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Billions of Fish Are Being Wasted.

Posted on 31st May 2022

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This report on The Guardian should concern us all. It describes how billions of fish are being wasted globally, more than ever before. The waste is at every stage, from the fishing vessels to the home, and the quantities are appalling.

Part of the problem is actually the fishing quotas designed to protect fish stocks; when the catch exceeds the quota, the excess is simply dumped overboard.

Another issue is the use of indiscriminate fishing methods (bottom trawling and very long drift nets, for example) which, in addition to the intended catch, catch fish which either have lower market value, or are simply not what the fishing vessel went out to catch; again, this bycatch is dumped back into the ocean. Bottom trawling is especially harmful, as it destroys coral reefs.

The bycatch is not only fish, but also crustaceans, dolphins, seals, whales, turtles and even seabirds, many of which are endangered and or protected species, as are many species of fish.

The seas are anyway being overfished, and it is the height of irresponsibility to catch unwanted fish and then dump them.

We are destroying our planet with global warming and pollution, and food will be in short supply in future, and we can't afford to waste such a valuable food resource.

What we urgently need is:

  1. A system of limiting catches that works to prevent waste - something better than the current system of quotas;
  2. Less indiscriminate fishing methods that are less harmful to the ocean ecosystems;
  3. A way to utilise unwanted catch, without encouraging it, for example as feedstock for salmon farms or pig farms;
  4. Better enforcement of fishing regulations, with more severe punishments for dumping fish.