Communicating the Science of Sustainable Seafood

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1 Communicating the Science of Sustainable Seafood Framing the Message about Seafood, DE Sea Grant Laurel Bryant, External Affairs Director, NOAA Fisheries July 18, 2012

2 Turning the corner Sustainability is not just to be achieved it must be maintained Science-based management works many examples U.S. fish populations previously overfished are rebuilt or actively rebuilding Fully rebuilt wild fisheries alone cannot sustainably feed our planet Aquaculture is critical to sustainable seafood and working waterfronts We ll continue to face challenges as we build a sustainable seafood supply: rebuilding U.S. fisheries, restoring and maintaining healthy habitat to support these fisheries, ensuring the economies and communities that depend on fisheries remain vital, and working internationally to stop illegal fishing and overfishing and reduce bycatch. 2

3 Highlights from the Magnuson Stevens Act End overfishing in two years for all stocks (2010, 2011) Set Annual Catch Limits (ACL) and accountability measures Strengthen international management (IUU) Improved data Fishery-dependent data Recreational fishing data Social & economic data Improved science supporting management 10 national standards; 8 regional councils Greater use of dedicated access privileges to reduce overcapacity Science-based management 3

4 How does NOAA define sustainability? Overfishing: Refers to rate of fishing; when the rate of removal from a stock is too high, i.e. more is being taken out than is being put in Overfished: Refers to population size; when the population is too low, or below a prescribed level If the rate of outflow exceeds the rate of inflow, the use rate is not sustainable If the glass ½ full or less, the water supply is overused 4

5 Annual Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries We are required by law (Magnuson-Stevens Act) to report to Congress and the regional fishery management councils every year on the status of U.S. fisheries The report provides status determination for 528 stocks or stock complexes. Status determinations are subject to overfishing, overfished, approaching an overfished condition, or unknown. Determinations are made during a review of a stock assessment using the best available scientific information and criteria specified in an Fishery Management Plan. The information in the latest report is current as of December 31, 2010; there are also quarterly updates. 5

6 The Fish Stock Sustainability Index FSSI Points: No overfishing = 1 Not overfished = 1 Status of overfishing known = ½ Status of overfished known = ½ 350 At at least 80% of target level = Year 6

7 Numerous success stories 7

8 Annual Catch Limits the root of Turning the Corner The 2007 reauthorization to the MSA mandated that NOAA Fisheries and the Councils implement annual catch limits (ACLs) and measures to ensure accountability so that overfishing does not occur in a fishery. Deadlines: 2010 fisheries subject to overfishing 2011 all other fisheries Latest Status of Stocks report adds a section showing progress implementing ACLs. 8

9 2010 Fisheries of the U.S. Report Landings are up 200 million pounds to 8.2 billion + Values are up $600 million to $4.5 billion since 2009 = U.S. is turning the corner in rebuilding fisheries Consumption declined slightly as imports continued to rise, highlighting the need for a stronger domestic aquaculture program 9

10 Sustainable aquaculture means healthy, local seafood year-round supply complement commercial harvest local jobs compliance with environmental requirements U.S. aquaculture meets strict regulatory and environmental standards U.S. aquaculture is a beneficial and critical component of our seafood supply: Some aquaculture products higher than wild products in Omega-3 levels 10

11 Meeting Seafood Demand Creating More Value Rebuilding currently overfished populations (47) could increase domestic ex-vessel value by about 50% - and another 500,000 jobs in the seafood sector Enabling a business culture for environmentally sustainable domestic aquaculture to fill the gap Creating more asset value for domestic fisheries with new business instruments, risk reduction strategies catch shares, alternative markets, direct marketing by fishermen 11

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18 Laurel Bryant Chief, External Affairs Division NOAA Fisheries Communications & External Affairs

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