Help protect... the oceans
The single greatest threat to marine ecology is over-fishing. Catch sizes now regularly exceed sustainable levels, a trend that could have devastating consequences for the health of our oceans. Yet worldwide demand is increasing.
The problems caused by fishing fleets are not limited to the fish species they target. The marine environment is little understood, and the effect on the ecosystem of the removal of thousands of fish every day is difficult to estimate. However, some consequences of large-scale commercial fishing (particularly those using driftnets, purse seine nets and trawl nets) are obvious.
They said it...
“Increasingly destructive fishing methods and the staggering growth of many modern commercial fisheries… have spelt disaster for whales and dolphins around the world.” - The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.21
With wild fish populations crashing because of over-fishing, attention has turned to fish farming to try to pick up the shortfall. Aquaculture is now the world’s most rapidly expanding area of animal production. This has led to enormous problems.
Farmed fish are fed on meal made from wild fish. More than three tonnes of wild-caught fish are needed to produce one tonne of farmed salmon. For newly farmed marine species such as halibut and cod, the ratio of wild fish used in feed to farmed fish produced is about 5:1. Far from helping to prevent wild fish stocks from plummeting further, fish farming actually increases over-fishing.22
Fish are given chemical treatments in their feed or bathed in organophosphates or synthetic pyrethroids to try to limit infestation by parasitic sea lice. Many of the chemicals used are listed as dangerous under the EC Dangerous Substances Directive, yet they are being released into our oceans and used to treat fish that will later be eaten by humans.23 Additionally, fish waste and the chemicals used to treat disease and infestations are all environmental pollutants.
How your diet can help
By stopping eating fish – be it farmed or wild-caught – we can reverse the destruction of ocean environments.