Big profits in sustainable fish

THE RESTORATION and sustainable management of Europe’s fish stocks could generate huge returns on investment, according to new research.



A study published by the New Economics Foundation (nef) found that if stocks are restored the total value of landings would almost triple, generating £14.62 billion in revenue each year and considerable returns on investment.


Years of mismanagement have left the majority of EU fish stocks overfished. However, according to nef’s report, entitled No Catch Investment, most overfished stocks could be fully restored within five years.


The research estimates the costs of restoring fish stocks by assuming a temporary moratoria is placed on overfished stocks. Billions would have to be invested during this pause in fishing but, once restored, stocks would generate considerable profits nef claimed.


Rupert Crilly, environmental economics researcher at nef and lead author of the report, said all investment costs could be recovered within 4.6 years, with each year thereafter seeing a net benefit on the investment. The returns could reach £14 for every £1 invested.


Aniol Esteban, Head of Environmental Economics at nef, added: “In the context of the current EU debt crisis, these figures speak for themselves. This is a no-catch investment that offers huge financial returns.


“Continued overfishing is bad for European economies. Restoring fish stocks means more jobs, more income for coastal communities, and less industry reliance on subsidies from taxpayers. It makes perfect economic and environmental sense.”