What Is Overfishing? What Are The Effects & Solutions?

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what is overfishing doing to the environment

When we talk about Overfishing, we frequently refer to fish as ‘stocks’ as if fish were a stocking item. This attitude of taking the natural world for granted and viewing it as a commodity that humans can consume indefinitely – has contributed significantly to the global issues today.

Overfishing is one of the most striking illustrations of our contemporary society’s catastrophic effects on the environment and works as confirmation that our world’s resources are finite.

Fishing has been one of the leading causes of the population decline of marine species. Based on the current U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimation, the percentage of overfished marine life has tripled in the last half-century.

One-third of the world’s assessed fisheries are now pushed past their biological boundaries.

The majority of the issues linked with Overfishing have arisen in the last 50 years due to the rise in human population demands for food and significant advancements in fishing technology.

What Is Overfishing?

Overfishing occurs when a large number of fish are caught very frequently, causing the reproduction of fish to get too low to recover with time.

Overfishing is commonly associated with inefficient commercial fishing practices that may also bring in large quantities of undesirable fish or other animals, which are useless for the anglers, but harmful to the sea. Thus, Overfishing is a significant threat to the world’s ocean biodiversity.

image of a big fishing boat

Three-quarters of the world’s inspected fisheries are now in grave peril because of massive and excessive Overfishing — and that is certainly an underestimation, given how many fisheries are still unexplored.

In addition, technology, improved equipment, and people’s desire for more money have made it a lot easier to catch fish with less labor in recent years.

Consequently, with so many fish being caught, the number of fish has become so low that both commercial and recreational fishers must venture further into the sea to find more fish.

According to scientists and academics, many fish species have declined to the point that they can be classified as instinct. What’s more, other aquatic animals are killed in the process of catching different fish.

For centuries, Overfishing has been an issue. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the whaling industry was at its peak. Countries competed to catch whales, which were then slaughtered for their fat, which was used to extract oil.

an old black and white image of whaling boat

Whalers began by focusing on the slower, easier-to-catch kind of whales. Then the whalers moved on to other species after those were nearly extinct. Advances aided the hunt in technology, such as steamships and gun-launched exploding harpoons.

Whaling began to diminish in the mid-nineteenth century, partly due to overharvesting. There were no major groups of whales left a century later.

Related guide: How Does A Fish Finder Work?

Different kinds Of Overfishing

Growth Overfishing:

When animals are harvested at a smaller average magnitude than the size that would generate the most output per recruit would be less, this is known as growth overfishing.

As a result, the total production from the fishery is lower than it would have if the fishing mortality rate, or the percentage of the stock taken each year, were lower. Less fishing would result in higher landings in this situation.

Growth overfishing diminishes a fishery’s potential production, as well as the economic and other advantages that could be derived from the stock.

image of lobster from 1926

For example, heavy fishing kills larger species like lobsters and prevents young lobsters from reaching their full potential. The majority of huge lobsters captured in the coastal fisheries came from the 1800s and early 1900s.

Lesser fishing load on offshore lobster fisheries allows more lobsters to grow to larger sizes, but even so, the average size has shrunk significantly since the fishery’s early days. For example, a 51 1/2 pound lobster captured in Marine in 1926 was the heaviest lobster ever reported.

Recruitment Overfishing:

The rate of fishing at which the exploitable stock’s recruitment is lessened considerably. This is marked by a drastically diminished spawning population, a declining percentage of older fish in the catch, and year after year, very low recruitment.

image of a fish splashing out of water

The term “recruitment” refers to when baby fish have grown to the point where they can be caught. Overfishing in recruitment indicates that too many fish have been caught, and there aren’t enough young fish to keep the population going.

When there is insufficient fishing pressure to allow a fish population to replenish itself, when an increase in fishing effort from present levels results in decreased recruitment to the fishery, this occurs. Two factors can cause Overfishing in recruitment:

  1. A reduction in the spawning stock (which may become so small that it only produces a small number of eggs and thus recruits).
  2. Coastal environmental debasement, which affects recruitment by affecting nursery areas’ size and suitability.

