Overfishing: endangering the sea… endangering humanity
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, about 1 billion people, largely in developing countries, rely on fish as their primary animal protein source. Not only are the oceans depended on as a staple food, but also as a source of income. However, these people are left increasingly vulnerable as our oceans’ supply of edible sea creatures diminishes hastily by the second.
With the increasing development of technology in our world today, the ships and facilities used for fishing has excelled the fishing industry into becoming a multimillion-dollar business. Fishermen are now able to explore areas of the world’s oceans that have never been reached before, increasing their supply in order to meet the growing demands for seafood. Although, despite the mass success of the fishing industry, overfishing and destructive fishing practices have also increased, causing a “decline of 49% in the size of marine populations globally over the course of a single generation”. Consequently, with the growing depreciation in the aquamarine populace, the time for seafood businesses to commit to sustainability has never been so crucial, particularly with the expectation that global seafood demand will grow another 50m tonnes by 2025.
If no action were to be taken, not only will our oceans lack a community, but also fishermen and fisheries will go out of business, as there will be no more productive fish left to catch. Those in developing countries will particularly suffer as their main source of food decreases whilst starvation increases. Overfishing has caused many closures in fisheries worldwide: “more than 85% of the world’s fisheries have been pushed to or beyond their biological limits and are in need of strict management plans to restore them”, one of these being the Atlantic Canadian Cod Fishery in the 1990s. The protection of livelihoods and continuance of fishing businesses cannot be guaranteed whilst overfishing consumes our waters, however it can guarantee the wastage of big investments and a rise in unemployment. Reducing fishery activities allows for fish to procreate throughout generations until the world, and most importantly our seas, is provided with a healthy supply of seafood once again.
Billions of people in our world are reliant on fish for protein and as a principal for their livelihood. However, with unsustainable fishing practices, many fish stock are currently being pushed to the point of collapse. It is therefore vital that our fisheries focus on sustainable practices to sustain livelihoods, ensure food security and conserve ecosystems.
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