Journal of Aquaculture, Fisheries & Fish Science (JAFFS)
Fishing Effort and the Evolving Nature of its EfficiencySubmit Manuscript on this topic
We have become efficient fishers. From our ancestors’ spears, we improved our fishing techniques by casting nets and setting traps and using our knowledge of the dynamics of water and the life that occurs in it. Boats revolutionized our access to resources and enabled us to go after preferred food species for daily subsistence beyond our shoreline. Boats enabled us to catch more than necessary for subsistence, and catching more meant we could barter fish for grain or for meat. From the moment that we realized that fishing brought revenue, the fate of the world’s marine resources was cast. Our capacity to invent efficient fishing gears and techniques is limitless, and has reached a point where we can go out to the high seas and dig into the depths of the oceans, exploiting resources previously inaccessible to us. Fishing techniques evolved over centuries. Improvements had one major objective: to catch as much as possible with as little effort as necessary. This development had both positive and negative effects, with increased catches being supplied to the world’s markets, but with the destructive aftermath of fishing operations on vulnerable marine habitats.
In this research topic, we seek to understand the evolution of fishing effort, notably in coastal artisanal fisheries. We encourage contributions that will present time-series analyses of fishing effort (for example, catch per unit of effort) by geographic region, with emphasis on fisheries that are important in these regions and their impact on coastal habitats or on the functioning of those ecosystems. We are also interested in contributions that will look at the evolution of artisanal fishing techniques (including as influenced by industrial fishing practices) over time, and their impact on coastal habitats and biodiversity. Contributions that investigate the sustainability of current levels of fishing effort and their impact on food security are particularly encouraged. Although our focus will remain with quantitative time-series analyses, we would also accept contributions that can provide historical backgrounds to trends in fishing effort, for instance, changes triggered by events inland that impact on coastal demographic trends. Finally, we would like to see more contributions from areas where fishing effort data are sparse, and where this research topic might be of greatest use.