[Note that limiting recruitment overfishing is not as simple as allowing ‘each female to spawn at least once,’ as some believe, because even in the absence of a fishery, less than one in a thousand anchovy or shrimp larvae mature.]

Ecosystem Overfishing:

This happens when the species’ balance and control of an ecosystem are drastically transformed by fishing –for example, with a decrease of huge, long-lived, demersal predators and rises of small, short-lived species at lower trophic levels.

Competition and predation between species. It’s what happens in a mixed fishery when the loss (due to fishing) of previously plentiful stocks isn’t entirely balanced by the concurrent or subsequent growth in the abundance of other exploitable species.

image of a big turkish fishing boat

The most serious hazard to the ocean environment is Overfishing. The problem for biodiversity originates from discovering that Overfishing of higher-trophic-level fish stocks (i.e., piscivores) leads to a shift in fishing effort to planktivores and a corresponding drop in the average trophic level of landings.

Sequential deletion of financial stocks is one of the characteristics of overfished ecosystems. When the abundance of economically essential resources is significantly reduced due to Overfishing and other more plentiful stocks are accessible, shifting between target species occurs.

This fishing pattern is particularly harmful to piscivores and precious invertebrate species. Some stocks may face such severe Overfishing and depletion that they will be considered commercially extinct.

Economic Overfishing:

When the costs of fishing effort are higher than the money gained from fishing, a level of fish harvesting is higher than that of economic efficiency.

Harvesting more fish than necessary to maximize profits for the fishery is economic Overfishing: Fishermen’s earnings are steadily declining.

image of a person catching fish with net

10% of the biomass of the spawning stock will generate 10% of the eggs, which would be produced only if all females were allowed to live out their everyday lives without being fished.

It’s worth noting that this optimum amount of effort is always lower than that needed to obtain the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), implying that maximum economic yield is always lower than MSY.

Many management schemes’ stated or indicated goals; and that subsidies, in addition to MSY, will minimize catches (by reducing total cost).

Malthusian Overfishing:

Small-scale fishers in developing nations are typically poor, and fishing is an alternative income source.

Consequently, internal recruitment (i.e., their male progeny) and new entrance (i.e., new fishers recruited from other sectors, mainly to landless farmers for whom fishing becomes a last resort) usually rise in the number of these anglers time.

image of a person throwing fishing net

These impoverished fishers, lacking the normal alternative of conventional anglers, are confronted with reduced catches and, to sustain their wages, cause extensive resource degradation.

In order of severity and generally in chronological arrangement, this may include using non-government sanctioned fishing techniques, gear, and mesh sizes inside the fisher communities—use of harmful gear, such as dynamite and fish poisons, endangers the fishermen themselves.

Suggested reading: What Is Fly Fishing? – Here’s Your Answer

Causes of Overfishing

When and why fish stocks become reduced is now well known. Global demand for fish and the intensity of fishing activity are well-known issues in this context, but environmental factors also play a significant impact.

However, to provide a clear explanation of the causes of Overfishing, the relevant elements must be investigated in greater depth.

Inadequate Fisheries Management:

A lack of managerial control and effective government rules has long hampered the fishing business. Tracking fishing activities has also proven to be a difficult task. The rules and regulations to reduce fishing capacity to sustainable levels have proven to be ineffectual.

image of fishes in net

The open ocean is the most vulnerable. In particular, fishing laws on the high seas are insufficient. And, in most cases, current regulations are not followed.

The majority of fisheries management bodies are unable to implement technical guidance on fish quotas properly. Furthermore, customs agents and seafood sellers cannot always be sure that the fish entering their country was caught legally.

