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#26 Overfishing

#26 Overfishing

Are you aware that In just 55 years – humans have managed to wipe out 90% of the oceans top predators? Fish is a staple food for people all over the world. For thousands of years people have been fishing the rivers and oceans for food – but with the growing population, demand and access to larger more efficient fishing boats, our oceans are being overfished.  

There’s Plenty of Fish in the Sea, Not Quite:

Overfishing is defined as fishing with a sufficiently high intensity to reduce the breeding stock levels to such an extent that they will no longer support a sufficient quantity of fish for sport or commercial harvest. Overfishing is creating great stress in our oceans and rivers by changing aquatic ecosystems. These impacts, can lead to the depletion of species that are imperative for the health of coral reefs and other marine habitats.

Fishing Facts:

  • A study of catch data, published in 2006, in The Journal of Science predicted if fishing rates continue at current rates, all the world’s fisheries will have collapsed by the year 2048.
  • 66% of the world’s fish are either overfished or have been depleted.
  • It is estimated up to 2.7 trillion wild fish are caught annually.
  • Fish account for 40% of all animal products consumed.
  • Bluefin Tuna has been fished to less than 5% of its original population.
  • Atlantic cod has been fished to near extinction. 
  • Sharks are at risk of overfishing due to the Asian delicacy, shark fin soup – where fins are harvested, and dead sharks are thrown back into the ocean.
Fishing Boats Docked

How can I make an impact:

Tier 1: Global Goodness

  • Know what’s on your plate. Find out whether it is wild caught or farmed raised. It is also important to know what types of fish are endangered. See if the fish you eat is being overfished by clicking here.
  • Cut down on your intake of fish. If you eat fish twice a week – switch to once a week and check the list above before purchasing. 
  • Make informed decisions when you shop.

Tier 2: Planet Protector

  • All of Tier 1
  • Spread the word. Share your knowledge about overfishing with social media, family and friends – so they too can make informed decisions.  
  • Write to your elected officials and tell them you are concerned with overfishing and destructive fishing methods. Ask for assistance in implementing stricter fishing policies.

Tier 3: Earth Angel

  • All of Tier 1 & 2
  • Stop consuming fish completely. This is the easiest way to prevent your part in the overfishing epidemic.  
  • Join an overfishing campaign – support organizations that are working to correct the issue. Do your research and support one that feels right to you.

Facts References: 

http://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/facts-on-overfishing
https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/overfishing
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/oceans/critical-issues-overfishing/
https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/everything-you-need-to-know-about-overfishing/
https://www.ecomagazine.com/news/regulation/overfishing-is-a-huge-problem-here-s-what-you-need-to-know
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelpellmanrowland/2017/07/24/seafood-sustainability-facts/

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