In simple terms it means catching too many fish at a faster rate than what fish can reproduce naturally. It has now become a major global environmental problem.
In European seas, 64% of fish populations are overfished.
In the Mediterranean Sea, overfishing has reached a critical 96%. For decades, politicians have ignored scientific advice when setting annual fish catch limits in our seas. Illegal fishing, weak monitoring and enforcement measures, destructive fishing methods, and fishing in areas where fish grow and spawn are all factors behind overfishing.
Overfishing occurs when more fish are caught than the population can replace through natural reproduction.
Gathering as many fish as possible may seem like a profitable practice, but overfishing has serious consequences.
The results not only affect the balance of life in the oceans, but also the social and economic well-being of the coastal communities who depend on fish for their way of life.
Billions of people rely on fish for protein, and fishing is the principal livelihood for millions of people around the world.
For centuries, our seas and oceans have been considered a limitless bounty of food.
However, increasing fishing efforts over the last 50 years as well as unsustainable fishing practices are pushing many fish stocks to the point of collapse.
Is simply the taking of wildlife from the sea at rates too high for fished species to replace themselves. The earliest overfishing occurred in the early 1800s when humans, seeking blubber for lamp oil, decimated the whale population. Some fish that we eat, including Atlantic cod and herring and California’s sardines, were also harvested to the brink of extinction by the mid-1900s.