Almost 31% of the world’s fish populations are overfished, and another 58% are fished at the maximum sustainable level. Wild fish simply can’t reproduce as fast as 7 billion people can eat them.
So what does it look like to give fish a break and let them recover? Protection can take many forms. In national waters, governments can set limits about how, when, where, and how much fishing occurs, with restrictions on certain boats and equipment. Harmful practices, such as bottom trawling, can be banned altogether, and we can establish marine reserves closed to all fishing to help ecosystems restore themselves. There’s also a role for consumer awareness and boycotts to reduce wasteful practices, like shark finning, and push fishing industries towards more sustainable practices. Past interventions have successfully helped depleted fish populations recover.
We need to end overfishing. Ecosystems, food security, jobs, economies, and coastal cultures all depend on it.
From the TED-Ed Lesson Will the ocean ever run out of fish? - Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jennifer Jacquet
Animation by Anton Bogaty