Among the thousands of problems that the earth faces due to anthropogenic reasons, overexploitation of fish resources is possibly the one calamity that does not get the attention it deserves. But for the millions of people living in the coastal regions, it is a sustenance problem, a life-threatening issue. Fish and other marine commodities are invaluable assets and resources for the coastal communities. It is their sole income generator, not to mention that fish is their staple diet too. It is estimated that around three million people depend on the ocean and its richness to live, globally and nearly 60 million people depend entirely on fisheries and aquaculture. And among them, a whopping 97% of them are found in developing nations.
Did you know that approximately 800 million people live on less than one square meal a day? Our mission of eradicating hunger globally cannot be met if the aqua life goes extinct. Fish is not only a source of income, but also an important commodity. It is the most traded commodity worldwide. Is it an infinite resource? Can we afford to sap away all of aqua life ceaselessly? The answer is a resounding no. it is scary to note that more than 90% of world’s marine life has been exploited fully. It is worrying that one of the earliest and the last natural harvesting human activities is close to extinction and our ocean life is being depleted at a faster rate than it can self-replenish. Overharvesting of fish off the coast of West Africa has caused its livestock to be depleted to half its value in the past decade. What is more worrying than the overexploitation of marine life is the complete inaction from the part of the countries. The governments instead of taking stringent measures to mitigate over-harvesting are still employed in large-scale subsidies for their fishing activities. All political parties have their own political ax to grind and are turning a blind eye to this pressing global issue. If mankind doesn’t find a method to sustainable fishing activities, marine life is bound to a tragic end. It is now or never!