Irresponsible fishing practices are endangering fish, ocean habitat and marine wildlife.
Massive trawl nets destroy seafloor habitat, while other gears such as longlines, trawls and gillnets indiscriminately capture hundreds of thousands of marine mammals and sea turtles every year. For example, researchers estimate that 200,000 loggerhead and 50,000 leatherback sea turtles were caught worldwide by pelagic longline fishing gear in 2000 alone. Meanwhile, billions of pounds of unwanted fish are tossed back into the sea, dead or dying, every year. Globally, shrimp trawlers catch and throw back between five and ten pounds of dead marine life for every pound of shrimp landed.
Still, governments around the world continue to subsidize the overfishing of the seas. Government subsidies to the fishing sector total approximately $20 billion annually. These harmful subsidies push fishing fleets to fish much more intensively than would otherwise be possible. The world’s commercial fisheries are in trouble, and if current trends continue, they will be beyond recovery within decades.
Tell Dr. Jane Lubchenco - head of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) - to protect the ocean’s resources for future generations by implementing more responsible fishing policies.