Our oceans are currently in serious trouble. Sea life is diminishing and being killed at massive rates.
As human demand for seafood has increased, we have over-fished our oceans. At the rate we are fishing and killing sea life, the oceans will be fishless in 2048!
Every year, 2.7 trillion animals are pulled from the ocean and killed.
400 million pounds of marine catch are caught every day globally. Fish cannot reproduce at the speed at which we are catching and killing them. Our unsustainable techniques are hurting our oceans more and more when we should instead let them recover.
Fishing techniques have not only killed fish but sea turtles, dolphins, whales, seals, and numerous other animals as well.
Scientists estimate that fishing boats kill 650,000 whales, dolphins, and seals every year.
Fishing techniques are also wiping out lower trophic level species which is erasing the entire ocean’s biodiversity.
How Fishing Affects Oceans
Bycatch is when fishermen catch non-targeted fish and ocean wildlife that are killed. It is one of the most significant threats to our oceans and conserving healthy marine ecosystems.
“For every 1 pound of fish caught, up to 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill.”
Bycatch causes an extreme waste and unnecessarily kills sea life that is vital to maintaining a balanced and healthy ocean ecosystem. For example, sharks are critical predators that keep our oceans in balance, yet 100 million sharks are annually caught and killed due to bycatch.
Trawling is when fishermen drag enormous fishing nets across the ocean floors or through the water. This method of fishing destroys the seafloor, a vulnerable habitat, and captures everything in its path
Fishermen “drag nets over an average of six million square miles, impacting an area equivalent to twice the size of the entire U.S.”
In the U.S., 4-10 pounds of bycatch are killed and discarded for every one pound of marketable shrimp.
Farmed Fish or Fisheries
Farmed fisheries pollute the marine environment drastically and affect ocean and human health.
The fisheries play a big role in catching wild marine life (usually by trawling) because they feed wild fish to their farmed fish since it is cost effective. This is extremely harmful because fish have some of the highest levels of toxins. Even if the farmed fish are not fed wild fish, they are given GMO crops with a ton of pesticides.When humans consume these toxic fish, those toxins directly harm you.
As the demand of fish continues to grow, they give the farmed fish more and more antibiotics and other toxins to help the fish grow at the fastest rate. When you eat seafood, you are also consuming all the harmful chemicals that the fish had, hurting your health and body.
The toxins that are given to the fish also seep out into the ocean’s and kill wildlife.
Coral reefs are bleaching, when they turn completely white and get to a state in which they cannot be a source of food, causing the organisms which live within the habitat to die.
This is concerning because they are home to at least 7,000 species.
Coral reefs die, or bleach, when the ocean temperatures rise, and the root cause is global warming. If you look at the Greenhouse Gas section, you will see how eating plant-based will decrease greenhouse gas emissions and help reverse climate change instantly.
What is yoUR Impact?
As you eat plant-based, it includes no consumption of seafood which is critical for our ocean’s recovery.
When more and more people avoid seafood, it will cause the need to fish huge amounts to go down, giving the ocean’s a chance to breathe and reproduce their fish populations without being killed. Sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and other animal populations will be able to live freely and reproduce so they are no longer endangered.
Coral reefs will also begin to flourish because consuming no meat and dairy leads to less greenhouse gases going into our atmosphere and warming our earth.