Overfishing in a Nutshell

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 4:20 PM

Overfishing is a global issue that affects us all. There are many ways to describe overfishing, but what it boils down to is that as a society we are catching too much fish for the system to support and this will lead to an overall degradation of the system.  Our oceans cannot sustain such abuse. Statistics have shown that over 25% of all the world’s fish stocks are either overexploited or depleted.  And another 52% are fully exploited, which means that there is imminent danger of overexploitation (maximum sustainable production level) and collapse. Thus a total of almost 80% of the world's fisheries are fully- to over-exploited, depleted, or in a state of collapse. Worldwide about 90% of the stocks of large predatory fish stocks are already gone. [1] This is a serious problem because we are losing species as well as an entire ecosystem. As a result this places the ecological unity of our oceans under great stress and risk of collapse.  This also contributes to the potential risk of losing valuable food sources, which in turn creates economical hardships upon some communities. [2] If we want to be good stewards of our resources, we can restore the fish population by adopting aggressive fishery management systems, tougher enforcement of the legal system and educating people on the seriousness of overfishing. 
 Photo: Fishermen with their tuna catch in Spain 
[1]http://overfishing.org/pages/why_is_overfishing_a_problem.php
[2] http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/critical-issues-overfishing/


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