Here is the transcript for Ending Overfishing
[00:02] The Earth. There are currently seven billion people living on 30% of its surface, and all of them are dependent on the remaining 70%: the ocean. The ocean is the largest source of food in the world. Fish is the main daily source of protein for 1.2 billion people. But fishers are more and more frequently returning home with empty nets.
[00:30] Let’s turn the clock back a little. Some scientists say that in the last 60 years, stocks of large fish have fallen by 90%. They are warning that we are facing the collapse of all types of fish species in less than 50 years. The reason for this: overfishing.
Longline fishing vessels deploy 1.4 billion hooks a year; 1.4 billion hooks, each with a slice of fish hanging from them as bait. [01:07] There are trawling vessels that cast nets with an opening of up to 23,000 meters squared: the size of four football pitches and big enough to hold 13 jumbo jets or, more commonly, more than 500 tons of fish. Amongst these 500 tons of fish, there is a lot of bycatch. [01:33] Bycatch is marine creatures incidentally caught, often at large quantity.
Typically shrimp trawlers throw 80 to 90 percent of the marine creatures caught back overboard. This means that for one kilo of shrimp, up to nine kilos of other marine wildlife is caught and wasted. [02:01] To relieve the strain on wild fish, 47% of our seafood demand is farmed fish. But marine aquaculture is more of a nail in a coffin than a lifeline. Many of the farmed fish are carnivorous; that is, they eat other, smaller fish. Five kilos of captured wild fish are needed to produce one kilo of farm-reared salmon. [02:30] Aquaculture just converts low-value small fish into higher-value bigger ones. It does not create more fish.
The majority of European fish stocks are overfished. Historically, EU fisheries ministers have set fishing limits exceeding scientific advice. In 2008, fishing limits were defined for the highly-prized bluefin tuna. Scientists recommended a fishing limit of 10,000 tons to rebuild the increasingly depleted population. [03:06] However, the EU and other fishing nations decided on a fishing limit of 29,500 tons; three times what scientists had suggested. Then, despite this already inflated limit, 61,000 tons of bluefin tuna were caught. That is six times more than the recommended limit.
Billions of euro in public subsidies are fueling this overfishing. [03:33] If this continues, soon there will be no fish left.
How do we end overfishing? Your politicians have the responsibility for making the decisions in Brussels that will end overfishing. Citizens have responsibility of encouraging and supporting their politicians to make those decisions.