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Overfishing Leads to Huge Job and Profit Losses

Recent research by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) shows that overfishing is a major drain on the European economy.

Overfishing occurs when fish are captured at a faster rate than they can reproduce. Although overfishing has been problematic in European waters for decades, it has only recently come under public scrutiny.

The NEF report, Jobs Lost at Sea, found that current overfishing practices are resulting in a loss of over 100,000 jobs and £ 2.7 billion (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) per year. The report also explains that restoring 43 out of 110 existing European fish stocks could supply about 1/3 of the UK’s current fish consumption and increase employment by 46 percent.

In addition to the economic impacts, overfishing is also extremely destructive to marine environments. This practice can lead to the breakdown of sea ecosystems and even species extinction. Research also shows that marine biodiversity loss impairs the ocean’s ability to provide food, maintain water quality, and recover from major changes. Fortunately, these trends are reversible when biodiversity is restored.

Want to help stop overfishing? Organizations like Sea Shepherd are working to save ocean wildlife all over the world. Dietary choices are the biggest impact we can make as individuals – namely reducing or eliminating seafood consumption.

Image Credit: micmol/Flickr