Fishing That Is Not Sustainable:

Unsustainable fishing refers to using nets, fishing techniques, and other fishing gear that catch so many fish that they become endangered. Other sea species, in addition to fish, may be caught in the procedure. By-catch refers to unwanted animals.

image of big fishing boat

And, as the name implies, they are usually demolished and thrown into the sea. For example, turtles, cetaceans, baby fish, sharks, corals, and seagulls may be discarded.

Crabs, starfish, brittle stars, sea urchins, sponges, mollusks, and warmth are examples of invertebrates that could be caught, destroyed, and tossed back into the water. Some fishermen also capture little fish, robbing them of the chance to develop and breed.

Activities of Illegal And Unrestricted Fishing:

Poaching, capturing more than the permissible amount of catch, and fishing out of season are examples of illegal fishing. Illegal fishing amounts to nearly 20% of global yield and up to 50% in particular fisheries, estimated by the WWF.

By-catch (as mentioned previously) and trawling are two unregulated fishing tactics that cause significant harm. Trawling is a method of catching fish by scraping the seabed. This practice is one of the leading causes of marine habitat degradation.

Economic And Nutritional Requirements:

The number of fish that fishing businesses bring ashore is mainly determined by market availability and consumer demand. In addition, the human population has multiplied numerous times in the last 100 years.

image of buckets filled with fishes

As a result, the need for food and seafood has increased dramatically. These causes, combined with the economic ambitions of fishing enterprises, have forced anglers to catch more fish than the seas can replenish.

Aid From The Government:

Many governments keep funding fishing equipment around the world. This enables the survival of unprofitable fishing operations, giving rise to Overfishing.

The global fishing fleet is projected to have up to 250 percent of the real capacity required to catch today’s world’s needs.

Fisheries With Open Access:

Another important issue with Overfishing is the ‘open access’ character of fisheries. Anglers have no incentive to leave fish in the water because they have no or restricted property rights.

Furthermore, only roughly a quarter of all aquatic bodies have been designated as conservation areas. But most of those places are still open to anglers, putting them at risk of devastation and loss.

At the beginning of this article, we pointed out that Overfishing has impacted at least 85 percent of the world’s fish resources.

The fact that most fisheries are harvested far beyond their sustainable capacity is poised to have wide-ranging effects on marine life and the socio-economic well-being of humans.

Recommended reading: What Is Inshore Fishing? – Everything You Need To Know In This Guide!

Effects of Overfishing

According to current estimates, Overfishing has harmed over 85 percent of the world’s fish resources, and most fisheries are fished far beyond their ecological limit.

While this will have long-term implications for human consumption, it will also have a variety of additional consequences, including:

Imbalance In The Marine Ecosystem:

Targeted capture of important predators like sharks, tuna, and billfish has a long-term negative impact on the marine ecology. As a result, the number of smaller marine species below the food chain increases.

This has an impact on the rest of the ecosystem, resulting in difficulties such as increased algal growth. The health of corals is also jeopardized.

Overfishing is also linked to bycatch, which is one of the most severe hazards to marine life because it results in the unnecessary loss of large fish populations as well as other marine species such as turtles.

Targeted Fish Harvests Are Dwindling:

Because of Overfishing, the population of fish that are worth eating is dwindling. Overfishing has resulted in a reduction in the number of productive fish, resulting in a lower fish stocking.

Overfishing must be curtailed immediately to restore the diminishing marine population within a few years. Fish will breed and reproduce if fishing activities are restricted, and we will finally have a plentiful supply of fish.

Untargeted/Endangered Marine Species Fishing:

We must keep in mind that as the targeted species grows, so does another type of animals. These are the non – targeted species that are on the verge of becoming endangered. This occurs as a result of another process known as bycatch.

image of thrown fishes

Bycatch occurs when marine species are caught that aren’t needed or wanted. Protected or endangered species and those with little or no economic worth may be among the animals. When they are caught, they are usually destroyed and thrown in the ocean or on land.

