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Big Box Fisheries & Misplaced Priorities

The classic battle being fought around the country between Big Box Stores and Mom & Pop Shops has transcended our coastlines and sailed into the global fisheries industry. Whether we have a predisposition for supporting underdogs, or strive to preserve tradition, we seem to harbor a connection to small local businesses and feel dismayed by their impending decline.

Unfortunately cheap prices and a wide variety ultimately sway consumers with misplaced priorities towards corporate giants… which in our oceans translate to overfishing, unprecedented bycatch, and environmental impacts. Instead of stepping aside as large-scale fisheries continue to dominate the waters, perhaps a trend reversal is in order. Could phasing out “Big Box” fisheries be a solution that ultimately reduces global bycatch, capitol costs and fuel consumption while simultaneously increasing social benefits such as jobs?

According to Dr. Pauly, “Indeed, I argue that the best path toward sustainable fisheries worldwide would be to phase out industrial fisheries in favor of artisanal fisheries, which have a much better track record of sustainability (Conservation Magazine: July-September 2007. Vol. 8, No. 3).”

Scott Artis
Scott serves as Director of Development & Communications for Audubon Canyon Ranch (focusing on preservation, education and conservation science) and has almost fifteen years of experience spanning for-profit and nonprofit sectors in biotech, wildlife conservation and management, communications, and philanthropy. In addition to a strong track record in organizational growth and leadership, he is the founder of Urban Bird Foundation and Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, and presided over ECHO Fund, a coastal protection and restoration organization, as President for four years. Scott holds an M.A. in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development and Policy, degrees in Micro & Molecular Biology and Environmental Sciences, and has complemented his studies with a Master's certificate in Environmental Resource Management.


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