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overfishing

Lexicon entry - Veronika - August 19, 2022 - 1 min reading time
Fish school

More is taken from the sea than can grow back: That is, very briefly and succinctly explained, overfishing.

What is overfishing?

Overfishing means that too much fishing catches so many fish from the seas that fish stocks can no longer replenish themselves and are in serious decline. The numbers are frightening: in 2006, 63 percent of fish were taken from the high seas. 87 percent of fish species were extinct, overfished or in danger of collapse. Fish stocks in the world's oceans lack the opportunity to recover.

Why does overfishing occur?

One problem is the increasingly better and more modern ships that detect and capture schools of fish through their sophisticated sonar system. With this technology, the animals are also in former retreats such as coral reefs and greater depths on.

There is a lack of an overarching policy for sustainable use of the oceans and sustainable fisheries management. And even though the effort is getting bigger: It continues to be worth it because the demand for fish is so great. Here, the opportunity lies in the hands of consumers, who do not support problems such as overfishing, illegal fishing and bycatch with a plant-based diet.

What is the problem of overfishing?

Marine ecosystems are undergoing major changes due to overfishing, and the food chain has been disrupted. The stocks of large prey hunters such as tuna, swordfish and cod have been reduced by 90 percent since the start of industrial fishing in the 1950s.

If such a profound change occurs in the food chain, it will lead to a change in the entire marine environment. One consequence could be record jellyfish abundance.