Overfishing Around The World: How It Impacts Our Seas & Livelihood

Unsustainable Fishing

Overfishing is when fish are caught quicker than their stock can be replenished. This causes a general decline in fish populations that could lead to their collapse.

A study conducted by the Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) revealed that there is a worrying global trend toward unsustainable fishing.

Now, 33% of the world's fish stocks are overfished. This number is rising every year & endangers both the marine ecosystem & the food security of people around the world.

Source: FAO

The Mediterranean Sea is the most overfished body of water in the world, with 62% of its fish stocks currently overfished & in imminent danger of being depleted.

Source: United Nations

The Fishing Sector

Overfishing is the greatest danger to coral reefs & 55% of coral reefs affected around the globe. Algae can develop unrestrained & eventually suffocate corals when a fish population falls.

One of the most harmful fishing methods is blast fishing, which uses explosives to stun or kill schools of fish for easy collection. This can cause  physical destruction to large sections of algae & coral reefs. One explosion from blast fishing can obliterate 64 square feet of reef.

The majority of places around the globe have no or very little control over their fishing sector. Because of this, fishing fleet methods & operations are hardly ever observed.

70% of the surface of the Earth is covered by oceans.

Millions of people, particularly in poorer nations, rely on fishing for a living, while billions rely on fish as a food supply.

The EU & Overfishing

The EU fisheries management system serves 3 purposes. It provides for the preservation of fish stock reproduction. It creates the environment for a successful fishing sector & also sets annual catch limits for most commercial fish stocks.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) reached an agreement on fisheries subsidies in 2022.

The agreement banned subsidies for fisheries engaged in illegal or unreported fishing, fisheries targeting overfished stocks & fisheries in unregulated international waters where fishing is not yet managed by an intergovernmental organisation.

Source: European Council

The Need To Protect Our Planet

For example, fishing fleets might avoid locations where there are laws because there are little to no rules surrounding fishing methods in international waters.

A healthy planet requires thriving marine life & aquatic organisms in general. 80% of the oxygen we breathe is thought to be produced by marine phytoplankton (small ocean plants) through photosynthesis.

Protecting the oceans implies protecting ourselves because the marine life is part of the planet's lungs. The public should be more aware of what’s going on & the authorities need to regulate better to continue to save our planet.

Source: CNN

What Do You Think Should Be Done To Prevent Overfishing?

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