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Breaking News- US Support for Sustainable Fisheries

Having worked for the past year on marine resource management issues in Central America, I am ecstatic to see the US taking a leadership role to protect sustainable fisheries and to safeguard their use by calling for an end to destructive fishing practices such as unregulated bottom trawling on the high seas.

On October 3, the White House announced a Presidential directive that instructs the Secretary of State, in collaboration with the Secretary of Commerce, to work with other countries to eliminate unregulated destructive fishing practices that endanger fish stocks and the habitats that support them. These practices include unregulated bottom trawling, explosives, and chemicals that destroy the long-term productivity of ecosystems such as seamounts, corals and sponge fields.

If the US is successful, this initiative will have far reaching impact on all our lives. In a microcosm of what could happen on a global scale should fisheries start collapsing en masse, I have seen local communities in Central America experience increasing economic and cultural impoverishment that can be directly related to the degradation of their coastal marine ecosystems. Ensuring sustainable fisheries at home and abroad is a critical part of conserving the vitality of global marine ecosystems for a healthy planet and productive societies into the future.

Trawled vs untrawled ocean floor