Overfishing | Save Our Seas Foundation One in five people on this planet depends on fish as the primary source of protein. —Food and Agriculture Organization "We are in the situation where 40 years down the line we, effectively, are out of fish." —Pavan Sukhdev, UN Environment Programme Overview Overfishing occurs when fish and other marine species are caught faster than they can reproduce. Sustainable fishing The statistics are grim: 3/4 of the world's fish stocks are being harvested faster than they can reproduce. The most prized species are already disappearing. Case study: Atlantic bluefin tuna They can weigh over half a ton, grow to over four metres in length, and dive to depths of 1,000 metres. Bluefin tuna are unique, perfectly-adapted products of evolution. Coveted for their dense, dark red meat used in sushi (where it is known as “toro”), bluefin support an unsustainable $7.2 billion industry that has driven tuna stocks to the brink of collapse. Bycatch Remedies What can be done? In practical terms, this means:
How Bad Is Overfishing & What Can We Do To Stop It? photo: Jim G via flickr By now you'd have to have been living on a desert island by yourself with an imaginary coconut companion to not know that overfishing is a serious problem for all the world's oceans. The good news is, though the future for fish looks pretty dire if we keep up how we've been fishing, we already have seen conservation successes to show the way forward and stop overfishing.Just so we're all on the same page though, let's set out the state of the problem first. Global Fish Stocks to Collapse by 2050 at Current Exploitation RatesPerhaps the first thing to wrap your head around is just how to measure the problem. When the only official global statistics available for fisheries are based on self-reported data by nations and three- to four-fold underestimations are common, according to independent scientific assessments, the magnitude is hard to fully gauge. The key difference between past ages and now is that in the past there was always another area to move on to.
Bycatch | Threats | WWF Bycatch occurs because modern fishing gear is very efficient, often covers an extensive area, and can be highly unselective—it catches not only the target species but many other marine animals as well. Poor fisheries management in certain countries further contributes to the problem. Widespread pirate fishing ignores regulations on net mesh sizes, quotas, permitted fishing areas and other bycatch mitigation measures. NON-SELECTIVE FISHING GEARFishing gear is largely non-selective—any species can be caught, including non-target species. Longlines, trawling and the use of gillnets are the fishing methods that most commonly result in bycatch. With trawling, boats drag large nets along the seabed, catching almost everything in their path.
Coasts and seas Human activities are causing unprecedented environmental changes for coastal and marine ecosystems. Pressures from fishing, pollution from land- and sea-based sources, urbanisation, loss and degradation of valuable habitat, and invasions of non-native species are growing worldwide. All these impacts are likely to be exacerbated by the changing climate. More Observed global mean sea level rise has accelerated over the past 15 years. Unsustainable fishing occurs in all European Seas and is threatening the viability of European fish stocks. 21 to 60% of the commercial fish stocks in the North-East Atlantic, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean are considered to be outside... more Sea surface temperatures and sea level are rising and likely to rise further. Nutrient enrichment is a major problem in the coastal and marine environment, where it accelerates the growth of phytoplankton and can lead to oxygen depletion.
Overfishing "There's enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed" - Mahatma Gandhi For our children to have future income, food and pleasure we need healthy oceans and a healthy fishing industry. We need to create ocean sanctuaries to improve the state of our oceans and our fish populations. We need to vastly improve the way we fish, so it is not wasteful and damaging, but first we urgently need to stop taking fish faster than our oceans can replenish. But common sense is not working at the moment. Here are some facts and figures that may shock you: 63 percent of global fish stocks are now considered overfished. 40,000 jobs were lost with the collapse of just one overfished cod populationFishing fleets are heading to new waters because they have exhausted their old hunting grounds The fishing industry now has vessels that can go further, stay longer and catch more, easily out-fishing nature’s ability to replenish fish.
Oceans fit for the future We stand with everyone who wants healthy oceans for our children, who want marine life to thrive and the fishing industry to give jobs and a future for millions. We will be part of the movement that works to create and protect clean seas that bring life to our planet. Healthy oceans can fight many impacts of climate change. Scientists warn the subsequent rising sea levels will flood low-lying land and wipe out entire islands in our lifetime. Letting science and common sense determine how many fish we can catch instead of allowing greedy industries and politicians to decide would end overfishing overnight! The fishermen know it too, but rather than slow down, the majority of fishing companies are still netting and hooking faster than the fish can reproduce and we are already driving entire populations to collapse. Let’s make piracy history. And it is not just the masked sailors at sea who are stealing food from poor communities; it’s the company bosses on land as well.
Obama to order ocean protections with executive powers, Kerry says | Environment The US secretary of state, John Kerry, says saving the world's oceans was a vital security issue, and has urged leaders at an international summit to take immediate action on overfishing and pollution. Kerry, speaking at the start of the summit, said humans had caused “enormous damage” to the oceans, jeopardising the food security of three billion people on the planet. The two-day conference includes officials from 80 countries, and is the most visible effort to date by the Obama administration to lead a global conservation effort for the oceans. Kerry called on leaders to take immediate steps on overfishing, pollution, and changes in ocean chemistry caused by rising carbon dioxide emissions. “No one should mistake that the protection of our oceans is a vital international security issue,” Kerry said. “Most people under-estimate the enormous damage we as people are inflicting on our oceans every single day.” Other leaders were also expected to do their part.
Overfishing -- Pristine Seas -- National Geographic Ocean overfishing is simply the taking of wildlife from the sea at rates too high for fished species to replace themselves. The earliest overfishing occurred in the early 1800s when humans, seeking blubber for lamp oil, decimated the whale population. Some fish that we eat, including Atlantic cod and herring and California's sardines, were also harvested to the brink of extinction by the mid-1900s. Highly disruptive to the food chain, these isolated, regional depletions became global and catastrophic by the late 20th century. When It Started Marine scientists know when widespread overfishing of the seas began. In the mid-20th century, international efforts to increase the availability and affordability of protein-rich foods led to concerted government efforts to increase fishing capacity. But by 1989, when about 90 million tons (metric tons) of catch were taken from the ocean, the industry had hit its high-water mark, and yields have declined or stagnated ever since. When It Will End
UK cod collapse due to overfishing and political failure, says fisheries expert | Environment Cod stocks in the Irish Sea and the west coast of Scotland have collapsed because of overfishing and politicians' refusal to fix low enough catch quotas, according to a leading fisheries scientist who advises the European commission on fish quotas. Dr Paul Connolly's comments followed the European commission's decision on Wednesday to recommend for the first time that all fishing cod in the two sea areas is stopped. The commission has previously stopped short of pushing for such draconian measures in such a wide area of sea because of the political difficulty of placing a ban on fishing such a key species. Connolly, who is the director of Fisheries Science Services at the Marine Institute in Galway, advises the commission on "total allowable catches" and in 2013 is due to take over as president of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), the oldest marine scientific body. He said: "Continuous over-fishing has led to a collapse in cod in both these areas.
Overfishing | Threats Overfishing occurs when more fish are caught than the population can replace through natural reproduction. Gathering as many fish as possible may seem like a profitable practice, but overfishing has serious consequences. The results not only affect the balance of life in the oceans, but also the social and economic well-being of the coastal communities who depend on fish for their way of life. Billions of people rely on fish for protein, and fishing is the principal livelihood for millions of people around the world. More than 30 percent of the world's fisheries have been pushed beyond their biological limits and are in need of strict management plans to restore them. Many fishers are aware of the need to safeguard fish populations and the marine environment, however illegal fishing and other regulatory problems still exist.