Aquaculture Is Unsustainable:

Fish farming necessitates the provision of feed for grown fish. For example, to raise one pound of farmed salmon, you’ll need between four and eleven pounds of prey fish.

Unfortunately, prey fish populations are declining at alarming and unsustainable rates due to the fast expansion of the aquaculture sector.

Impact On The Socioeconomic System:

Many people across the globe rely on fishing for their livelihood and nutrition. For years, the oceans provided us with great seafood, but that is no longer an option. Overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices have depleted the oceans’ fish stocks in recent decades.

And this has had an impact on many people’s daily lives and income streams. The fishing industry is on the point of collapse because there is no marketable or endangered fish left in the oceans to catch.


Overfishing is a problem for marine life, but so are oil, liquid, and chemical spills from fishing boats, trawlers, and vessels. You may believe that because the oceans are so vast, these are little dangers.

Minor contamination by thousands of fishing vessels every day, on the other hand, causes a major disruption because it contributes to large destruction. Water contamination has severe ramifications for both marine and terrestrial life.

Impact of Overfishing

Natural resources, both marine, and freshwater are being plundered. There are 1,414 fish species on the IUCN red list, accounting for 5% of all known species and putting them at Risk of Extinction.

We hit the maximum capture levels that bottom fish and small pelagic fish populations could maintain a decade ago. Now, fisheries are grabbing fish from already reduced populations!

This lack of strong thinking has the potential to bring the entire fish business to its knees. Fish population conservation should be a top priority for fisheries — what are they fishing for if the fish don’t exist?

Source of Food Loss:

Fish contributes around 15% or more of the animal protein consumed by over 7 billion humans. Fish is a cheap food in developing countries, and it may be a component of the local cuisine.

Losses in fish supplies will influence fish prices, which are already rising in response to demand and growing fishing expenses.

image of fish getting ready for exports

Seafood prices are rising, making global commerce more appealing to all countries. Exports from emerging nations accounted for half of the worldwide fish trade value in 2010.

Artisanal fishers provide most seafood for poor people in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Keeping up with commercial fleets, which compete for space, resources, and markets might spell the death of many small-scale fisheries.

Major corporations are already taking over small fishing in South and Southeast Asia. The depletion of our fish’s lives will be notably felt in rural areas of developing countries, where much more people rely on fishing, and there are fewer alternative jobs. This is another reason why it is important to control overfishing.

Loss of Livelihood:

Fishing is a way of life for many people worldwide, not only for enjoyment or as a source of food. It is how they support themselves and their families.

However, Overfishing has already resulted in 80% unemployment in the Senegalese fisheries sector. Fishing has an annual economic impact of $240 billion (U.S.), with revenue from marine fisheries accounting for roughly $85 billion.

image of person holding a net full of fishes

Although there were 54.8 million fishermen and fish farmers in 2010, the various fishing-related jobs in fish processing, packaging, marketing, and distribution; equipment and gear manufacturing; ice production; administration; and research are expected to employ 60 to 820 million people.

Overfishing is predicted to cost the globe $50 billion (U.S.) a year in net economic losses. When one species goes extinct, fisheries can expand their fishing grounds and efforts or switch to a different species.

To make fisheries more profitable and allow fish populations to be sustainable in their habitat, global fishing needs to be cut by around half.

Endangered Species:

More species will be driven to Extinction if Overfishing continues, and aquatic ecosystems will collapse. Because fisheries are critical agents of ecological and evolutionary change, they must act responsibly.

image of a dead fish

90% of all large predatory fish have vanished, including tuna, sharks, swordfish, cod, and halibut. Commercially important species such as Chinese bahaba, Hong Kong grouper, Knob snout parrotfish, and Blackspot tusk fish common in the 1950s are now gone.

Several large Atlantic cod fisheries collapsed in the 1990s, including Canada’s cod fishery off Newfoundland in 1992, which has yet to recover. Cod stocks in the North Sea and Baltic Sea are on the verge of Extinction.

