How billions of fish are wasted around the world like never before

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Not only is fishing and overfishing harming ocean ecosystems, but now the world’s fish catch is wasted like never before. An article by The Guardian explored how millions of fish are discarded at sea, lost on land, or even simply left to rot in shops and homes.

Source: Terran Ed / Youtube

Our oceans are home to up to 80 percent of all life on Earth. However, marine life today is more threatened than we think. There is more plastic in the ocean than ever before, and marine animals are found with huge amounts of trash in their stomachs. We are dumping toxic chemicals into the ocean, yet we continue to fish and consume these animals, and it turns out that we kill them and then throw them back into the sea.

Every year, commercial fisheries fail to report more than 32 million tons of fish caught, which is more than the weight of the entire US population, according to a study in Nature Communication. The study shows and reveals how fishing in more than 200 countries seriously threatens fish populations as well as the planet.

Earlier this year, the second largest fishing vessel in the world, a Dutch trawler, threw 100,000 dead fish back into the sea, which they blamed on a faulty net. The dead fish floated above the ocean and stretched over several thousand square meters off the coast of France. Environmental activists believe the fish were intentionally discarded.

Source: Guardian News/Youtube

According to WWF, in 2019, at least 230,000 tonnes of fish were dumped in EU waters. The reason could be linked to bottom trawling, a fishing method that scrapes the seabed and catches everything in its path. 92 percent waste is linked to this fishing method. If some fish aren’t what the angler is looking for, well, they just discard the already dead fish.

Source: Greenpeace International/Youtube

Unfortunately, this is not the only way fish is wasted. The Guardian reported that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimated that 35 percent of all fish, crustaceans and molluscs harvested from oceans, lakes or fish farms are lost before they even reach the consumer.

Fish populations and marine life are dying at a staggering rate due to pollution, global warming and overfishing. However, fish consumption should still double by 2050according to a recent study.

There are a lot of problems with the fishing industry. If you haven’t seen Seaspiracy, a Netflix documentary about the environmental impact of fishing, we recommend checking it out. Overfishing is a huge problem in the industry, and according to Sustainable Fisheries, 34 percent marine stocks are overexploited.

Source: Netflix/Youtube

Another huge problem is bycatch, or inadvertently caught marine life that gets stuck in the nets. About 50 million sharks are killed each year as bycatch. Studies have also revealed that up to 40% of all marine life caught is thrown overboard as bycatch, leaving behind massive amounts of trash. More 10,000 dolphins are killed each year as bycatch, and more 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises are killed as bycatch.

Fishing has also become a major threat to coral reefs from the Middle East to the Caribbean, where 90 percent large fish have disappeared. There is also a problem with illegal and unreported fishing, which means all of these numbers are likely higher.

Fish farms represent more than half of the world’s fish supply, but diseases on these small farms are also a major source of losses. There is also a huge loss of fish after they come ashore. The FAO estimates that 27 percent fish are lost worldwide after landing.

Source: NowThis News/Youtube

Contrary to popular belief, the ocean does not have an endless supply of fish that we can keep catching. There are limits, and we are narrowing the line closely, and we are already seeing the global consequences of our actions. If we want to continue fishing, anglers need better equipment and tools that can prevent bycatch. There must also be many more restrictions on fishing and an effort against illegal fishing.

Since July 2017, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 455 critically endangered fish species, including 87 that are labeled as possibly extinct. The fewer fish in the ocean, the less food large marine animals have to survive, leading to an imbalance in marine food webs.

The industry wants us to believe that to solve overfishing, we have to fish more. However, this is incredibly unsustainable. Large predators are disappearing, bottom trawling is tearing the ocean apart and fishing vessels are waging war on the oceans. GMO fish are not the answer to overfishing. If we want to save marine wildlife, food choices will have the most impact.

According Count animals, “A person who chooses to follow a vegetarian diet can save more than 225 fish and 151 shellfish per year. If only half of the US population (about 150,000,000 people) eliminated seafood from their diet, that would mean about 33,750,000,000 fish would remain in the ocean each year.

Anything that people believe they get from fish can be nutritious from other sources. Find out how to ditch fish oil for plant sources and why flaxseed oil is healthier than fish oil. Fish have often been exposed to many toxic chemicals like mercury which the consumer then eats when they eat the fish. Fish are also sensitive creatures and can feel pain. There is no reason for us to continue eating these animals.

Source: Terran Ed / Youtube

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