The quantity of fish caught in the wild has barely changed since the end of the 80's. (Photo: Greenpeace)
One in three fish caught worldwide is wasted, FAO states
Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 00:00 (GMT + 9)
Global fish production is at record levels thanks to fish farming but much is wasted and many species are worryingly overfished, according to a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
This biannual report on the state of the world’s fisheries also finds that one in three fish caught around the world never makes it to the plate, either being thrown back overboard or rotting before it can be eaten, The Guardian informed.
The study shows that total fish production has reached a record high particularly in China, with over half the fish eaten in the world now coming from aquaculture.
In contrast, the amount of wild caught fish has barely changed since the late 1980s and a third of commercial fish species are overfished, the FAO says.
Fish farms will continue to expand and the FAO projects that almost 20 per cent more fish will be eaten by 2030, helping sustain the growing global population.
However, the organisation highlights that farmed fish can harm wild populations because often their feed, made from wild fish such as sardines and anchovies, is caught at sea and they can cause pollution.
Fish are a crucial source of nutrition for billions of people around the globe, but overfishing is rife in some regions, with two-thirds of species overexploited in the Mediterranean and Black Seas and the Southeast Pacific.
Previous analyses that include estimates for illegal fishing indicate that wild fish stocks are declining faster than FAO data suggest and that half the world’s oceans are now industrially fished.
“Since 1961 the annual global growth in fish consumption has been twice as high as population growth, demonstrating that the fisheries sector is crucial in meeting the FAO’s goal of a world without hunger and malnutrition,” said José Graziano da Silva, FAO director general.
In his view, many challenges remain but recent initiatives to crack down on illegal fishing will mark “a turning point” in favour of long-term conservation.