2017 Jun vol 11

11.2

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Fisher’s rights are human rights! – a slogan adopted by traditional fishing communities from India to Africa to Canada as they lobby for recognition not just for their traditional rights but for the state of our oceans today. The FAO reported that the number of overexploited stocks has tripled over 30 years from 10% to 29.9 % with the number of fully exploited stocks increasing from 51% to 57%. With this marine issue, we try to delve further into the idea of fisheries governance, its conservation complexities and why we should care about this sector. Joeri Scholtens and Maarten Bavinck highlight the role that fish play in ensuring food security for some of the most poor and vulnerable in society. Jackie Sunde discusses the struggle of traditional fishers in South Africa to obtain recognition of their historical rights in the post-apartheid era. In India, where trawling is a source of great contention amongst scientists, government and traditional fishers, Mahabaleshwar Hegde and Manju Menon discuss a particularly destructive trawling technique – bull trawling – and how communities are working together to push for legal reform. Tom Horton sheds light on the attempts to restore Atlantic bluefin tuna populations and the conservation challenges inherent in attempting to protect migratory species. Danielle Buss shares her team’s efforts to figure out ways to estimate the number of whales present before whaling took its toll on populations. Sahir Advani’s article throws light on ray fisheries and the conservation bias which favours charismatic manta rays over the less popular but equally threatened devil rays. -Marianne Manuel
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