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Five reasons why we need to stop overfishing globally

Responsible Business | Feb 27, 2019


With worldwide demand for seafood expected to double in the next two decades, a switch to sustainable fishing practices needs to implemented today. Overfishing has taken a terrible toll on our oceans, threatening fish stocks and the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on them. Ocean campaigns are needed around the world to create responsible fishing policy and stop overfishing through the establishment of science-based catch limits, ending harmful fishing subsidies and reducing illegal fishing.

Below you will find 5 reasons why we need to put a stop to overfishing globally:

1. Fish stocks need time to recover

Photo credit: Unsplash

Over just 40 years there has been a decrease recorded in marine species of 39%.

Overfishing has risen to such an extent that many of the fish species have either become extinct or are at the verge of extinction. Modern day technology and hi-tech equipment has made it easy to catch a larger number of fish in a shorter span of time and with minimal effort. The doomed fate of fish stocks could be avoided if we remove old economic management models and replace them with scientifically informed incentives.

2. More benefits for fishermen

Photo credit: Pexels

For 90% of small-scale fishermen, fish makes up the basis of their income as well as an important part of their daily nutrition.

Due to continuous overfishing of the seas, not only are many species stocks endangered, millions of people who already have very little in life are also being robbed of food and the chance of a regular income. Stakeholders need to reform fisheries management globally, focusing on sustainable practices that conserve ecosystems, but also sustain livelihoods and ensure food security.

3. Help fight climate change

Photo credit: Pexels

It is estimated that the ocean has absorbed over 90 per cent of human-induced global warming.

As climate change brings these new challenges there are even more reasons to be very careful with what we eat and what we catch to protect the oceans and their future. Consider what is happening to coastal areas where human activities impact fisheries causing pollution and ecosystem degradation. Increased vulnerability is expected, as bad weather and extreme meteorological events cause increased safety risks while fishing and loss of days at sea.

4. Reduce ocean pollution

Photo credit: Pixabay

Densely populated coasts, a high influx of tourists and increasing maritime traffic are responsible for 95% of the floating plastic in our oceans.

Fishing activities can take a toll on the marine environment beyond the removal of fish. Among the major culprits: oil drilling, energy installations, coastal development and construction of ports, dams, water flow management for aquaculture that destroy mangroves and/or other natural environments. Political will is needed to implement the new and rigorous policy reforms and to set fishing limits that do not exceed scientific advice.

5. Need greater transparency

Photo credit: Unsplash

More than two-thirds of nations do not include ocean issues and resources in their climate action plans.

All companies must adopt greater transparency and improved sustainability practices, regardless of location, country of origin or existing levels of transparency and sustainability. Setting fishing limits that do not exceed scientific advice would make global fisheries management more rational and predictable.

The 6th Responsible Business Forum on Food & Agriculture will convene on 26 – 27 March 2019 featuring over 400 food, agriculture and nutrition decision makers from companies, governments, investors, NGOs and farmers, to discuss innovation in value chains for food and nutrition security.


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