Overfishing is one of the biggest threats to the health of our oceans. Fishing in itself is not a problem, but excessive fishing is: simply put, we are taking out much more than the seas can naturally replace. Excessive fishing is dangerously depleting fish stocks and is exacerbated by the problem of bycatch. Commercial fishing practices are now so effective, and so unselective, that millions of tons of unwanted animals die needlessly each year, including hundreds of thousands of loggerhead and leatherback turtles as well as small whales and dolphins, and many millions of sharks.
With over 90 species of fish in European waters threatened with extinction due to overfishing, the collapse of global fisheries predicted within the next 30 years, and many populations in developing countries deprived of the fish they rely on as a source of protein and income, something needs to change, and fast.
There are solutions that can be implemented at every level, from individual to global. Governmental organizations are working on enforcing catch and bycatch limits, creating more protected areas, regulating subsidies and combatting illegal fishing, but as informed and responsible consumers we can play an important part in turning the tide.