As our population, the human race grows, it’s time to ask ourselves the question… What about the declining population of other species’?
I’m talking specifically about fish (yes, it’s another post on the ocean), but the rapid decline of the fish population holds probably the most shocking figures. The first account of overfishing was known to be in the early 19th century, we almost wiped out the whale population because we needed their blubber for oil lamps. Since then, let me tell you, it’s only got worse.
As it stands, we’re currently pulling about 90-100 million tons of fish from the oceans every year and of those 90-100 millions as many as 40% are thrown back into the water, dead. Obviously, you can see why there might be a cause for concern – think of the waste! We’re just killing fish and then throwing them back into the ocean, no wonder ¾ of the world’s fisheries have pretty much collapsed!
It appears to me that the oceans and overfishing doesn’t seem to get as much media coverage as animal rights or climate change for example, maybe this is because we can’t necessarily see the physical damage being done. Maybe it’s because fish aren’t cute or fluffy and they’re not really seen as intelligent beings. But, as I referenced in my last post – the oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface, so if they are being exploited and depleted, it will affect us in a very real way.
The main problem really started in the mid 20th century, when industrial fishing began. Industrial fishing is how most of the fish in our food industry are caught, huge ships that are able to stay out at sea for up to six months at a time using advanced technology to track and capture fish. PETA claims “Commercial fishing is cruelty to animals on a colossal scale, killing hundreds of billions of animals worldwide every year—far more than any other industry.” So there you have it, overfishing is the worst of the worst. Since industrial fishing began, the large fish population has been reduced by 90%, that’s right, there is only 10% of the large fish population left in the ocean. This may seem shocking, but what I find more shocking is the predictions being made for the future. According to scientists by the year 2048, we will have fishless oceans. That’s 31 years away, the same amount of time away as the year 1986 – it just doesn’t seem real. Yet, as most people will probably agree, science is probably one of the most real sources of evidence we can get, and these claims are made by science. It’s time to wake up, smell the sea air and start ethically and sustainably sourcing fish – either that or just stop eating them all together. As usual, I will put any relevant links in case anyone is interested in reading more information about overfishing.