Today, we’re sharing a preview of a 2017 Smithsonian Channel documentary. Research highlighted in the clip reveals what we have long feared: the ocean is running out of fish.
Shockingly, 50% more fish are removed from our oceans than are reported. This rapid decline confirms the necessity of a complete overhaul in commercial fishing regulation.
The Year Of The Peak Catch
The vastness of the ocean can be misleading. It’s difficult to imagine an end to populations and ecosystems so abundant. But end they will, should we neglect to change course.
1996 is known as the year of “peak catch”. Until then, the world’s catch grew annually. This trend no doubt inspired our belief that the ocean would always rise to meet our demands.
But in the decades since, our advances in technology and improvements in efficiency have yielded unexpected results: we are catching fewer fish.
Reported Catch VS Actual Catch
A boosted fishing effort resulting in smaller hauls is dire news. The oceans we once thought were infinite have begun to reveal their limits. They groan beneath the strain of micro plastics, global warming, pollution, and thoughtless human behavior.
Between the years of 1950 and 2010, the reported global catch was around 3.5 billion tons. However, the true catch was over 5.5 billion. Such a disparity in numbers reveals dishonesty in
practices. And we ignore these numbers at our own peril.
Such a rapid decline in fish stocks is obviously not sustainable. The numbers tell us fish populations are incapable of meeting our overwhelming demand. Unfortunately, misleading data leads to the misunderstanding and mishandling of our oceans.
What If Fish Disappeared?
If fish populations become further decimated, disastrous effects are in store. Animals that depend on fish for survival will die off. The global food chain will collapse. Aquatic ecosystems will fail.
Because fish account for 17% of the planet’s animal protein consumption, upheaval would occur if they disappeared. And an estimated 700 million people across the globe depend on fishing as a source of income.
A marine mass-extinction event may sound like a Hollywood blockbuster subplot, but it’s a very real threat that looms even now. So is there any hope?
What Can Be Done?
Sea Life Rescue is acutely aware that our oceans are running out of fish. And we consider this sobering data a clarion call-to-action. It is clear that if we are to see our oceans restocked and rejuvenated, humans must step in to mend what they have long exploited.
The replenishing of dwindling fish stocks is a top priority for Sea Life Rescue. Our global fleet of ships will release much-needed populations of sea life back into the wild. It is our mission to see scientific wisdom ally with innovative technology to advocate for vulnerable sea life populations.
Together, we can defend endangered oceans.