After years of Overfishing, Argentinian hake populations fell in 1997, resulting in massive unemployment. Only a few invertebrates are on the IUCN Endangered Species List, including the giant clam. Overfishing has resulted in the deaths of millions of such wonderful fish.

Illegal Fishing

Overfishing is exacerbated by illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing. Illegal, uncontrolled, and unreported fishing can occur without regard for the environment or tight fishing limit rules.

IUU fishing, which is estimated to be worth $10-23.5 billion per year, endangers fish populations, ecosystems, and the livelihoods of people who fish legally.

image of a big fishing catching fishes

The MSC program combats harmful IUU fishing by forcing fisheries to implement robust enforcement mechanisms that detect non-compliance with all applicable local, national, and international legislation. The majority of the world’s fish is harvested in coastal states’ national seas.

Illegal fishing in such places can range from a licensed vessel catching more fish than it is allowed to a vessel entering the zone without a fishing license at all, or even a vessel crew failing to report or under-reporting their harvest – even if the boat is licensed to catch that species.

On the high seas, there is a lot of unregulated fishing. International waters beyond a coastal state’s exclusive economic zone, which stretches 200 nautical miles from its shoreline, are known as the high seas.

Uneven management, lack of enforcement, and the vastness of the ocean — the high seas span over 45 percent of our world – all contribute to widespread illicit and unlicensed fishing in those areas.

Even if available high-seas fishing does not violate any national laws, it has a substantial negative impact on marine life throughout the world’s oceans. As a result, the international community must adopt and enforce policies that prohibit and eliminate these acts.

What Are The Consequences of Illegal Fishing?

Illegal fishing has a negative influence on both regular commercial fishermen and fish populations. Illegal fishers save money by not having to pay for things like licenses.

They fish without the restrictions that licensed fishermen must adhere to, frequently fabricate papers, and essentially ‘launder’ their illegal catch.

image of a police boat

Because they act without the costs of doing business lawfully or the constraints of adhering to established policies and laws, illegal fishermen’s actions are a clear case of unfair competition.

Illegal fishers can affect the accuracy of official fish catch and stock assessments since they do not report their catch.

Because regulatory organizations utilize reported catches and stock estimates to set catch limits and manage fish populations, this has a negative impact on how fisheries are managed.

As a result, it’s difficult to effectively manage fisheries where illegal fishing occurs because the true volume of fish harvested is unclear.

Illegal fishing frequently causes significant environmental harm, particularly when vessels utilize forbidden gear, such as driftnets, which trap non-target species (such as sharks, turtles, or dolphins) or physical damage or destroy reefs and seamounts.

Is Overfishing The Same As Illegal Fishing?

Although illegal fishing contributes significantly to Overfishing, both terms are not the same thing. Politicians, management, and the fishing industry fail to set, execute, or enforce acceptable catch levels in domestic and high-seas fisheries, resulting in Overfishing.

In contrast, illegal fishing involves catching more fish than is allowed under established catch restrictions.

Overfishing Due To By Catch

Only about 2% of our seas are currently designated as marine reserves, making it all too simple to exploit their riches. Overfishing and inefficient fishing practices are endangering the health of our oceans and putting communities’ food security at risk.

Since 1950, we’ve killed at least two-thirds of the ocean’s huge fish, and one out of every three fish populations has crashed. Simply put, too many boats are pursuing too little fish.

an old image of a fishing boat

As a result, Overfishing is jeopardizing the food security of hundreds of millions of people worldwide and damaging ocean ecosystems. In addition, the fishing business is unable to sell all of its catch.

A single commercial fishing boat, the size of a cruise ship, can catch more fish in a single haul than hundreds of small-scale boats can catch in a year.

Not only is the amount of fish we catch unsustainable, but how we catch it has major effects as well. Fishing tactics have become more harmful as they have evolved to catch the most feasible fish.


