Humans have been consuming the seemingly endless supply of fish in the ocean for thousands of years. But here’s the thing: That supply isn’t actually endless. The world’s exponential population growth has increased the demand for fish. Modern fishing techniques are capable of meeting that demand. Fish populations are not.
Fish cannot reproduce fast enough to meet our demand
Right now, 80 percent of all fisheries are either fully exploited or overexploited, which means most of our fisheries are overfished or collapsing. Late reproductive maturity, long gestation cycles, and low birth rates mean many species are simply unable to reproduce fast enough to keep pace with our demand. Without giving them opportunities to recover their populations, we’re placing sustained pressure on many species and fishing them to the brink of extinction.
Discarded fishing gear only makes the problem worse
When fishing gear becomes too old to be effective, it’s often dumped on shore or cut loose into the open ocean where it becomes a death trap for countless marine species like whales, sea turtles, porpoises, and sharks. Abandoned and lost fishing gear accounts for 10 percent of all ocean litter. It gets tangled around fins, flippers, necks, and wings. Many animals are injured as they attempt to escape while hundreds of thousands of animals suffocate and drown when they are unable to free themselves.
Protected marine areas can help overfished species recover
Oceans account for 99 percent of the Earth’s available living space and support nearly 50 percent of all species. Yet less than 2 percent of it is protected. By creating more protected marine areas, we can:
Sustainable fisheries end harmful fishing practices and empower communities
You’ll find 40 percent of the world’s population living within 60 miles (or 100 km.) of the coast. In fact, over 3.5 billion people derive their main source of daily protein from small-scale coastal fisheries. Many of the world’s poor rely solely on the ocean for food, income, and survival. By developing sustainable fisheries, we can:
We’re partnering with SeaLegacy to advocate for marine protected areas and support sustainable fisheries.
What we do or fail to do in the next five to ten years is going to determine what our oceans look like for the next ten thousand years.
-Cristina Mittermeier, Co-founder of SeaLegacy
4ocean is offering the red Sustainable Fishing Bracelet to advocate for marine protected areas and support sustainable fisheries. Each bracelet purchased removes one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines so fish and other marine species are protected from discarded fishing gear and other dangerous debris.
Through their tireless work, SeaLegacy shines a light on the need to advocate for marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, and healthy, abundant oceans.
In partnership with