The fishing industry is widely viewed as having a number of critical problems and key issues that it has to find a way of contending with and if it cannot navigate these particularly troublesome waters it will have definite consequences.
It is a unique industry in so many respects and that is often why you need dedicated maritime accident attorneys at your service when dealing with the various legal challenges you might face if you are running a commercial fishing operation.
Here are some of those major challenges.
Many commercial fishing locations are subject to protective measures designed to ensure that fish stocks are maintained at a certain level.
Sustainability is obviously a matter of paramount importance to the shipping industry but when restrictive catch policies are implements in fishing waters around the globe it clearly has an economic impact with many thousands of jobs lost or at risk.
Another issue with catch limits
The fact that catch limits are imposed in the first place is a fundamental problem in its own right but another strong argument voiced by many fishermen is that catch allocations are too low and don’t reflect the levels of stock available.
Some estimates suggest that thousands of additional tons of cod, for example, cloud be fished from waters without it having a detrimental impact on sustainability levels.
Small-scale fishing enterprises are being squeezed out
One of the direct implications of restrictive catch share programs is the fact that the industry has witnessed a fair amount of consolidation.
Big businesses with large-scale fishing operations account for the lion’s share of the market and the impact of this is keenly felt by small operators who struggle to earn a living with limited resources and insufficient turnover.
Another problem that is clearly evident is the level of disparity between fishing policies and the science supporting these quotas.
Enforced habitat closures designed to preserve numbers and ensure species survival is based on weak or incorrect scientific data, according to some voices within the fishing industry.
Bycatch management needs to improve
It has been argued by some in the industry that too many vague assumptions have been used to create bycatch rules that are relevant to some species but not to others.
In other words, a one-size-fits-all approach is not beneficial and improvements in bycatch management along with more targeted management plans could see a more species-specific set of rules.
This approach would surely be beneficial in terms of developing a specific plan for each species of fish as well as making fishery management plans more accurate and relevant.
These are just some of the very pressing issues that are impacting the fishing industry today and commercial fishing is having to contend with the sort of rules and guidelines that make it hard to earn a living for far too many.
However, these challenges need to address if the commercial fishing industry is going to find a way to make ends meet in such a difficult and highly regulated environment.