Three-quarters of commercially caught species are over-exploited or exploited to their maximum.
Industrial fishing is so inefficient that a third of the catch, some 32 million tonnes a year, is thrown away.
For every ocean prawn you eat, fish weighing 10-20 times as much have been thrown overboard.
Of all the world's natural resources, fish are being depleted so fast we are eating smaller and smaller fish every year even before they can breed.
United Nations Geo 4 report
Fish consumption more than tripled from 1961 to 2001. Subsidies have created excess fishing capacity, estimated at 250 per cent more than is needed to catch the ocean’s sustainable production.
The real future will be largely determined by the decisions individuals and society make now, GEO-4 says: "Our common future depends on our actions today, not tomorrow or some time in the future."
The End of Fish by 2050
Using scientific data going back to the 1960s and historical records over a thousand years, scientists and researchers found that marine biodiversity - the variety of ocean fish, shellfish, birds, plants and micro-organisms - has declined dramatically, with 29 percent of species already in collapse.
Extending this pattern into the future, Professor Boris Worm’s study published in the journal Scientist calculated that by 2048 all marine species would be in collapse.
He said, "Whether we looked at tide pools or studies over the entire world's ocean, we saw the same picture emerging. In losing species we lose the productivity and stability of entire ecosystems. I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are - beyond anything we suspected."
The World Wide Fund for Nature states up to 50 percent of fish caught illegally in the waters of poor developing nations, worth more than 1.1 billion euros, enters the European Union each year.
To maintain profits traditional fishing grounds are being wiped out as trawlers destroy coral, and unsettle eggs and breeding sites. Scooping up all in their path anything that has little market value is simply tossed back into the sea dead.
Without controls or effective surveillance fishing companies launder their catch like contraband with no regard for government quotas or treaties. In turn this well financed and sophisticated pirate smuggling operation is killing the ocean’s remaining fish stocks.
Marine ReservesOnly a tiny fraction, less than half a percent of the world’s oceans are protected from fishing.
Marine Biologists and scientists agree "no-take" zones provide relief from hi-tech, round-the-clock exploitation and restore stocks by providing safe breeding grounds.
Several decades ago villagers on Apo Island and Sumilon Island established 25 percent of the local reefs as marine reserves.
The fish in the protected areas grew larger, were more plentiful, and produced more offspring. Stocks in adjacent areas also improved as the fish migrated and spawned withfish yields in the remaining 75 percent of the reefs nearly doubled.
While there are alternative food sources to fish available we do have a choice what to eat and in turn to preserve stocks. Fishermen and pirates are openly supplying consumer need.
The next decade is crucial to our fate as each and everyone’s individual decisions on what they eat will ultimately decide the outcome of The Deadline facing our Ocean.