Insight and Oversight: Promoting Sustainable Fisheries
Many scientists believe we are facing a global crisis in the fishing industry, with overfishing threatening the oceans’ ability to support livelihoods, businesses, and appetites. We know that about a third of all fish stocks are overfished—and most countries agree that overfishing is biologically, socially, and economically wasteful. So why does overfishing persist? Dr. Megan Bailey, Canada Research Chair in Integrated Ocean and Coastal Governance, is looking for answers to this question.
At the heart of her research is the search for a way to combine insights from both the producers and consumers of seafood. Countries generally try to oversee fisheries production, while the job of influencing the consumption of seafood is left largely to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This split leaves a vacuum when it comes to combining information from both ends of the value chain to measure conservation gains. Bailey’s work focuses on understanding how information gained by linking fisheries producers and consumers can help countries—the legal stewards of our oceans—to cooperate more effectively in overseeing the world’s oceans.
Seafood value chains are global and complex, so Bailey works with partners in Canada, the United States, Europe, Indonesia, the Philippines, Fiji, Vietnam, and Australia to promote cooperation in overseeing fisheries through greater understanding of the roles played by governments, NGOs, and consumers in the sustainable seafood movement.
By analyzing trends in sustainable seafood governance—such as improved regional management, fisheries improvement projects, and movements towards traceability (the ability to follow movements in the fisheries supply chain)—Bailey’s work offers insights into how we can do a better job governing ocean and coastal resources.