A new study co-authored by Simon Fraser University professor Isabelle Cote says high seas fishing should be stopped.
The study estimates the amount of fish caught in international high seas, versus the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that maritime countries claim resource rights.
It found that closing the high seas to fishing would have a minimal economic impact, as less than 1% of global fisheries take place in that region.
Since many fish stocks straddle both the high seas and EEZ’s, most fisheries would still be accessible.
Cote says intense fishing in the high seas has destroyed fish habitats and put stocks of tuna and swordfish at risk.
The study acknowledges some countries will lose out, but says many poor countries would benefit from such a ban.