Are You Contributing To Overfishing in Your Environment?

fishIf I asked you what the biggest threat to our ocean was at this very moment in time, the odds of you saying something like the improper discarding of our trash, or dangerous chemicals from the products we use, would probably be quite high. These two things are indeed a danger to the ocean, but in actuality, there is a bigger threat to the wildlife in the water, and that is overfishing.

The act of overfishing is rapidly depleting the marine life around us. For instance, there is an estimated 90 percent of all large, predatory fish that are extinct from the oceans worldwide today, when compared to as little as a decade ago. If these trends continue, then there will be a collapse of the world’s fisheries by the year 2050.

If these trends are true and we continue as we are, there will be no fish left. This would then mean a decline in the overall health of the world as we know it, due to the tremendous health benefits that can be found in most fish. For the sake of our health and the level of healthy marine life in our oceans, we should look to consume seafood in a more sustainable manner.

What exactly does that mean, and how is it done? Well, sustainable seafood refers to a particular type of fish or species that are only caught or farmed with methods that ensure the health of the population stability of that species, and the overall marine ecosystem.

Overfishing

Because the consumption of seafood has more than doubled in the last three decades worldwide, it means that there are close to 160 million tons of seafood being harvested form the world’s oceans each year. With the number of overall improvements in terms of technology related to the way we fish, we are better able to remove organisms from the ocean with much less effort than ever before. With this said, there is now even more immense pressure on the ocean to maintain the balance among its inhabitants. We are now close to consuming the last 10 percent of the popularly-consumed species of fish, such as tuna and swordfish, as they are struggling to reproduce at a rate that is satisfactory to the demand we put on them.

Bycatch

Close to 40 percent of the fish that are caught in a humane way, do nothing to contribute to the sustainability of the fish. This is because this 40 percent accounts for the fish that are discarded, and it is referred to as bycatch. Everything from undersized fish, inedible species of fish and even endangered species, fall into the bycatch category. The majority of those discarded and tossed back into the water, simply do not survive.

It is important to understand how your seafood has been harvested; to contribute to your own health, the health of the environment, and to do your part to keep the fish species intact, look to purchase fish that are caught with sustainable means, and farmed in a way that gives the fish population a fighting chance at still being around for years to come.

 


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Orin Zebest

 

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