The fallacy of the "inexhaustible sea"
Unsustainable fishing is putting our oceans under increasing pressure
The key issues of concern:
- Pirate fishing: illegal or IUU fishing (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing) is a serious global threat and one of the main impediments to achieve sustainable fisheries. IUU fishing represents a major loss of income, particularly to poor fishing communities who depend on fishing for food and livelihood.
- Poor Management and implementation of legislation: for many fisheries around the world, existing rules are not sufficiently monitored and controlled, while fishing capacity and efforts are not appropriately limited.
- Irresponsible financing: the global fishing industry is losing more than 50 billion dollars a year in potential benefits due to poor management that create overfishing (eg. fleet overcapacity.) The transition to more sustainable fishing needs to be supported by a strong financial framework that addresses the fishing crisis and marine ecosystem loss.
- Poor fishing and procurement practices: Bycatch (species caught unintentionally in a fishery whilst trying to catch other fish) and bottom trawling (a fishing technique that drags a heavy net across the seabed) are two examples of unsustainable fishing practices and destructive gear. Also, many fish processors, buyers and retailers don´t know where the fish they are selling comes from or if it meets sustainability criteria.
Some of the facts
- Western stocks of bluefin tuna have declined by 90% since the1970s
- With only 100 left, the world´s rarest dolphin, the Maui dolphin, is almost extinct
- Illegal fishing makes up an estimated 15 to 20 %of the world's total catch.
- We are losing species as well as entire marine ecosystems resulting in the collapse of our marine biodiversity.
- Fish is a high-value food source on which many communities depend for their income and as a source of protein. If we continue to fish the way we do, we will end up without our favorite fish dish in future.
- Fishermen are facing unfair competition and fishing communities are running out of business due to IUU fishing.