Fish- Will We Run Out?

The oceans seem so vast, most people will wonder, how could anybody fish out the ocean? Unfortunately, over 90% of the large fish we eat are gone. Millions upon millions of fish are killed for dinner tables each year. This statistic is over a span of at least 200 species, not including invertebrate species such as crab, lobster, and krill, or bycatch such as marine mammals, reptiles and inedible fish species. Adding Invertebrates and bycatch to the statistic would double the species and the individual count. Several of the fish that we eat are keystone species, such as the European Anchovy, Striped Marlin, all species of Freshwater Eel that are commercially farmed or fished, all subspecies of Bluefin Tuna, at least a dozen Shark species, and more. These particular examples are all heavily overfished, and will be extinct by 2040 at the very latest.  If (keep in mind, IF) we don’t watch what we eat when it comes to this, the entire ocean will be out of edible fish between 2070 and 2100. Following this will be the collapse of food chains of habitats that rely on animals such as anchovies and top predators such as Tuna or sharks. This will result in even more extinctions.

How can we fix this? We can start by eating fish that are not overfished. Examples include Yellowtail Amberjack, Striped Bass, farmed Carp, Channel Catfish, Atlantic and Pacific Cod, Lionfish (highly recommend this one, as it is an invasive species in many areas, is inexpensive, and very delicious and nutritious), any kind of Mackerel, any kind of farmed (and wild-caught) Salmon, and the Spiny Dogfish Shark (note: this is the only shark species commercially eaten that is not overfished). One recommendation is to also boycott certain types of fishing techniques, such as longline, and also areas of the world (such as most asian countries) that are not careful of bycatch or waste products.

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One comment

  1. rogerwleblanc · March 28, 2016

    Andrew, thank you for continuing to inform our class about the urgency of overfishing. You are a great advocate for conscious consumption.

    Like

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