Today’s Solutions: October 24, 2021

During both world wars, the global demand for fish and seafood plummeted, forcing fishing fleets to stay at the docks while fish stocks rebounded. Now it seems a similar effect is coming into play as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The closure of restaurants and hotels, the main buyers of fish and seafood, together with the difficulties of maintaining social distancing among crews at sea have caused hundreds of fishing vessels to be tied up at ports around the world. Demand and prices have collapsed in Asia, home to some of the world’s largest seafood and fish markets. In Spain, which has the largest fleet in the European Union, half of the ships are staying in port.

The marine environment can only benefit from the reduced pressure on stocks, however. While evidence of a recovery in marine life is still anecdotal, increases in the presence of mammals such as killer whales, dolphins and seals have been recorded in areas where they hadn’t been seen in decades—mainly because noise and activity on the water have diminished. Looking to the past, scientists witnessed spectacular recoveries of marine life after both world wars stopped commercial fishing in its tracks. With boats tied up, it seems the same is happening now.

The lockdowns are likely to favor the recovery of species in the Mediterranean, which breed between March and May, and in the Atlantic, which breed between April and June. The impact will be seen within one or two years, though it will probably be less dramatic than the recovery after the world wars, which halted fishing for three to five years depending on the region, said Carlos Duarte, a research chair at the Red Sea Research Center in Saudi Arabia. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

These seaweed-inspired sensors use underwater currents to power themselves

Ocean protection increasingly relies on the internet of things (IoT) to gather essential data with the help of a variety of marine distributed sensors underwater. Most of these devices, however, have always been highly dependent ... Read More

Doctors complete first successful pig to human kidney transplant

For the first time ever, doctors at NYU Langone Health in New York City have successfully transplanted a pig kidney into a human. The primary function of this organ is to filter waste products and ... Read More

Vienna Tourist Board thwarts social media with unusual platform

The events of the past year or so have made us wonder: how much power should social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have over what we see, and what we are presented with? Due ... Read More

This sustainable pigment is made from sewage sludge

While it may be comforting to think that everything we send down the drain somehow magically disappears without leaving an ecological footprint behind, that is far from what actually happens. In reality, the process involves ... Read More

The Calm Line is Colombia’s anti-machismo hotline for men

Cultures that are deeply ingrained with the concept of machismo, or the belief that men must be dominant, often have issues surrounding abuse and violence against women. While there are many women-centered movements and support ... Read More

Benefits of the contraceptive pill include diabetes prevention

A study carried out at the University of Birmingham has found that contraceptive pills may offer more than just their primary role as birth control. It was found that for people with polycystic ovary syndrome ... Read More