On December 9, 2014, a major oil spill of 350,000 litres occurred in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. The accident threatened to destroy the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem and its unique aquatic life. There were fears that the spill might lead to severe long-term degradation of this delicate and ecologically important environment.
Fisheries managers and policy makers have traditionally focused on measuring the health of fish stocks and managing for their sustainability. While understanding how healthy fish stocks is important, a recent paper by Jim Anderson and colleagues offer a new suite of measurements that also consider the social and economic benefits that fisheries deliver. Including these dimensions in assessments of fishery performance will be key to making the most of our fisheries.
Last week, I read a compelling book by Alex Caveen and co-authors, ‘The Controversy over Marine Protected Areas: Science Meets Policy.’ The book seeks to answer whether strict Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), where all fishing is prohibited, are a better means of protecting exploited fish stocks than conventional fisheries management strategies that include quota restrictions, gear regulations, minimum landing sizes, and multiple use protected areas.