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Effects of economics and demographics on global fisheries sustainability.

Authors
  • Ding, Qi1, 2
  • Wang, Yali3
  • Chen, Xinjun1, 2, 4, 5
  • Chen, Yong2, 6
  • 1 College of Marine Sciences, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, 201306, China. , (China)
  • 2 Collaborative Innovation Center for Distant-Water Fisheries, Shanghai, 201306, China. , (China)
  • 3 Institute of Finance and Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai, 200433, China. , (China)
  • 4 Key Laboratory of Sustainable Exploitation of Oceanic Fisheries Resources, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, 201306, China. , (China)
  • 5 National Engineering Research Center for Oceanic Fisheries, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, 201306, China. , (China)
  • 6 School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 04469, U.S.A.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Conservation Biology
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2017
Volume
31
Issue
4
Pages
799–808
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12873
PMID: 27921317
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

A good understanding of social factors that lead to marine ecological change is important to developing sustainable global fisheries. We used balanced panel models and conducted cross-national time-series analyses (1970-2010) of 122 nations to examine how economic prosperity and population growth affected the sustainability of marine ecosystems. We used catches in economic exclusive zone (EEZ); mean trophic level of fishery landings (MTL); primary production required to sustain catches (expressed as percentage of local primary production [%PPR]); and an index of ecosystem overfishing (i.e., the loss in secondary production index [L index]) as indicators of ecological change in marine ecosystems. The EEZ catch, %PPR, and L index declined gradually after gross domestic product (GDP) per capita reached $15,000, $14,000, and $19,000, respectively, and MTL increased steadily once GDP per capita exceeded $20,000. These relationships suggest that economic growth and biodiversity conservation are compatible goals. However, increasing human populations would degrade marine ecosystems. Specifically, a doubling of human population caused an increase in the %PPR of 17.1% and in the L index of 0.0254 and a decline in the MTL of 0.176. A 1% increase in human population resulted in a 0.744% increase in EEZ catch. These results highlight the importance of considering social and economic factors in developing sustainable fisheries management policy.

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