Sustaining Fish Stocks
A new study by the environmental research organization Worldwatch has found that consumers are playing an increasingly large role in dictating the terms of how fish and other seafood are harvested around the world. Seafood eaters have become an unlikely
ally to the world’s beleaguered fish populations.
“Today, most of the world’s seafood, from tuna to salmon to bay scallops, is threatened with extinction,” With industrial scale fishing having wiped out roughly 90 percent of tuna, marlin, swordfish and other large predatory fish in just the last 50 years,
and United Nations surveys indicate that about two-thirds of the world’s major fish stocks are on the verge of collapse.
“A public that better understands the state of the world’s oceans can be a driving force in helping governments pass legislation to ban destructive fishing, mandate fishing labels that indicate how fish were caught and create marine preserves off-limits
to fishing where fish can spawn.”
The new Worldwatch report highlights various non-governmental initiatives to help save vanishing marine life, from color-coded seafood selection guides for restaurant-goers to targeted purchasing by large seafood buyers. It praises such efforts for boosting
the sales and reputations of participating companies, protecting jobs in developing countries where fishing is an important industry, and increasing the overall quality and safety of seafood around the world.