In the spring of 2007, National Geographic warned, "The oceans
are in deep blue trouble. From the northernmost reaches of the
Greenland Sea to the swirl of the Antarctic Circle, we are gutting
our seas of fish." There were legitimate grounds for concern. After
increasing more than fourfold between 1950 and 1994, the global
wild fish catch reached a plateau and stagnated despite exponential
growth in the fishing industry. As numerous scientific reports
showed, many fish stocks around the world collapsed, creating a
genuine global overfishing crisis.
Making Seafood Sustainable analyzes the ramifications of
overfishing for the United States by investigating how fishers,
seafood processors, retailers, government officials, and others
have worked together to respond to the crisis. Historian Mansel G.
Blackford examines how these players took steps to make fishing in
some American waters, especially in Alaskan waters, sustainable.
Critical to these efforts, Blackford argues, has been government
and industry collaboration in formulating and enforcing
regulations. What can be learned from these successful experiences?
Are they applicable elsewhere? What are the drawbacks? Making
Seafood Sustainable addresses these questions and suggests
that sustainable seafood management can be made to work. The
economic and social costs incurred in achieving sustainable
resource usage are significant, but there are ways to mitigate
them. More broadly, this study illustrates ways to manage commonly
held natural resources around the world-land, water, oil, and so
on-in sustainable ways.
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