Overfishing: What Everyone Needs to Know

Overfishing: What Everyone Needs to Know

by Ray Hilborn
     
 

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Over the past twenty years considerable public attention has been focused on the decline of marine fisheries, the sustainability of world fish production, and the impacts of fishing on marine ecosystems. Many have voiced their concerns about marine conservation, as well as the sustainable and ethical consumption of fish. But are fisheries in danger of collapse?

Overview

Over the past twenty years considerable public attention has been focused on the decline of marine fisheries, the sustainability of world fish production, and the impacts of fishing on marine ecosystems. Many have voiced their concerns about marine conservation, as well as the sustainable and ethical consumption of fish. But are fisheries in danger of collapse? Will we soon need to find ways to replace this food system? Should we be worried that we could be fishing certain species to extinction? Can commercial fishing be carried out in a sustainable way? While overblown prognoses concerning the dire state of fisheries are plentiful, clear scientific explanations of the basic issues surrounding overfishing are less so - and there remains great confusion about the actual amount of overfishing and its ecological impact.

Overfishing: What Everyone Needs to Know® will provide a balanced explanation of the broad issues associated with overfishing. Guiding readers through the scientific, political, economic, and ethical issues associated with harvesting fish from the ocean, it will provide answers to questions about which fisheries are sustainably managed and which are not. Ray and Ulrike Hilborn address topics including historical overfishing, high seas fisheries, recreational fisheries, illegal fishing, climate and fisheries, trawling, economic and biological overfishing, and marine protected areas. In order to illustrate the effects of each of these issues, they will incorporate case studies of different species of fish.

Overall, the authors present a hopeful view of the future of fisheries. Most of the world's fisheries are not overfished, and many once overfished stocks are now rebuilding. In fact, we can learn from the management failures and successes to ensure that fisheries are sustainable and contribute to national wealth and food security. Concise and clear, this book presents a compelling "big picture" of the state of oceans and the solutions to ending overfishing.

What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A lucid explication of a highly tangled issue...after years of bitter argument, this noncontentious book should be welcomed by anyone who cares about fish." —New York Times

"In his compact new book, Ray Hilborn (helped with his writer wife, Ulrike) clearly explains a complex situation and the importance of international sustainable fishing." —Booklist

Publishers Weekly
Organized as a series of questions and answers, this small book may not captivate, but it does provide an overview, supported with detailed facts, of the state of fisheries in the U.S. and abroad. Writing with his wife, Hilborn, a professor of aquatic and fisheries science at the University of Washington, aims to guide readers “through the scientific, political, and ethical issues of harvesting fish from the ocean.” He defines basic terms like “sustainable harvest” and “collapsed fishery” and explains more complex concepts such as growth overfishing vs. recruitment overfishing, addresses such issues as the viability of harvesting whales and the importance of habitat, details various management systems and their relative successes, and reveals, through the history of orange roughy management, just how little we know about what goes on in the ocean, as well as the difficulty of managing fish in international waters. Along the way, he offers some fun facts—who knew that the ear bones of fish have annual growth rings similar to trees’ that can determine their age? The book’s careful, somewhat pedantic tone may be off-putting, but for those who want to understand the way fisheries are studied, evaluated, and regulated, as well as their current health and future prospects, it gives the basics in a short, relatively painless read. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199798131
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
04/06/2012
Series:
What Everyone Needs to Know Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Ray Hilborn is Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. Ulrike Hilborn is a writer and has worked with her husband, Ray, for 37 years.

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