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Fished out? Nothing at the end of the line …

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Conservation groups have warned that at least a third of the world’s oceans need to be closed to all fishing if stocks are  going to be saved from total collapse. Callum Roberts, a professor at the University of York says that anything between 20% and 40% of the world’s oceans need protection. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that 70% of the world’s fisheries are now fully exploited (and cannot sustain any more fishing as populations can only just replenish themselves) but also say that the majority of fish populations have been reduced between 70-95% – in Europe 88% of stocks are overfished and in danger of collapse – and the current common fisheries policy in Europe is clearly not working, with up to 50% of the cod we eat  being caught illegally.  Marine protection areas (MPAs) are not new but new marine protection areas need to be extensive, last for twenty years, be policed – and seem to be crucial to allow for the real regrowth of fish populations and the recovery of seabed habitats.  Three small no-take zones in the seas around the UK have far higher reserves of fish and lobster stocks than waters around them which are not protected. Currently just 0.8% of the world’s oceans are covered by MPAs.  It seems that anything else apart from urgent protection of stocks will probably mean that we will just having chips with chips.

Look for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) mark for reliable evidence of sustainable fishing. The MSC certify sustainable fishing practices.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]