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March 9, 2017

Why there are less and less fish in the sea (and people don’t know)

Common sole (Solea solea). © OCEANA


Overfishing is catching too many fish and at faster rate than what they can reproduce and grow. This means that year after year there are fewer and fewer fish to catch and consume.

Actually, this is one of the most critical issues facing our oceans. A recent report revealed that almost two thirds of European fish stocks are overfished. Although fishing pressure has decreased in some ecoregions during recent years, overfishing is widespread and affects 254 European stocks (64%), jeopardising their recovery above healthy levels.

However, people don’t know about this problem. A poll carried out by YouGov for Oceana has shown that over 85% of the public either underestimate (37%) or don’t know (47%) the extent of overfishing in Europe. The survey was conducted in the UKGermanySpainItaly and Denmark.

Overfishing is one of the greatest threats to the oceans, but it goes unnoticed because the lack of local fish is supplemented with other species or with fish from more distant places.

There is something you can do about it –next time you go to the supermarket to buy seafood, have a look at the label. And then, tell politicians to take action against overfishing!