Issues

Oceans & Fisheries

Summary

An excerpt from Green to Gold (pages 48-49):

"The capacity of the world's oceans once seemed endless both as a source of fish and as a place to dump waste, but humanity has outstripped even this vast scale. As Unilever found out, fish stocks have decreased dramatically. Over three-quarters of the world's fisheries are over-exploited and beyond the point of sustainability. Put simply, we are catching fish faster than they can reproduce. Gigantic fishing nets scour the ocean and sweep up every swimming thing with a shocking efficiency, while traditional trawlers now deploy sophisticated sensors to fins schools that previously evaded traditional fishermen. Fish have nowhere to hide. ."

The Science

The Earth's oceans are important sources of economic vitality as the basis of fisheries, ports, and recreation and tourism. But activities such as overfishing, illegal trade, and the impact of pollution threaten the plant and animal life sustained by our oceans. Innovative and ongoing scientific research is essential to the protection of the marine environment and the conservation of fish and other wildlife. There are signs of hope previously not seen and solutions are being implemented but more initiatives will be needed in order to see the changes that are necessary for our economy and our quality of life and the well being of the environment. See some of these sites for more information and some thorough, scientific reports on the issue.