Bottom trawling, for example, is highly harmful to fragile coral and sponge environments because large nets are run down the seafloor, gathering up or crushing everything in their path.

Longlining, which involves baiting thousands of hooks along kilometers of fishing lines, catches millions of animals, which are then put back into the sea dead or dying.

Infographic of how the Bottom trawling method

Turtles, albatross, sharks, manta rays, and even dolphins are among the “unwanted” species known as bycatch. Many of these species are endangered. Commercial fishing kills up to 300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises each year, as well as about 100 million sharks.

This process severely results in Overfishing. Many of these species that get caught are tiny and are often of no use. As a result, all these species are either crushed ruthlessly or are dumped or wasted. This causes most marine species to go extinct, thus, destroying marine life.

Why Is Bycatch A Concern?

The unwanted catch is a problem for both the environment and the economy. Discarded animals frequently perish and are unable to reproduce, posing a threat to marine ecosystems.

Bycatch can impede the recovery of overfished stocks and put endangered species like whales and sea turtles in jeopardy. In addition, corals and sponges can be caught in nets, causing damage to protected corals and essential fish habitats.

When Did Overfishing Start?

The first Overfishing happened in the early 1800s when humans wiped off the whale population, searching for blubber for lamp oil. Some of the fish we consume, such as Atlantic cod and herring, and California sardines, were fished to Extinction by the mid-nineteenth century.

These discrete, regional depletions, which were very disruptive to the food chain, had become worldwide and catastrophic by the late twentieth century.

image of a whale from 1800s

International initiatives to boost the availability and affordability of protein-rich diets led to coordinated government efforts to increase fishing capacity in the mid-twentieth century.

Favorable legislation, loans, and subsidies fueled the fast growth of large industrial fishing enterprises, which swiftly displaced local boatmen as the world’s primary seafood supplier.

These enormous, profit-driven commercial fleets were ruthless, searching the world’s oceans and inventing ever-more sophisticated ways and techniques for locating, extracting, and processing their prey.

Consumers quickly became accustomed to having a large variety of fish species available at reasonable prices.

However, the business had reached its peak in 1989, when roughly 90 million tons (metric tons) of catch were collected from the sea, and yields have been declining or stagnant ever since.

The most searched species, such as orange roughly, Chilean sea bass, and Bluefin tuna, have seen their fisheries collapse. Scientific research published in 2003 claimed that industrial fishing had reduced the population of huge ocean fish to barely 10% of its pre-industrial level.

How To Prevent Overfishing?

If you believe that Overfishing is a complex problem to solve, you must make a decision. The best place to start preventing Overfishing is on your plate. You will not be sorry to learn about these ways to prevent overfishing. Some of these are deserving of your attention.

Anyone, at any time, can give it a shot.

Keep The Catch To A Minimum:

There must be some restrictions on the amount of fish that can be caught. When fishing, fishing vessels must adhere to national and local norms (bye-laws).

image of a toy boat catching a paper made fish

These regulations are intended to safeguard fish stocks and ensure the long-term viability of fisheries. There are a few things that fishing companies should be aware of regarding the area’s local bye-laws:

  • They are not permitted to fish in some areas of the region.
  • Closed seasons (during which they are unable to fish) that apply to specific types of water and fish in the region.
  • They should know what kind of tackle they can use for particular species in their area.

If any fishermen or fishing companies follow the rules, this attempt will be successful. In any case, this effort is made for the greater interest of everybody.

The struggle will be more severe in areas with low stock and strong demand, as anglers compete to catch as many fish as possible to maximize profit.

By limiting the number, fishermen will be less likely to catch more than they should. Hopefully, the number of fish stocks can always be kept under control.

Set Up A Release Catch System.

Catch shares are a more complex method of fishing management. Individual fishermen, or a group of fishermen, are given a specified portion of the year’s overall catch limit for their exclusive use. In this way, unlike traditional fisheries management, there will be no competition among the fishermen.

