT Meeting: TAC reduced to tons 100% observer coverage of farms Effort (season length) restrictions 2010 CITES: Proposal to list Atlantic bluefin Fails: “Leave it to ICCAT” CAN ICCAT DELIVER?

12 2010 ICCAT ASSESSMENT EAST ATLANTIC BLUEFIN CATCH RATES (CPUE)

13 2010 ICCAT ASSESSMENT EAST ATLANTIC BLUEFIN SPAWNER BIOMASS

14 2010 ICCAT ASSESSMENT EAST ATLANTIC & MEDITERRANEAN BLUEFIN CATCH

15 2010 ICCAT ASSESSMENT Marked recent catch reduction Marked recent catch reductionBelievable? A new EU? Increased biomass estimates and improved trends Increased biomass estimates and improved trends Maintenance of ton TAC should see rebuilding to B MSY by 2022 (MSY = tons) Maintenance of ton TAC should see rebuilding to B MSY by 2022 (MSY = tons) Green listing? Green listing?

16 III. 90% OF LARGE PREDATORY FISH GONE? Myers and Worm: Nature 423 (2003) Myers and Worm: Nature 423 (2003) Global ocean has lost more than 90% of large predatory fishes Global ocean has lost more than 90% of large predatory fishes Primarily based on Japanese tuna longline data Primarily based on Japanese tuna longline data Five substantial rebuttal papers Five substantial rebuttal papers Hampton, Maunder, Polacheck, Sibert, Walters

17 90% OF LARGE FISH GONE? PACIFIC YELLOWFIN & BIGEYE TUNA CPUE & CATCHES

18 90% OF LARGE FISH GONE? Analysis no longer has any credence in the fisheries science community Analysis no longer has any credence in the fisheries science community The End of the Line (Jeff Hutchings, Daniel Pauly): The End of the Line (Jeff Hutchings, Daniel Pauly): “Whether it’s 95% or 70% is rather irrelevant; these are still dramatic declines” BUT : 70% decline is close to B MSY target ??!! BUT : 70% decline is close to B MSY target ??!!

19 ISSF – TUNA STATUS INTERNATIONAL SEAFOOD SUSTAINABILITY FOUNDATION STATUS OF WORLD TUNA RESOURCES

20 Jeff Hutchings et al.: Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 67 (2010) WORLDWIDE: Pelagic Demersal HIGH SEAS TRENDS RELATIVE TO B MSY

21 IV. COLLAPSE OF FISHERIES BY 2048? Worm et al.: Science 314 (2006) Worm et al.: Science 314 (2006) Project all fisheries collapsed by 2048 Project all fisheries collapsed by 2048 “Collapse” – catch below 10% of maximum Based on catch, not abundance data Based on catch, not abundance data Eleven substantial rebuttal papers Eleven substantial rebuttal papers Branch, Briggs, de Mutsert, Hilborn (x3), Holker, Jaenike, Longhurst, Murawski, Wilberg

22 TREVOR BRANCH: TRENDS IN “COLLAPSED” FISHERIES

23 2048 PREDICTION

24 COLLAPSE OF FISHERIES BY 2048? WWF (Argus, 22 October 2010) re “The End of the Line”: WWF (Argus, 22 October 2010) re “The End of the Line”: “Never before have our marine resources been as degraded and overfished as they are today” Worm, Hilborn et al.: Science 325 (2009) Worm, Hilborn et al.: Science 325 (2009) Average exploitation rate recently declined in 5 of 10 ecosystems For 7 of these systems, rate is lower than required to achieve B MSY Iceland, US Northeast, Newfoundland, S Australia, East Bering Sea, California, New Zealand Iceland, US Northeast, Newfoundland, S Australia, East Bering Sea, California, New Zealand The 2048 prediction has long been without any credence in the fisheries science community The 2048 prediction has long been without any credence in the fisheries science community

25 V. CURRENT WORLD AND SOUTH AFRICAN SITUATION FAO 2010 CLASSIFICATION OF FISH STOCKS Underexploited 2% Moderately exploited18% 72% Fully exploited52% Overexploited19% Recovering from depletion 1% 28% Depleted 8%

26 CURRENT WORLD SITUATION Worm, Hilborn et al. (2009) database (255 stocks) Underexploited24% Fully exploited50% Overexploited14% Collapsed12% 74% 26%

27 CURRENT SOUTH AFRICAN SITUATION Worm, Hilborn et al. (2009) database: 255 stocks – 8 from South Africa Underexploited2 Fully exploited6 Overexploited or Collapsed 0 Under: shallow-water hake, toothfish Fully: anchovy, horse mackerel, deepwater hake, kingklip, sardine, south coast rock lobster Not considered: abalone, sole, squid, west coast rock lobster, line fish

28 VI. THE “MPA SOLUTION” The End of the Line: Abundance increases in Marine Protected Areas BUT Does this lead to greater productivity and hence catches? Does this lead to greater productivity and hence catches? Yes, insofar as near-sessile species “spill over” outside the MPA Will MPAs prevent over-exploitation of mobile species? Will MPAs prevent over-exploitation of mobile species? Hardly – fish become catchable once they move outside

29 THE “MPA SOLUTION” INSHORE AREAS INSHORE AREAS Practical-enforcement approach to indirectly keep catches sustainable OFFSHORE AREAS OFFSHORE AREAS Generally little to offer mobile species from a sustainability standpoint Confound interpretation of data used for assessment Spatio-temporal closures more effective for effort control if needed

