Overfishing: A Hidden Global Problem

by Olivia Guptill on March 29, 2014

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When ordering a nice piece of salmon when you go out to dinner, or going to sushi with friends, not many people think about the history and background of that fish and where it came from. What’s the expression- there’s plenty more fish in the sea? Well, actually..
High demands for fish around the world and especially in the United States have caused a huge amount of over-fishing in our oceans. Over fishing is when too many fish are caught that populations can no longer sustain themselves, leading to a decline of the system (1). Overfishing occurs for high demands for wild fish for human consumption, but also for high demands for feeding farmed fish.
According to the SOFIA report by the food and agriculture organization, 80% of the worlds fish are fully exploited, over exploited or depleted. 90% of the oceans large predatory fish are already gone ( http://overfishing.org/pages/why_is_overfishing_a_problem.php).
This type of depletion affects us tremendously. Species and their ecosystems are dying out, there is a higher amount of water pollution, and we ourselves are at risk of losing a great food source.
What can we do? Switching to a more sustainable diet (vegan/vegetarian) even for a day or a few days a week,at a national (or global!) level, decreases the amount of fish tremendously. Ecosystems could thrive again, and we would not be at risk of killing off a huge portion of our world’s ecosystem.
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