Overfishing 101: How We're Fishing the Oceans Dry

We've written plenty about overfishing, peak fish, and sustainable seafood efforts, but in case you're not 100% up to date on why the issue is such a predominant ecological concern, check out this slide show from Al Jazeera. It does a nice job of summing up the scope of the problem, offering a peek at some of the solutions, and providing a compelling visual component that will hopefully help make some of those stats linger in your brain a bit longer.The most noteworthy statistic to me is that 1 billion people rely on fish for their daily source of protein. To most of us Western folk, fish is a preference -- a dinner selection like any other. I, personally, have never been a huge fan of fish, and happily participate in a "conservation effort" and eat almost none of it. But this is clearly not a problem that can be addressed merely by appealing to consumer choice.

Demand continues to burgeon as populations expand in poorer parts of the world. Imposing regulations on how much fishermen can catch have had limited success at best, as demand has a nasty habit of trumping regulatory frameworks imposed on swaths of the open ocean.

Al Jazeera also has a nice look at fish farming, which may end up playing a role in providing fish to the masses without decimating natural stocks. The future for fish, as Tom Petty might say, is wide open.

More on Overfishing
Global Fisheries Hit by Climate Change and Overfishing
Overfishing and Trawlers Drain the Ocean of Life

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