AMA #20 Sustainable Fishing

We live on a blue planet with an estimated 50–80% of all life in our oceans. We evolved out of the blue like every other living being. While most of the life in our seas has transformed beyond recognition we still can see species from prehistoric times today. Creatures like sharks and jellyfish have been alive longer than trees have been on land.

How is this related? Life in our seas which has survived for more than 50 million years is now at the threat of extinction due to humans. The bountiful oceans which we have harvested for just a few centuries are emptying of life.

Today, approximately 3 billion people rely on seafood. With a mass of hungry human beings reaching for fish for protein we need to think about how to fish sustainably. Or whether there even is such a thing.

Nearly a third of all global fish stocks are overfished, and over 60% are fished to the maximum sustainable yield. The problem isn’t only that we are fishing too much. We are also catching the wrong creatures (bycatch) such as dolphins, turtles and sharks mixed in with our tuna. We are also damaging the sea floor with huge trawlers which scrape away corals and ocean plants.

If we continue to fish unsustainably it will lead to the possible collapse of our oceans. We will also encounter a breakdown in our global food security for those who rely on the protein source or the income from fishing to provide for their families.

There is hope for change and our oceans can recover. With technology such as blockchain to trace the source of our fish we can hold fisheries accountable. We also hold power as individuals. We can make sustainable choices when we shop and we can use our voices to drive changes in policy. First, we need to be aware and understand the problem.

On Wednesday at 7am UTC we will be interviewing Hollie Booth, specialist in sharks and sustainable fishing. Please tune in live on Instagram or play back on our IGTV later on.

If you have any questions please send them in on Twitter. We will be handing our prizes to the best questions.

If you want to learn more about sustainable fishing and what you can do to help please tune in for our Instagram stories this week and you can also check out the following documentaries:

  • Ghost Fleet
  • The End of the Line
  • The Outlaw Ocean

Thank you and see you on Wednesday!

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