The Overfishing Problem
- A large part of our world rely on fish as the major protein source, because of this, fishing is the major livelihood for many millions of people around the world.
- Over the last 50 years the amount of seafood consumed by a single person has doubled (19.2 kg or 42.3 lbs. per year).
- It's estimated that around 29% of seafood species that are currently consumed by humans are overfished. This value will only increase as we search for new species to harvest as our current populations decline.
- At the current rate of seafood consumption it's estimated that by the year 2048 there will be little to no seafood available for a sustainable harvest.
- Illegal, unregulated, & unreported fishing makes up 20-30% of the current global catch. Stronger regulations for poaching and more routine monitoring of fisheries needs to be completed to cut back on these practices.
What can you do?
While it may feel like this is a problem to which there is no solution, there are many things that YOU as an individual can do!
- Use a seafood sustainability guide when you eat out or shop at your local grocery store! There are also apps available on your phone such as the: Seafood Watch App
- Eat smaller fish! A majority of our big fish species (Tuna, marlin, etc.) are overfished. These organisms take the longest time to grow because they are the biggest, yet these are the most fished species which means that they don't have time to reproduce and recover.
- Buy local seafood if possible!!
Eat More Lionfish!
What is a lionfish?!
- Lionfish are carnivorous fish that are native to the Indo-Pacific
- These fish are common in the aquarium trade and were introduced to the coastal waters in the SE United States from Florida all the way up to North Carolina.
- Lionfish are invasive species in the SE United States and very negatively impact coral reefs by eating smaller fish and crustaceans.
- Lionfish have venomous spines that, if mishandled, can sting people. If stung by a lionfish spine it can cause pain, swelling, and respiratory distress. Therefore it is important to understand how to deal with a lionfish if you come into contact with one!