Poor management of fisheries the world over has resulted in illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing practices, with large-scale commercial operations being prominent contributors.
It’s estimated that up to 85% of global fish populations may be exposed to this type of fishing activity, with around a quarter of species having become depleted as a result.* Studies indicate that 90% of large predator species, including sharks, swordfish, marlin and tuna, have been dramatically reduced in population.***
Locally, Australian government research suggests that 17.5% of fish stocks nationally are being subjected to overfishing, with the status of a further 16.5% unknown.***
Large-scale fishing equipment is more likely to result in unintended catches of sea animals such as dolphins, dugongs, sea lions, sea turtles, albatross and whales. Known culprits include poorly managed longlines and gillnets.***
It’s estimated that 27 million tonnes of marine life is killed annually as bycatch, in addition to the target catch. This is contributing to rising numbers of marine species coming under the threat of extinction.**
While fish farming might, in theory, seem like a good alternative to taking from wild populations, it actually contributes to the problem when wild-caught fish are used as feed, as is frequently the case.***
Disruption to sensitive ecological conditions in wild marine habitats in the process of developing fish farms is a further issue to be considered, as is the widespread lack of adequate conservation knowledge in fishery management worldwide.*