Europe has eaten its share of this years fish – now working on next year’s
I realize that the headline might sound a little strange but the fact is that the world’s edible fish stocks are becoming dangerously unstable to the point that a study from the New Economics Foundation points out that Europe ate a year’s worth of fish by July 2 and that on a whole we eat more fish than the planet can sustain.
In 2011, according to the study by the New Economics Foundation this “fish dependence day,” fell on July 2, the day when–theortetically–at least, the EU pulled all the fish it could from its waters (NEF extrapolates from the most recent FAO data of 2008). This dependence date has crept forward for more than a decade and is now a full month ahead of where it was in 2000. The reasons are well known. Since 1950, governments have deployed policies, loans, and subsidies to build up big industrial fishing operations that feed the world’s growing appetite for seafood. Escalating competition for a dwindling pool of fisheries has had predictable consequences: the world’s catch peaked at 90 million tons in the late 1980s, and declined ever since to 79.5 million tons in 2008 (the most recent year statistics are available).
via Fast Company
The report goes on to suggest that the single best solution to this looming crisis would be to reduce the size of catches that are allowed.
“The single greatest benefit to fish stocks would be, quite simply, a reduction in catches to help fish stocks rebuild,” NEF researcher Ruper Crilly says by email. “Because this has been so difficult to do directly, people have come up with indirect ways to do it: reducing consumption, reducing capacity, controlling effort (days spent fishing), and [other methods]. Which is most effective is contentious, but there is currently very little drive to reduce fish consumption. Without this, it is difficult to see how the pressure on stocks here or abroad can be alleviated.”
Next up on the extinction list: fish.