Over the past 55 years, as fisheries have returned lower and lower yields, humans have begun to understand that the oceans we’d assumed were unendingly vast and rich are in fact highly vulnerable and sensitive. Add overfishing to pollution, climate change, habitat destruction, and acidification, and a picture of a system in crisis emerges.
Many scientists say most fish populations could be restored with aggressive fisheries management, better enforcement of laws governing catches, and increased use of aquaculture. In many regions, there is reason for hope. However, illegal fishing and unsustainable harvesting still plagues the industry. And a public grown accustomed to abundant seafood are largely apathetic about the plight of the oceans complicates efforts to repair the damage we’ve done.
Klaas Voget talks on the next page…