(Seattle – June 7, 2017) The International Fisheries Innovation Network (I-FIN) is a new global coalition of scientists and economists committed to tackling one of the world’s greatest environmental challenges, overfishing, by collecting, sharing and using data in new and innovative ways to improve fisheries management for the betterment of people around the world, and the ocean resources they depend on.
“The sustainable use of fisheries resources is critical to human livelihoods around the globe,” said Merrick Burden, Senior Economist at Environmental Defense Fund. “With sustainable management, fisheries around the world could yield more fish, more food, and more prosperous communities, but to get there, we need the best scientific research available.”
Reliable and robust data on fishery health, particularly in developing nations where food security, nutrition, and livelihoods are heavily dependent on fisheries, is essential to ensuring effective long-term sustainable management. The scientific information necessary to inform sustainable management is lacking in many fisheries. By working together the members of I-FIN will help fisheries overcome their scientific gaps and provide government leaders with a more accurate picture of the health of the world’s fisheries.
“While good scientific information already exists in many areas, particularly developed nations, large challenges remain in small scale fisheries and developing countries around the world that do not have strong central fisheries management,” said Ray Hilborn, professor of fisheries science at the University of Washington. “I-FIN convenes scientists from scientific institutions around the world to identify new data sources, and focus on key fisheries management problems and solutions for their countries, and their fishing communities.”
I-FIN is led by a group of renowned experts from the University of Washington, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Environmental Defense Fund. This new project will build on the work this group did to assemble the largest database on fisheries in the world to create a groundbreaking bio-economic outlook on global fisheries which was published last year in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.
“Sustainable fisheries management requires good scientific information,” said Steve Gaines, Dean of the Bren School at University of California, Santa Barbara. “I-FIN is seeking to develop that information in ways that address some of the most pressing management challenges and in places most in need of fisheries reform.”
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