About 30 percent of commercially fished waters are now classified as 'overfished.'
Overfishing is a serious global problem that threatens ocean wildlife and biodiversity. The problem is further exacerbated by the ever-increasing global demand for fish, which has more than doubled since the 1980s.
According to the article, overfishing occurs when the breeding stock of an area becomes so depleted that the fish in the area cannot replenish themselves. At best, this means fewer fish next year than there are this year. At worst, it means that a particular species of fish can no longer be caught in a particular area due to its extinction.
Moreover, overfishing has several far-reaching consequences beyond the depletion of fish stocks. It can also lead to:
When there are fewer fish in the water, algae don’t get eaten.
As a result, the acidity of the world's oceans is increasing, negatively affecting not only the remaining fish but also reefs and plankton.
Overfishing can destroy fish populations and communities that once relied upon the fish that were there.
Overfishing is mostly done by large vessels and makes it harder for smaller ones to meet their quotas, Coty Perry writes in the article.
Ghost fishing refers to abandoned man-made fishing gear that is left behind. Unfortunately, the left behind gear may become a death trap for all marine creatures.
Several species of cod, tuna, halibut and even lobster are being pushed close to extinction by overfishing.
It is a fish or other marine creature that is caught unintentionally while fishing for specific species.
Even though more fish are being caught than ever, there is also a massive waste of harvested fish. For example, about 20 % of all fish in the United States is lost in the supply chain due to overfishing. In the Third World, this rises to 30 % due to a lack of available freezing devices.
Overfishing creates so-called mystery fish. There is a significant amount of fish at local fish markets that aren’t what they are labelled as. The author writes that only 13 percent of the ‘red snapper’ on the market is actually red snapper.
Ineffective regulation, unreported fishing, and even subsidies are the causes of the problem. Subsidies encourage overfishing since the more fish you catch, the more money you get. The University of British Columbia conducted a study that found that $22 billion (63 percent of all fishing subsidies) went toward subsidies that encourage overfishing.
Source: Arctic Portal.org;
The article ‘Overfishing Statistics: Data and Facts’ by Coty Perry
The editorial board of The Arctic Century