Chapter 17

Chapter 17 - Ch.17: Marine Resources Laws of the Sea Mare...

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Ch.17: Marine Resources
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Laws of the Sea (1) Mare liberum – 1609 treatise by Dutch jurist and scholar Hugo Grotius that urges freedom of the seas to all nations. Premised on the assumption that the seas contained an inexhaustable supply of fish. (2) Cornelius van Bynkershoek published De dominio maris , provided national domain out to the distance that could be reached by cannon – “The territorial sea.” This was approximately 1 league or 3 nautical miles. (3) UN Conference on the Law of the Sea 12 mi. territorial sea/200 mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ); EEZ = fishing, mineral, and pollution control. Right of free passage for all vessels is permitted on high seas Deep sea mineral exploration regulated by Intl. Seabed Auth UN Law of the Sea tribunal will arbitrate all disputes
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Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States. UN Law of the seas puts 42% of the world’s oceans under control of coastal nations.
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Fisheries
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Eutrophic (high nutrient) regions support the largest fisheries.
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Contributions of various ecosystems to world fishery industry. Reveals how most biomass is concentrated in coastal and shelf environments. 21% of fish come from 0.1% of surface ocean area. But how might these statistics be biased?
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World’s total fisheries production since 1950. Note that the catch has plateaued, despite increasing effort. Effort Catch per unit effort (CPUE)
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Incidental catch or bycatch – typically ¼ of total catch is discarded because it is not the organism targeted by the fishery. This “bycatch” can consist of birds, sharks, crabs, sea stars, turtles, dolphins, seals, and other non-commercial fish. Sadly, many of these organisms die before or shortly after they are thrown back overboard.
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Tuna fishers use spinner dolphins to locate tuna, which often swim beneath the dolphins. Purse seine net are placed around the dolphins and tuna and pulled tight.
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This practice traps both tuna and dolphin, and has caused the death of ~7 million dolphin since the 1950s.
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Drift nets are particularly dangerous because they indiscriminately capture marine organisms and can drift unattended for days. They are now banned by intl law, but still used illicitly.
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There exists little regulation on the number of fishing vessels, only on the amount of time a vessel may fish. In fact, government subsidies of the fishing industry promote deployment of more vessels, even when not economically viable.
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Aquaculture – a sustainable alternative to wild fishing However, organisms must command a high price, be easy/inexpensive to grow, be hardy and resistant to disease and parasites, be able to reproduce in captivity, and achieve marketable size in less than a year.
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Fish Land-based Ocean-based
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Crustacea The most valuable commodity produced by mariculture ($7 billion globally) – shrimp, crabs, and lobsters primarily. Must be isolated.
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Chapter 17 - Ch.17: Marine Resources Laws of the Sea Mare...

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