Skip to main content

How $50 billion can be found in fishing -- if the world does it better

By Ivana Kottasova, CNN
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Fisheries contribute more than $270 billion to global GDP, employing hundreds of millions of people around the world. Pictured here is a Sorong fish port located in Indonesia's Papua region, where the combination of climate change, overfishing and pollution is destroying ecosystems. Fisheries contribute more than $270 billion to global GDP, employing hundreds of millions of people around the world. Pictured here is a Sorong fish port located in Indonesia's Papua region, where the combination of climate change, overfishing and pollution is destroying ecosystems.
HIDE CAPTION
Global fishing in numbers
Global fishing in numbers
Global fishing in numbers
Global fishing in numbers
Global fishing in numbers
Global fishing in numbers
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A new report backed by Prince Charles says fisheries could bring $50 billion
  • The aim is to bring in businesses and transform the way the conservation efforts are funded
  • Prince Charles: "Economy and ecology do not have to be locked into an irreconcilable struggle"

(CNN) -- Oceans around the globe could inject an extra $50 billion into the world's economy -- if fisheries were sustainably managed, a new report backed by Prince Charles shows.

Prince Charles, a keen environmentalist, hosted a meeting in London Thursday bringing together representatives of the fishing industry, governments, campaigning groups and investors. The aim was to transform the way the conservation efforts are funded -- from philanthropic and public sources of money, to business investment.

"Success would provide a much-needed example of how to regenerate our planet's dangerously depleted, threadbare and under-performing natural capital while also providing a realistic economic return," Prince Charles said.

Scottish wild salmon fishing at risk
Lifeblood of Namibia: Thriving fisheries
Fishing port transformed for the future

Fisheries contribute more than $270 billion to global GDP and employ hundreds of millions of people around the world, according to the report from the Prince of Wales charity. An additional $160 billion comes from related businesses, such as ship building or fish processing industries.

But environmentalists argue the world's oceans are being exploited, and that will eventually cost the industry billions. The report points to the Canadian Grand Banks cod fisheries, where unsustainable fishing led to its collapse, as an example of the impact.

The report argues global demand for fish and seafood have pushed prices up since early 2000s -- but stocks have remained constrained. It says sustainable fishing would ensure a bigger and healthier fish stock, producing yields in the longer term.

"Oceans are the single most important resource in human history," Fred Krupp, the President of Environmental Defence Fund said. "We can transform our oceans into a sustainable, enduring resource -- one that provides more fish in the sea, more food on the plate, and more economic prosperity," he said.

The Global Ocean Commission has also sounded warnings about the high seas, saying in June that there was a risk of exploitation in oceans outside national jurisdictions.

"There are 'too many boats trying to catch too few fish' yet, despite this clear overcapacity, governments still grant at least US$30 billion a year in fisheries subsidies," the commission said.

The commission said the majority of sustainable fishing in these waters is done by only 10 countries -- most of them developed countries that can afford subsidizing the expensive operations of sending large boats into remote corners of the oceans.

"Economy and ecology do not have to be locked into an irreconcilable struggle," the Prince said.

Prince Charles, along with the Environmental Defense Fund and a fisheries network 50in10, is now calling for investors to transform the industry into a more sustainable model -- and find that extra $50 billion.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 0952 GMT (1752 HKT)
Jim Boulden on the future of online shopping.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0842 GMT (1642 HKT)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is Turkey's new president . So can he revitalize its economic fortunes?
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The European Union is stepping in to save its dairy from going sour.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 1236 GMT (2036 HKT)
Europe's deteriorating relationship with Russia has hit the region's growth, even before new food sanctions begin to bite.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
With cyberattacks on the rise and here to stay, it's a modern-day challenge for people and businesses to get smarter about preventing them.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
Airstrikes, rebels seizing control of oil fields, plus a severe refugee crisis are a recipe for market panic. So why are Iraq oil prices stable?
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1524 GMT (2324 HKT)
Evidence points to pro-Russian separatists as perpetrators of the attack and Vladimir Putin is facing uncomfortable questions, David Clark writes.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1440 GMT (2240 HKT)
The biggest Ebola outbreak in history is taking its toll in Western Africa, hitting some of West Africa's most vulnerable economies.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 0902 GMT (1702 HKT)
Macau has overtaken Switzerland in the wealth stakes, being named the world's fourth richest territory by the World Bank.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1447 GMT (2247 HKT)
Saudi Arabian Bateel brand is best known for its delectable dates but it now has more than a dozen cafes and a new bakery in the works.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
A British nanotech company has created what it says is the world's darkest material. It is so dark the human eye can't discern its shape and form.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1602 GMT (0002 HKT)
Jibo robot is designed to be an organizer, educator and assist family members. CNN's Maggie Lake met him and says she was impressed with his skills.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 2109 GMT (0509 HKT)
American burger joints have sprung up all over London, but how to know which ones are best? CNN's Jim Boulden investigates.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
Sandwiched in between Iraq and Syria, Jordan's destiny seems to be one of a constant struggle for survival. John Defterios explains.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
At the last football World Cup, it was all about 3D. This time around, it's nothing less than 4K.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
Bob Mazzer has photographed inside London's Tube network for 40 years. He's captured history.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1712 GMT (0112 HKT)
Exotic animals are becoming a profitable business opportunity for Nicaraguan entrepreneurs. CNN's Rafael Romo reports.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
Iraq produces 3.3 million barrels per day and has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves. But the current crisis is putting all this in danger.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
Sandwiched in between Iraq and Syria, Jordan's destiny seems to be one of a constant struggle for survival. John Defterios explains.
June 16, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
The gas standoff between Russia and Ukraine could have a knock-on effect on Europe. Explore this map to find out why is the EU nervous.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
Bob Mazzer has photographed inside London's Tube network for 40 years. He's captured history.
June 17, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
The UK capital promotes its tech stars and shows it can compete with Silicon Valley. Here are five companies that pitch to make it big.
ADVERTISEMENT