Temporary fishing bans could be the best way to protect the world’s fish stocks while still providing enough to eat, a new study claims. The results suggest that fishing activity focused into periodic open seasons separated by several years of closures could be a more workable conservation solution than permanent bans.
The study, from an international team of scientists, argues these so-called “pulse harvests” of fish can address concerns about stock sustainability, while also ensuring enough fish are caught to make the fishery productive for local populations over time. But other fishery experts say only permanent bans, such as those in place in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), can protect wildlife and ecosystems properly. These are frequently opposed by the industry.
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