The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) conducted a four year study of the oceans and seas of the world and determined that by the year 2048, the stock of all fish species currently exploited will collapse. Currently, the stock of about 1/3 of marine species have collapsed and the pace is accelerating drastically.
The main cause is the increase in international commercial fishing without adequate resource planning as there are too many fishing boats in relation to the carrying capacity of the resource. This creates undue pressure on the species while fishing companies continue to make handsome.
Another structural problem is that there is not a model fishery. Nobody has taken the time to think of how to develop a sustainable model for this industry. The role that each fleet should have, to access to these natural resources. Not only has this lack of planning failed to prevent the overexploitation of fish but it is also continuing to allow the destruction of marine habitat that is also essential for the continuity of life. It is known that thousands of dead fish, mammals and sea turtles are discarded by inappropriate fishing. These negligent practices not only endanger the species which are being sought after but they also endanger other species that don’t have the same commercial value but whose biological value is incalculable.
The solution starts by establishing marine protected areas and implementing temporary bans on fishing to preserve the reproductive cycle of different species thus prevent the depletion of fish stocks. We also have to decrease the catch volume as the basic rule in fishing should be only necessary amount in the appropriate time and place while protecting the breeding areas.
Millions of sharks, rays, fish and seabirds are killed due to inefficient fishing methods that catch as much as possible and throw away what has little commercial value. For example, in South America, it is estimated that more than 100 Franciscan dolphins are killed per year when their population is estimated at only 22,000. This is all due to the use of different styles of nets that catch anything that come in their paths.
According to statistics from the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) in 2005 the world’s fisheries caught about 142 million tons of fish. That is 1 million more than in 2004 when the overall per capita consumption remained at 2004 levels.