Why Is Overfishing A Problem?
Overfishing is a problem because it is damaging the ecosystem and creating an imbalance in the food chain. It is taking too many fish, meaning that one day, there will be no fish left to catch. Fishing is a crucial part of many countries economies so if the fish were all dead they wouldn’t be making as much money, potentially creating a financial disaster. Lots of jobs would be lost, and millions of people rely on fish as a daily source of protein, so they would be hugely affected.
What Causes Overfishing?
Poor fisheries management by governments is one of the biggest causes for overfishing. The current limits and regulations aren’t sustainable so fishermen are taking advantage of this and taking huge quantities of fish. In 2008 the EU set a fishing limit for the heavily overfished bluefin tuna. Scientists had recommended a limit of 10,000 tons, an amount which would help rebuild the depleted population. But instead of taking this advice, the EU put the limit at 29,500; almost three times the recommendation. Despite this already inflated limit, 61,000 tons of bluefin tuna was caught; six times the recommended limit. Illegal fishing is also a major part of overfishing. This is where people disregard the fishing limits and regulations and take as much fish as they want. It is estimated that 20% of the world's catch is from illegal fishing. This Overfishing is also caused by a lack of protected, fishing-free areas with only 0.16% of oceans being fishing free. This means people can fish almost anywhere.