World’s fish may become extinct within 50 years

Saturday, June 6, 2009

LONDON - A global documentary has claimed that the world’s fish will be extinct by the middle of this century if humans continue to plunder the oceans.

Dubbed “An Inconvenient Truth for fish”, the two-year global documentary, titled “The End Of The Line”, highlights the fact around 75 percent of the world’s fish stocks are severely depleted.

According to a report in Sky News, it blames the decline on increasing demand from consumers, supermarkets and restaurants, fishermen breaking their quotas and politicians ignoring the problem.

“There are three things people need to do. They need to change their eating habits so they only eat sustainably-caught fish,” the film’s executive producer, Christopher Hird, told Sky News online.

“They need to put pressure on politicians to make sure the law that already exists is enforced and extended,” he said. “And they need to join the campaign to create great reserves of the oceans which will for a period of time be completely free of commercial fishing,” he added.

Every year, around 7 million tonnes of unwanted fish, or bycatch, is thrown back into the sea.

In UK waters, stocks of some fish, like cod, have been reduced to less than 10 percent of what they were 100 years ago.

Despite the problems though, the vast majority of us do not bother buying sustainable fish.

According to a YouGov survey carried out for Waitrose, 78 percent of people ignore the labelling on fish packaging which is a sign of sustainable stock, such as the Marine Stewardship Council’s stamp.

“We’re not talking about a great deal more money here, but really it’s what’s at stake. I don’t think people have a choice,” Quentin Clark from Waitrose told Sky.

“I think everyone has to buy sustainable fish, as otherwise we won’t have fish to buy in the future and that will affect the fishing industry, the food industry and everybody’s diet,” he added.

The makers of “The End Of The Line” say the only way to remedy the situation now, is to limit the number of fishing boats and put in place a network of marine reserves to protect endangered species. (ANI)

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