In response to the release of the FAO’s State of World’s Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018 report, Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless issued the following statement:
“Wild fish provides a sustainable source of healthy protein for human consumption. Especially when compared to most land-based sources, wild-caught fish produce only modest amounts of greenhouse gas and require virtually no fresh water or arable land. If we want to feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050 in a responsible way, wild seafood will have to play a significant role.
“That’s why the new report from the FAO is discouraging: it shows that the world still has a long way to go toward responsible management of our oceans. The number of overfished marine fisheries has risen over the last four years. And, despite increasingly sophisticated and aggressive fishing techniques, global catch has continued to decline. This new report is only the latest data point on a disturbing trend line. Overfishing and destructive gear, habitat degradation, pollution, and short-term thinking have limited the amount of wild seafood available to humanity. And these same problems continue to threaten the health of the ocean and all the species that live there.
“But it doesn’t have to be this way. Many fish reproduce quickly, and case studies from around the world have proven that – when managed responsibly – populations can rebound. If similar practices were implemented globally, the potential is staggering. A healthy, well-managed ocean could feed more than a billion people a healthy seafood meal each day. If we stop overfishing and trust science-based policies to restore wild fisheries, we can save the oceans and help feed the world.”