In addition, catch shares give fishermen more security by allowing them to catch their share when they wish, such as during better weather or at more suitable seasons of the year when costs are lower and higher fish value.

Catch shares are based on a species’ total authorized catch, and the numbers that experts predict will allow the fishery to recover.

Select The Appropriate Seafood.

Fish stocks have been depleted due to Overfishing. The amount of seafood caught is exceptionally high, making it difficult to replenish the fish stock in the water. The issue is that catching is far easier than reproducing.

image of seafood

The general public is unaware that the seafood they consume is highly endangered. People appear to believe that there is nothing they can do to help solve the fishing situation.

They can, however, be intelligent when it comes to selecting which fish to consume, based on the state of the fish. Avoiding endangered fish species will assist in minimizing demand and the amount of fish captured by fishing firms.

Prohibit Illegal Activity.

The unscrupulous group’s illegal fishing practices will only cause havoc in the ocean’s ecosystem. They simply care about making a large profit and are unconcerned about what will happen next.

This illegal practice is perpetrated by unregistered fishing firms and foreign fishing vessels. They break the rules and operate their practice secretly.

It’s a pity that the abundant fish populations underwater are gradually dwindling while the species takes a long time to breed. If the illegal behavior continues, a chaotic situation will emerge that will be difficult to manage.

Combating this crime will aid the development of the fisheries and ensure that the fish stock remains within acceptable limits.

Alternatives of Overfishing

There are numerous alternatives to fishing to the point of depletion of the environment. Fish farms are a safer (but less humane) way to provide the world’s demand for fish.

You may also impose limitations on the fisheries, limiting the amount of time they can fish per day and the number of fish (in weight) they can catch before they have to call it a day.

image of Mojarra Copetona Fish

There are also ways to prevent the deaths of so many animals by utilizing E.D.s (escape devices) to assist the animals in escaping.

Could aquaponics and aquaculture provide a long-term solution to Overfishing? The answer is affirmative. If specific fish can be adequately and competitively produced utilizing small-scale aquaculture, we can reduce fishing pressure on the reef.

Aquaculture is the technique of raising aquatic organisms, most commonly fish, in controlled environments. Aquaponics is a step above, as it incorporates plants into the aquaculture system, such as leafy greens. The nutrients in fish droppings nourish the plants, allowing you to farm fish while also growing food.

Tilapia, a native fish of tropical and subtropical Africa and the Middle East, is used in most aquaculture systems. Growing tilapia, on the other hand, would be a risky proposition.

It would become invasive if tilapia were to escape here. So instead, utilize a Mojarra Copetona, a native fish from the tilapia family that poses no threat to the ecosystem.

Final Verdict:

Over the past 55 years, as fishing has reduced catches, people have begun to realize that the oceans we think of as infinite and abundant are actually very fragile and delicate.

Many scientists say that through active fisheries management, better enforcement of fishing laws, and increased aquaculture, most fish populations can be restored.

But, unfortunately, the public is accustomed to abundant seafood and basically indifferent to the plight of the ocean, which makes it difficult for us to repair the damage we have caused.

We hope that this post opens the eyes of the concerned authorities against overfishing and helps them in preventing it.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – How does Overfishing affect humans?

Overfishing can affect people and the job market. Many people rely on fishing as a source of income. As the fish population decreases, fishing jobs become limited, causing people to lose their jobs and find other jobs.

Those who regularly consume fish from unsustainable sources can also cause the effects of Overfishing that we see today. With such a high demand for fish for daily meals in restaurants, the need for fish is still high. As a result, Overfishing will continue, and our oceans will lose a lot of fish.

#2 – Where is Overfishing most common?

Many countries overfish a lot. The countries that overfish the most are China, Japan, U.S., Indonesia, and South Korea. As a result, these countries are responsible for extreme Overfishing, according to Pew.

