Definition of the "problem"

A growing human population requires increasingly more efficient management of our food resources. In the past it has been believed that the seas are an infinite resource, unfortunately this has proven to be a myth. Living marine resources are renewable, but production is finite. Harvests are at or above sustainable levels and aquaculture alone is not likely to provide a solution. The tradeoffs from overfishing are many, and recognized for the most part, yet most coastal fisheries are not being maintained at a sustainable level. The needs of those dependent on the fisheries are not being met. The problem is our failure to manage these commonly held resources - another example of Hardin's tragedy of the commons. We need to create practices of sustainable development to manage coastal fisheries as viable sources of food and livelihood, in addition to maintaining the inherent value of these living marine resources.

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