According to a 2005 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report, one-quarter of the world's fish stocks are overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion. They have been under excess fishing pressure, which has reduced their capacity. There is no possibility of increasing fishing activity, and in some cases the stocks may decline further.
Read more about overfishing from the Marine Stewardship Council: Changing Seas
The Effect of Climate Change on Fish
As global temperatures rise in our oceans, fish stocks may be threatened by changes to their environments. No one knows the full impact of climate change, but we can expect that:
- Fish will move to different areas as temperatures change.
- Some species will not be able to adapt to the rapid changes and become extinct.
- Food chains will be disrupted as predators move into new territories.
- Wetlands and other reproduction areas will be covered by rising sea levels.
Read more about climate change from the Marine Stewardship Council: Climate Change
All ocean life is connected through the food chain, so fishing of one stock can have far-reaching and unexpected consequences. Sensitive habitats and endangered fish must be protected in order to preserve and protect our oceans.
The United Nations estimates that 11 of the world's 15 major fishing areas, and 69 percent of the world's major fish species, are in decline and in need of urgent management.
In a 50-year timeframe fishing has increased, from 19 million tons in 1950 to approximately 90-100 million tons in 2000.
Read more about environmental impact from the Marine Stewardship Council: Environmental Impact