From: Richard Harris, NPR
Published July 31, 2009 07:06 AM

Fisheries Making A Comeback

There's no question that the world's fish are in trouble. Fishermen are pulling fish out of the seas far faster than these populations can grow back. Some fisheries are heading toward collapse or even extinction. But a major new analysis of this grim picture shows that fisheries aren't doomed. In fact, some are on the mend.

This new study grew out of a raging controversy. Three years ago, Boris Worm and his colleagues at Dalhousie University in Canada sent shock waves through the world of fishing and fisheries science. They published a paper in Science magazine showing that if current trends continued, the oceans would be essentially fished out by the middle of this century.


Worm says this new analysis relies on much more scientific data to assess the state of the world's fisheries. And it is still not an upbeat report.

Some of the good-news stories come from the United States. Strict federal fishing laws have cut back significantly on overfishing. And some stocks, such as haddock off New England, have rebounded so well, they are actually as healthy as they've ever been. Iceland, too, has rebuilt some of its fisheries.

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