During the past 50 years the annual world seafood catch has more than quadrupled, as fishing fleets have added new technologies and ventured into previously unexploited regions.
Too many hooks in the water – that’s the problem with today’s fisheries. Working from small pole-and-line boats to (giant) industrial trawlers, fishermen remove more than 170 billion pounds of wildlife a year from the seas. A new study suggests that our current appetite could soon lead to a worldwide fisheries collapse.
Wealthier nations purchase most of the high-value species, often with governments from poorer nations entering into trade agreements where local fish are sold abroad and denied to the local citizens, who have the greatest need to eat them and the greatest right to claim them.
Today’s fishing and fish-farming practices are not sustainable. People who advocate maintaining the staus quo are failing to consider the ecological and economic ramifications.
By accurately measuring the impacts nations have on the sea, a new global study, Seafood Print, may lay the groundwork for effective change, making possible the rebuilding of the ocean’s dwindling wealth. Such a course could give the nations of the world the capability, in the not too distant future, to equitably share a truly bountiful, resurrected ocean, rather than greedily fight over the scraps that remain in the wake of a collapse.
Covering the seas, an issue guide written by Paul Greenberg