overfishing tagged posts

Global Deal Will Help Reduce Overfishing and Improve Ocean Health

World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Timur Suleimenov, deputy chief of staff for Kazakhstan's president, close the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference on 17 June 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland, where WTO members adopted an historic agreement to curb fisheries subsidies.

When the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) 12th Ministerial Conference closed at dawn on 17 June 2022, the 164-member intergovernmental body had finally adopted a fisheries subsidies agreement after 21 years of on-and-off discussions and negotiations.

The WTO’s Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies is a historic step towards tackling one of the key drivers of overfishing on the world’s ocean harmful subsidies nations pay to commercial fishing operators to help keep their businesses profitable. 

One-third of fish stocks worldwide are exploited beyond sustainable levels, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The $22 billion a year in government subsidies are helping drive this overfishing; the funds go primarily to industrial fishing fleets to artifici...

Read More

EU Vessels Linked to Illegal Fishing in the Indian Ocean

Spanish and French fishing vessels were found to have been illegally fishing in the exclusive economic zones of Somalia, India and Mozambique, claims a new report by the Blue Marine Foundation, an NGO dedicated to marine conservation. The EU is the biggest tuna harvester in the Indian Ocean, with France and Spain accounting for most of the catches.

The two operate sizeable distant-water fleets that engage in purse seining, large-scale industrial fishing, which poses threat not only to the target species but also – due to large amounts of bycatch it produces – endangers marine life in general.

The Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) were established by the UN in 1982 and are reserved for the exclusive use by individual sovereign nations...

Read More

How might fishing be impacting the carbon cycle?

Evidence is starting to build that fishing affects the way the ocean takes up carbon from the atmosphere, affecting climate change. The ocean is part of the global ‘carbon cycle’, which shifts carbon between reservoirs including plants, soil, water bodies, and the atmosphere. The ocean is largely a ‘sink’ of carbon, drawing it out of the atmosphere and reducing levels of carbon dioxide, which affect global warming.

However, there are many ways the ocean’s carbon sinking powers can be disrupted, and the possibility that fishing is causing significant impacts has recently been in the research spotlight.

Dr Emma Cavan, from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial, and Dr Simeon Hill, from the British Antarctic Survey, have just published a new paper in Global Change Biolo...

Read More

Is Netflix’s Seaspiracy film right about fishing damaging oceans?

A documentary about the fishing industry’s impact on sea life and the oceans has caused a lot of debate. Many viewers have been saying they will no longer eat fish after watching the film, and expressed shock at the industrial scale of fishing. Others have argued it oversimplifies a complex issue – many communities depend on fishing for their livelihoods and for food, and are in fact practising sustainable catching methods.

We looked into some of the main claims in the Seaspiracy film on Netflix. 

Claim: Oceans will be ‘virtually empty’ by 2048

“If current fishing trends continue, we will see virtually empty oceans by the year 2048,” says Ali Tabrizi, the film’s director and narrator. 

The claim originally comes from a 2006 study – and the film refers to a New York Times art...

Read More

Overfishing: Can We Ever Reverse the Damage We’ve Done

The global numbers regarding fishing have gone from sustainable to straight-up devastating in just a few decades. Now, the creatures of the water have to fear about two more things in addition to human-made disasters – the rising water temperatures and plastic. There is no harm in fishing. It actually helps the marine ecosystem by keeping the aquatic population in check. But there is a difference between justified consumption and exploitation. And it seems that the differences are just a blur to us.

How severe is overfishing?

In just half a century, over-fished stocked grew triple its size. Its effects pushed one-third of the global fisheries to their biological limits.

Even if one species of fish gets wiped off from the earth, it is going to have a very drastic effect on the marine e...

Read More

The sea is running out of fish, despite nations’ pledges to stop it

A worker uses a mallet to dislodge frozen tuna aboard a Chinese cargo vessel docked at the port of General Santos, in the Philippines.

As global fish stocks that feed hundreds of millions of people dwindle, nations are scrambling to finalize by year’s end an international agreement to ban government subsidies that fuel overfishing. Yet as negotiations at the World Trade Organization resume this week in Geneva, Switzerland, new research shows that governments have actually increased financial support for fishing practices that decimate marine life, despite public pledges to curtail such handouts.

In an exhaustive survey of 152 countries, scientists at the University of British Columbia found that ocean-faring nations spent $22 billion on harmful subsidies in 2018, or 63 percent of the total amount expended to support the global fishing industry.

That’s a 6 percent rise since 2009...

Read More

Baltic Sea fishing quotas denounced by NGOs, campaigners

Close up on Baltic Sea

Conservation groups have expressed concern over the 2020 Baltic Sea fishing quotas set by the EU’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH). Total allowable catches (TACs) set by AGRIFISH fall well above the sustainable limits recommended by scientific advisors, despite a clause of the Common Fisheries Policy which commits the EU to meet sustainable fishing levels by 2020.

Andrea Ripol, Fisheries Policy Officer for the marine conservation NGO collective Seas at Risk, said: “It is outrageous that despite the legally binding deadline to stop overfishing for all fish stocks by 2020, European Fisheries Ministers have set five out of ten fishing quotas for 2020 for the Baltic Sea beyond the legal requirements for sustainable fishing levels...

Read More

Avoid North Sea cod to sustain fish stocks

fish and chips dinner in newspaper

Consumers are being urged to steer clear of North Sea cod and wild Atlantic salmon – and eat more herring, plaice and hake – in a fresh attempt to alleviate pressure on threatened stocks. The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) will publish its updated 2019 Good Fish Guide this week, setting out which is the most sustainable seafood and what to avoid in order to help safeguardat-risk species in UK waters.

Cod from the North Sea has been awarded a red rating this year – moving back on to the society’s fish to avoid list – while UK sea-caught seabass has been removed from that list after stocks recovered.

Last week the Marine Stewardship Council announced that it was suspending its “blue tick” certification of North Sea cod after a dramatic decline in the population, which means it ...

Read More

Why Overfishing Must Stop

Overfishing means to deplete the stock of fish, in other words, fish the ocean to its limits. Overfishing is one of the many problems in the world but unfortunately not a lot of people know about this problem. 

Overfishing causes problems in the food chain, since fish are a big factor and consumers in the food chain fishing too much can turn into a big problem. People in some parts of the world are experiencing invasive species such as rays and jellyfish and the cause is… overfishing. 

Fish help the ocean become healthier. Coral reefs help with the biodiversity in the seas by offering homes for all kinds of marine species, fish help the coral reefs by eating sea urchins, weeds, and stop diseases from spending.

Protecting fish is important so they can live and help balance the e...

Read More

Award-winning Smart Drones to Take on Illegal Fishing

Fish are seen in a fish market near the canal of Port Said, Egypt, March 18, 2018.

Drones guided by artificial intelligence to catch boats netting fish where they shouldn’t were among the winners of a marine protection award on Friday and could soon be deployed to fight illegal fishing, organizers said. The award-winning project aims to help authorities hunt down illegal fishing boats using drones fitted with cameras that can monitor large swaths of water autonomously.

Illegal fishing and overfishing deplete fish stocks worldwide, causing billions of dollars in losses a year and threatening the livelihoods of rural coastal communities, according to the United Nations.

The National Geographic Society awarded the project, co-developed by Morocco-based company ATLAN Space, and two other innovations $150,000 each to implement their plans as it marked World Oceans Day on Fri...

Read More