30 VII. SCIENCE, ADVOCACY AND ETHICS Special additional reasons for fisheries scientists’ concerns (raised hackles) about the 90% decline (Nature) and 2048 projection (Science) papers Re 90% paper: “Widely rumoured” that a senior reviewer had rejected it Seeming reluctance of Nature to publish rebuttals

31 THE 90% PAPER Tom Polacheck ( Marine Policy 30 (2006) ): Failure to address concerns of tuna scientists Failure to address concerns of tuna scientists Claiming falsely that cited papers demonstrated a consistency between apparently inconsistent data sets when they didn’t Claiming falsely that cited papers demonstrated a consistency between apparently inconsistent data sets when they didn’t Claiming discovery of already well known phenomena Claiming discovery of already well known phenomena Implying those working in the field had tunnel vision/emotional attachment to their work to undercut their potential criticism Implying those working in the field had tunnel vision/emotional attachment to their work to undercut their potential criticism Making emotive undocumented universal claims in publicity statements Making emotive undocumented universal claims in publicity statements Mark Maunder et al. letter to Nature : Publishing and promoting highly questionable science without allowing timely critical review by qualified people... does science a disservice Nature : Acknowledged wide-spread criticism by experts in the field, but declined to publish the letter Polacheck : Nature appeared to divorce itself from responsibility for accuracy and general validity of conclusions of an article once published

32 THE 2048 PAPER Seattle Times report Seattle Times report (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/ _seafood03m.html) The author sent a note to colleagues (and the Seattle Times by mistake) saying “... that the projection could act as a ‘news hook’ to get people’s attention...” Mike Beck (in The Nature Conservancy’s Science Chronicles Jan 2007) “F “ in high school statistics Represents targeted advocacy by some journals and authors. Polarisation, rather than needed co-operation with fishing interests, fuelled by one-sided papers in Science and Nature Mike Sissenwine (in Environmental Conservation 34 (2007) 90-91) Aggressive public promotion of science is fine and legitimate provided rigour and accuracy are not sacrificed. Aggressive public promotion of science is fine and legitimate provided rigour and accuracy are not sacrificed. The people whom fisheries scientists seek to influence deserve to know whether they are reading or hearing objective science or advocacy. Proposed that fisheries scientists be governed by codes of conduct, standard practices, certification and licensing, well beyond journal peer review, similar to internal governance within other professions interacting with lay-people such as doctors, engineers and lawyers.

33 VIII. IN SUMMARY The End of the Line: Sound science? In part, but certainly not throughout Up to date? NoBalanced? Certainly not But interpret it for what it intends to be – advocacy

34 IN SUMMARY The End of the Line Local sponsors: WWF, Investec, Pick n Pay Laudable objective to promote sustainability BUT Questionable Publicity Investec: “A world without fish.... around 2048” “90% of all large fish fished out” (citing WWF) “90% of all large fish fished out” (citing WWF) Promoting false information is counter-productive towards influencing the fishing industry Why aren’t these companies who want to do “the right thing” better informed? Lack of due diligence on their part? OR A failure of mainstream science to communicate effectively?

35 IN SUMMARY The End of the Line – Three Steps Ask before you buy – eat only sustainable seafood Ask before you buy – eat only sustainable seafood Join the campaign for MPAs and responsible fishing Join the campaign for MPAs and responsible fishing Tell politicians – respect the science and cut the fishing effort Tell politicians – respect the science and cut the fishing effort

36 IN SUMMARY The End of the Line – Step One Ask before you buy – eat only sustainable seafood Ask before you buy – eat only sustainable seafoodYESBUT Be aware of the source of the advice as to sustainability e.g. Special interest groups - some systems mark ANY trawl caught fish red Hilborn: Trawling provides 7% of meat and fish consumption worldwide Replace that fish by meat production through grazing: requires area five times the size of remaining rain forest Replace that fish by meat production through grazing: requires area five times the size of remaining rain forest Which is more environmentally friendly: fishing or meat production? Which is more environmentally friendly: fishing or meat production?

37 IN SUMMARY The End of the Line – Step Two Join the campaign for MPAs and responsible fishing Join the campaign for MPAs and responsible fishing MPAs are neither a panacea nor sufficient Mike Beck (in The Nature Conservancy’s Science Chronicles Jan 2007) The few solutions that are offered are simplistic, e.g. ‘lets stop fishing in certain areas’ The few solutions that are offered are simplistic, e.g. ‘lets stop fishing in certain areas’ The concept is being heavily oversold Require cogent scientific rationale before implementing any specific proposal

38 IN SUMMARY The End of the Line – Step Three Tell politicians – respect the science and cut the fishing effort Tell politicians – respect the science and cut the fishing effort YES! YES! YES! THIS IS WHAT REALLY MATTERS! 90% of the world’s fisheries problems will be rapidly solved by ensuring respect for sound scientific advice on catches, and reducing available fishing effort to the corresponding level needed

39 Thank you for your attention Acknowledgements for assistance with presentation information/development and preparation: Trevor Branch(Univ. Washington) Ray Hilborn(Univ. Washington) Laurie Kell(ICCAT) Mark Maunder(IATTC) Andrea Müller Victor Restrepo(ISSF) William Robinson


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