A study made public by Cepesca on World Oceans Day, analyses 349 stocks around the world that represent 90% of the total population of these fish.
A study by the University of Washington and initialed by a team of 11 scientists from the United States, South Africa, Japan, Namibia, Argentina and Chile shows the increase and good health of the world population of the so-called bottom or demersal fish, such as megrim, hake or sole. The investigation has been made public in our country by the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (CEPESCA) coinciding with the celebration of World Oceans Day.
The study has analysed 349 stocks of these species around the world, which together represent 90% of their total biomass, and concludes that regulations and the growing respect for environmental conservation by fishing activity has led to the growth these stocks. In fact, the study reveals that, currently, fishing for these species could be increased from the current 61% to 75% without altering the good state of the stocks, and ensuring a number of specimens in the sea, especially juveniles and players, to guarantee it.
According to this group of scientists, this margin for manoeuvre is of special relevance due to the quality of the proteins in this type of fish and given the challenge the planet faces of feeding between 2,500 and 3,000 million more people in the next 25 years.
In fact, as different scientific studies have already shown, such as the one developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI), only by increasing the intake of protein from fishery products will it be possible to maintain the target level of global warming of the planet below 2 ° C.
In this regard, it should be noted that the University of Washington analysed the environmental impact of the production of different foods, showing that the consumption of fish protein has a lower carbon footprint than other animal proteins. Specifically, and according to this study, 40 grams of white and pelagic fish (species that live near the surface) have a carbon footprint of less than 1 kg compared to 20 kg of footprint of the same amount of other types of animal protein.
The analysis of the 349 demersal fish stocks analysed in the study is based on information from FAO and on data from the latest time series of them, which include abundance of the stock, catches, fishing pressure and protection of juvenile populations.
Finally, it should be noted that the study has divided the world map by the different fishing areas in which these species are caught, determining the general health of the stocks, highlighting among them the northeast and central Pacific, and the northeast, southeast and southwest Atlantic. With regard to the families of fish, an increase in the stock has been detected in recent years, especially in scorpaeniform or rock fish, and pleuronectiform fish, such as rooster and sole.