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Are Fish Stocks Overexploited?

17.11.2005


The EU is currently adopting measures to recover hake and Norway lobster stocks to sustainable levels within a period of ten years. Many national and international initiatives are targeting a sustainable management of fish stocks all over the world. What is the state of fish production worldwide?



The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has produced recently a scientific consensus report on the state of the world’s fishery resources. The report was drafted by high-level experts across the world. It analyses the use and trade of fishery products as well as the international management of fish stocks, and provides an overview of the global fishing and aquaculture production.

The report states that fish catches are indeed stagnating while aquaculture is expanding faster than any other animal-based food sector. The combined production has increased by 30% since 1995.


According to the report, the current state of fishery resources and their ecosystems requires prompt management decisions. It states that 25% of the world’s fisheries are overexploited or depleted, while an additional 50% are fully exploited, leaving little room for further increases in catches.

Furthermore, the report conveys growing concerns with regard to safeguarding the livelihoods of fishers as well as the sustainability of both commercial catches and the aquatic ecosystem from which they are extracted. It recommends assessing the interactions of fisheries with habitats, land-based activities, and climate change.

FAO report summarised by GreenFacts

GreenFacts has faithfully summarised the FAO’s "State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture" and published it in its reader-friendly Three-Level Structure of increasing detail at http://www.greenfacts.org/fisheries/.

Dr. Serge Garcia, Director of the Fishery Resources Division at FAO’s Fisheries Department, reviewed the GreenFacts summaries and stated: "The GreenFacts Study on Fisheries reflects, in an accessible language, the essential findings of the FAO report. I am convinced that it will help raise awareness about the issues faced by the fisheries and aquaculture sector and wish to warmly congratulate GreenFacts for this very useful initiative."

Some of the questions answered by this GreenFacts Study include:

- What is the state of fishery resources?
- How are fishery products used?
- What contaminants are affecting fisheries?
- How are fisheries regulated?

Manuel Carmona Yebra | alfa
Further information:
http://www.greenfacts.org

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