Fisheries contribute to food security, livelihoods, and human health across the globe. Regrettably, the history of fisheries management worldwide is dotted with more failures than successes (Sarkar et al., 2018). Literature on fisheries management points out case examples of many inefficiencies than successful escapades. Researchers have reported that many fisheries across the globe suffer from overfishing, inefficient harvesting, and pollution. Today, with the realism of fish stock depletion due to overharvesting, silting, and pollution, modern perspectives that enhance sustainability should be embraced.
Sustainable management of fisheries should centre on biological integrity, environmental quality, maintaining biodiversity, and ecosystem health. The focus should be on ensuring healthy ecosystems and human systems that in turn render social and economic benefits while remaining ecologically sustainable in line with United Nations recommendations (Asche et al., 2018). According to the United Nations, sustainable development of any sector should entail environmental, economic, and social realms. As a result, sustainable management of fisheries should integrate the different forms of capital such as (a) biological that entail processes to increase the fish populations, (b) ecological processes that ensure balance of environment, (c) economic undertakings that intentionally ensure natural biodiversity are maintained, and (d) social capital that ensure that the people who control the other forms of capital understand the essence of preserving the fisheries to increase the current stock and preserve it for the future generations.
In addition to the four capitals, sustainability solutions for fisheries should also include legal, political, and socio-cultural initiatives that regulate the use of fish resources. Case in point, political goodwill in the various jurisdictions should pass legislation and regulations aimed at maximizing benefits, avoiding adverse changes to the environment, avoiding deleterious changes to the fish stocks, and stability of the fishing industries in the countries.
Asche, F., Garlock, T.M., Anderson, J.L., Bush, S.R., Smith, M.D., Anderson, C.M., Chu, J., Garrett, K.A., Lem, A., Lorenzen, K. & Oglend, A. (2018). Three pillars of sustainability in fisheries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(44),11221-11225. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1807677115.
Sarkar, U.K., Sandhya, K.M., Mishal, P., Karnatak, G., Lianthuamluaia, Kumari, S., Panikkar, P., Palaniswamy, R., Karthikeyan, M., Mol, S.S. and Paul, T.T., 2018. Status, prospects, threats, and the way forward for sustainable management and enhancement of the tropical Indian reservoir fisheries: an overview. Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture, 26(2), pp.155-175.