Fishing Human Rights

Human Rights and the Sustainability of Fisheries (Sara G. Lewis, Aurora Alifano, Mariah Boyle, Marc Mangel)


Capture fisheries and aquaculture production—like other industries—rely upon functioning environmental and social systems, and interdependencies between those systems mean human beings must be considered when addressing issues of environmental conservation. Although there can be legitimate disagreement about the level of a fished stock consistent with a well-managed fishery, the international norm is clearly that commercial industries, such as fisheries, should not participate in slavery or other human rights abuses. Human rights and labor abuses within seafood supply chains have been exposed both at land and at sea. In this chapter, we provide an overview of abuse aboard fishing vessels and use a simple bioeconomic model to illustrate the feedback between environmental degradation related to fishing activity and human rights. Following that we discuss the intersection of international and national regulations of human rights and show that in the overlap there is considerable room for more policy development with respect to human trafficking, forced labor, and modern slavery at sea. We close with a summary of public and private-sector initiatives that may help extend the reach of regulation beyond national boarders to reduce this worldwide problem.


Lewis, Sara G et al. (2017). Human Rights and the Sustainability of Fisheries. Conservation for the Anthropocene Ocean.


Sara G. Lewis, Aurora Alifano, Mariah Boyle, Marc Mangel

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