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Posted Tue Oct 13 2009: from
Overfishing: Are there really plenty of fish in the sea?
Worldwide fishing catches grew 400 percent between 1950 and 1994, following centuries of increasingly intensive commercial fishing, but it couldn't last forever. Big fisheries began crashing by the late 20th century, and global production leveled off in 1988. U.S. catches peaked six years later at 5.2 million tons, more than double the country's 1950 total, and by 2008 they had fallen back down to 4.1 million, despite rising demand.... When Newfoundland's cod fishery collapsed in 1992 and Canada closed it for rehabilitation, many expected a quick recovery since cod reproduce so prolifically. But something went wrong, and Newfoundland cod still haven't returned to their pre-collapse numbers, despite a decade-long moratorium on fishing that was upgraded to outright closure in 2003.... "That's not to say the U.S. doesn't have challenges and problems, but there has been steady improvement in recent years," he says. "The chronic overfishing problems we've had will be addressed in the next few years. We should see several of those stocks come off the list."
[Read more stories about: overfishing, anthropogenic change]

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