Global Challenges Facing Inland Fisheries: Degradation By Stealth

Tuesday, August 19, 2014: 1:50 PM
205B (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Ian G. Cowx , Hull International Fisheries Institute, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom
T. Douglas Beard Jr. , National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA
Numerous, often disconnected and dispersed, factors compromise the existence and development of inland fish and fisheries, including pollution, habitat degradation, water resource develop schemes, alien invasive species, local user conflicts, low social priority and inadequate research and funding. In many cases, however, degradation of the environment and loss of aquatic habitat are the predominant concerns for the conservation of freshwater aquatic biota and sustainability of fisheries. The need for concerted effort to prevent and reduce environmental degradation - as well as protection of freshwater fishes and fisheries as renewable common pool resources or entities in their own right - are the greatest challenges facing the inland fisheries. Unfortunately traditional rule-based management practices such as regulation of exploitation, protected areas and habitat restoration have failed to protect inland fish species worldwide and novel approaches are urgently required. This paper examines how the emerging concept of ecosystem services coupled with traditional fish conservation management practices, institutional restructuring and integrated management planning should provide a more sustainable thrust to formulation and promotion of fish conservation initiatives.