Regulating access to fisheries freezing the fishing fleets
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Excess fishing capacity in world fisheries is of increasing concern, as it contributes considerably to overfishing, the degradation of marine fisheries resources and habitats, and can be considered as a significant economic misuse. The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries specifies that States should take measures to prevent or eliminate excess fishing capacity and ensure that levels of fishing effort are commensurate with sustainable use of fishery resources. The main reason behind the worldwide overcapitalization in fisheries is unlimited access to the resources. A discussion is presented on fishing capacity, its control, and fishing rights. It is concluded that, although only a small first step toward the serious management of fishing capacity, the freezing of fishing capacity is urgently required to avoid further acceleration of the depletion of resources. Provided that both the relevant governmental agencies and local communities get proper assistance, and that the use of indicators to understand the status of each fishery on a case by case basis is promoted, these future management actions will definitely help to match fishing capacity with sustainable yields.