According to a report presented by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) on the state of the world’s fisheries and aquaculture, the earth may not be approaching “peak fish” state in the near future, although it advocates strengthening of fisheries management and reduction of waste in aquaculture. Global fish production continues to expand with the increase in a sector of the population dependant on fish consumption to meet their intake of animal protein. As per the latest reports, approximately 3.2 billion people the world over, consume 150 million metric tonnes of fish annually. With a rapidly increasing population, the annual requirement of fish is expected to increase, and the fishing industry is eager to capitalize on this boom in business, although some experts fear the thought of overfishing threatening the global supply of fish. The report by the FAO confirms that the earth has not reached the ‘peak fish’ state, but reiterates the need to reduce the percentage of fish stocks that might be fished beyond biological sustainability in a few sectors. A worrying note by the report states that about one-third of the fisheries monitored by the FAO are fished at a biologically unsustainable level, with marine fish stocks on a decline. The more unsustainable fisheries were reported to be in the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Southeast Pacific Ocean, and the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. Some progress has been made in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14, calling for effective regulation of harvest, scientific management plans for the restoration of stock, and ending all illegal and destructive fishing practices. Although most of the gains of sustainable fish harvesting has been regionally specific, the world has a long way to go towards responsible management of the oceans.
—- As reported by Mongabay
Cover Photo: A fisherman fishes in the river Tista in Panjarbhanga, Bangladesh. Between 2011 and 2016, FAO worked with farmer organizations and government departments in Bangladesh to improve the design and management of agricultural investments. These technical and capacity building activities formed part of the Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project (IAPP), funded by the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). Photo Credit: © FAO/Mohammad Rakibul Hasan.