All the fish in the ocean are in peril


Independent marine biologists—those not working for fishing companies—say the world’s fishing stocks are in peril, mainly from overfishing.  The chart above, from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, shows their best information on what is happening to the world’s stocks of ocean fish.   It’s not good.

We Americans could get along without eating fish, but many people in the world could not.  And the oceans, which cover three-quarters of the world’s surface, are a vital part of the world’s ecology.  We don’t know how it would be affected by a large die-off of marine life.

The idea that humanity could lose virtually all of the world’s ocean fish is so staggering I can’t get my mind around it, let alone make a constructive suggestion.

What’s needed is some sort of global authority with the power to set rules for catching and fish enforce them.  Unfortunately the world is going in the opposite direction.  National governments are giving up their sovereignty, all right, but to global organizations set up to protect corporations against undue environmental restrictions.


Acquacalypse Now: the end of fish by Daniel Pauly for The New Republic.  This is a worst-case scenario, but it doesn’t seem crazy to me..

Just how badly are we overfishing the oceans? by Brad Plumer on the Washington Post’s Wonkblog.  This is the source of the above chart, which indicates that only—only!—a quarter of the world’s fishing stocks have collapsed.

The oceans are sick and may be dying.  Overfishing isn’t the only problem.

The Role of Violence and Coercion in Saving the World by Ian Welsh.

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