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Archive for Friday, July 31, 2009

Overfishing easing in some areas

July 31, 2009

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— Crabcakes and fish sticks won’t be disappearing after all.

Two years after a study warned that overfishing could cause a collapse in the world’s seafood stocks by 2048, an update says the tide is turning, at least in some areas.

“This paper shows that our oceans are not a lost cause,” said Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, lead author of both reports. “I’m somewhat more hopeful ... than what we were seeing two years ago.”

It’s personal as well as scientific.

“I have actually given thought to whether I will be hosting a seafood party then,” Worm said, meaning 2048.

Ray Hilborn of the University of Washington challenged Worm’s original report, leading the two — plus 19 other researchers — to launch the study that led to the new findings. They’re being published in today’s edition of the journal Science.

The news isn’t all good.

Of 10 areas of the world that were studied, significant overfishing continues in three, but steps have been taken to curb excesses in five others, Hilborn and Worm report. The other two were not a problem in either study.

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