#3 – What are the three major harmful effects of Overfishing?

Overfishing is a global problem with many serious social, economic and environmental consequences. Every day, billions of people worldwide rely on fish as a direct source of food and income.

In addition, the ocean is being forced to meet the growing population needs of developing countries and the growing demand for fish in developed countries.

Overfishing badly affects the job market as fishing is a source of income for many people. Therefore, when Overfishing occurs, they have to find another job to earn their livelihood.

There is growing evidence that the increase in global fishing activities is having a very serious impact on the health of the entire ocean.

When species with commercial value are over-exploited, other species and habitats belonging to the same ecosystem will be affected.

#4 – Will fish go extinct?

According to the research, seafood may disappear in the next 30 years. In addition, a study by an international group of environmentalists and economists shows that by 2048, we will be able to see an ocean with no fish at all.

The Reason is the Extinction of species due to Overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change.

#5 – What will happen if Overfishing continues?

If Overfishing continues, more species will disappear, and the aquatic ecosystem will collapse. Therefore, fisheries must act responsibly because it is the main force behind environmental and evolutionary changes.

#6 – What are the three methods of Overfishing?

Here are some of the methods of overfishing that we also discussed above:

Dynamite fishing:

Dynamite fishing or blast fishing is a method of using explosives to explode underwater to kill schools of fish and maximize the catch quickly. The dead or stunned fish then swim to the surface, where they can be easily caught.


When catching fish or other undesirable marine creatures (such as turtles, dolphins, and juvenile fish), the accidental catch is an inevitable aspect of fishing; it is a by-product of the indiscriminate nature of modern fishing gear, such as bottom trawl. Anything blocking the net can be captured.

Ghost fishing:

Ghost fishing is classified as passive fishing gear, which occurs when the fishing gear is thrown or lost in the ocean. Such equipment may continue to delay or confuse all types of marine life because they float in the water or attach to reefs, eventually causing fish deaths. In addition, the body becomes tangled from cuts, suffocation, or hunger.

#7 – How many fish die a year from Overfishing?

It is estimated that between 0.97 trillion and 2.7 trillion fish are caught and slaughtered each year globally: billions of farmed fish are not included, as fish account for approximately 40% of the animal products consumed. (39% vs. 26% pigs vs. 20% chickens vs. 14% cattle).

#8 – What is wasted bycatch?

By-catch in fishery refers to fish or other marine species accidentally caught when catching certain target species such as crabs.

More than 300,000 baby whales, dolphins, and porpoises are caught by fishing gear and die every year, so every two minutes by accident leads to death.

#9 – How does Overfishing affect the economy?

It is undeniable that the ocean is essential to humans and the environment. The ocean covers nearly three-quarters of our planet.

It produces the air we breathe, contains the fish we eat, and provides us with most of the food we consume every day. The ocean plays a vital role in job creation and the resilience of coastal economies.

The marine economy maintains almost two and a half times as many jobs as other extractive industries such as agriculture, mining, and logging.

It is estimated that the ocean directly or indirectly supports 5.4 million jobs, and their total contribution is estimated at 633 billion U.S. dollars.

#10 – What are the social impacts of Overfishing?

Overfishing also plays an essential role in social life. When fisheries are depleted, the resources that human beings have been accustomed to for generations are exhausted in the waters.

Many families passed the fishing lifestyle to their children and changed the way of life in many cultures. In addition, many jobs are lost because of Overfishing.

#11 – What is being done to stop Overfishing?

Limiting the number of fish caught is one of the best ways to reduce Overfishing. In addition, by limiting the number of fish caught, the government and other organizations can help fish stocks recover and breed other fish to prevent fish stocks from Extinction.

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  • Since 2009 I've been writing on different media portals about fishing. Here on this website, it's time to share those experiences I've witnessed in my entire life so far. Let me help you get the best stuff you need while fishing.

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