Report Emphasises Need for More Action on Overfishing

14 July 2016, at 1:00am

GLOBAL - Ocean campaigning organisation Oceana has called for more action to combat falling fish stocks, as a new report revealed nearly 90 per cent of fish stocks are overfished.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its report on the state of world fisheries and aquaculture, known as SOFIA, last week.

Oceana said it regrets the new findings, which place overfished and fully-fished stocks at 89.5 per cent in 2016, compared to around 62-68 per cent in 2000.

“We now have a fifth more of global fish stocks at worrying levels than we did in 2000. The global environmental impact of overfishing is incalculable and the knock-on impact for coastal economies is simply too great for this to be swept under the rug any more,” said Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe.

In a parallel report published earlier this week on agriculture and fisheries, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) forecasts a growth in fish production of up to 17 per cent by 2025. However, due to declining fish stocks, only 1 per cent will come from fisheries, with aquaculture becoming the driving force behind this growth.

“The figures speak for themselves. Overfishing will knock wild, everyday fish from our dining tables replacing it with aquaculture and other seafood.

"Only through sustainable fisheries management and by ending overfishing will we really able to increase fish in our oceans and ensure seafood can be put on a plate for millions of people,” concluded Mr Gustavsson.

Further Reading

The full report, entitled 'The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 2016' is available here.