Running out of European Fish by July 8

A new study by the New Economics Foundation shows that ‘EU citizens are consuming far more fish than European seas can produce, becoming increasingly dependent on seafood from other waters’. The figure below shows fish catches in EU waters going down as imports go up. These imports include fish caught by EU vessels in other countries’ waters and in international waters. ‘If the EU were only to consume fish from its own waters, it would run out of fish on July 8th, making it wholly dependent on fish from elsewhere from July 9th’, says the report.

The EU has been able to satisfy growing demand for seafood only by exploiting fishing grounds elsewhere. Seafood demand is increasing worldwide, but the number of fishing grounds that are not overexploited keeps decreasing. Simple arithmetic suggests that global fisheries are not sustainable under the current management regime.

It’s time for some serious regulation, or fish and jobs in the fishing industry will continue to go away.

 

Changing Planet

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Marine ecologist Dr. Enric Sala is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who combines science, exploration and media to help restore marine life. Sala’s scientific publications are used for conservation efforts such as the creation of marine protected areas. 2005 Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, 2006 Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, 2008 Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum.