There are several reasons that our oceans are running out of seafood. All which deserve plenty of attention, but this post is going to focus on one particular contribution which causes great risk in the effort to rebuild the population of our seas.
The issue of illegal fishing isn’t a new one. With over 200 million people depending on fish as the main source of their diet, there has been a huge boost in the demand of fish in the world. This demand has outpaced the current supply which results in the perfect situation for greedy fishermen to catch fish illegally. Illegal fishing is catching fish over quotas, not reporting what is being caught or high intensity fishing with drift nets, all of which continues the depletion of fish in the oven. Some of the ways that dishing is done illegally is with a drift net. In a story out of Alaska by newsminer.com, a ship was reported to be fishing illegally and when the vessel was searched officials found an illegal drift net with more than 30 tons of squid and 54 shark carcasses.
More forms of illegal fishing have been seen in Africa. With a spike in the demand of fish for this region according to Stop Illegal Fishing’s website, “a large number of boats seem to fish in African waters without licenses, and many who do pay licenses ignore the rules that limit fishing intensity, conserve the marine ecosystem and generate income to host governments the use of proscribed fishing gear, fishing in protected zones or out of season and misreporting catches are all thought to be common problems.”
The business of fishing is big for world economies, and we need this business to be sustainable so we can use it to support economies in the future as well as feed people who inhabit it. More resources are needed to ensure that fishermen are playing by the rules that provide a safety net to our oceans future.