Managing biodiversity in fisheries

To an even greater degree than with forests, fisheries and the coastal and marine ecosystems that support them are treated as commonly owned resources. Over-fishing changes the relative species abundance as well as the demographic and genetic structure of populations. Of the 176 major fish populations that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) currently tracks, 30% are over-exploited. With the world population expected to double by 2050 and rising expectations for quality of life, human demands for fish products will in-crease even as consumption on a per capita basis declines.