One in three fish caught never gets eaten

UN Fish 2018

FAO/F. Cardia Photo: FAO/F. Cardia

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Briony Harris, Formative Content

One of the greatest challenges the world faces is ensuring that a growing global population has enough to eat.

Food production needs to increase by 50% to feed a projected population of 10 billion in 2050, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation.

Fish is a crucial source of nutrition for billions of people, providing easily-to-digest protein that is especially helpful in fighting micro-nutrient deficiencies.

Against this backdrop, it seems crazy that so much fish – about 35% – is simply wasted.

Dumped in the sea

Large trawlers account for about one-quarter of that wastage, according to the Guardian. Unwanted fish are thrown back into the sea – already dead – because they are either too small or from an unwanted species. The FAO wants some of that bycatch to be used to produce fishmeal, rather than simply being discarded.

Most of the waste, however, comes from developing countries, where fish simply rots before it can reach a factory or marketplace. The FAO says that 27% of fish that is landed is never consumed.

This is because local fisherman do not have the knowledge or equipment – such as refrigeration or ice-makers – to keep their produce fresh.

The FAO has worked with fisherman to reduce such waste, including encouraging the use of raised racks for sun-drying fish on the banks of Lake Tanganyika in Burundi, or reducing the bycatch when bottom trawling to catch shrimp in Brazil.

More people are eating more fish
Image: UN FAO

Beating hunger

The statistics about fish wastage are featured in a two-yearly report, which surveys the state of the world’s fisheries, detailing how much fish is being caught and eaten.

Fish consumption and production has been rising fast, peaking at about 171 million tonnes in 2016, and growing faster than other sources of protein such as meat.

Much of the growth is due to the steady rise of aquaculture – that is the farming of fish rather than catching wild fish – as shown in the chart below. In fact, aquaculture accounted for 46.8% of all captured fish, an enormous rise from 25.7% in 2000.

The rise in fish production is primarily thanks to farming
Image: UN FAO

Aquaculture is one way of preventing overfishing, although it needs to be done sustainably with a close watch on the type of marine life that is used as feed. Aquaculture can also help mitigate the impact of climate change, where warmer waters are changing the patterns of behaviour and undermining traditional livelihoods.

Overall, the growth of aquaculture has meant that fishing in the wild has now decreased slightly, falling to 90.9 million tonnes in 2016, a drop of two million from 2015.

Reducing plastic waste

Global fishing employs 60 million people around the world, and is a source of nutrition for many many more, providing around 3.2 billion people with nearly 20% of their animal protein needs.

Fish stocks must be protected for future generations
Image: UN FAO

The FAO’s Director-General Jose Graziano says fish are “crucial” in meeting the goal to create a world without hunger and malnutrition.

But the way we treat fish and the oceans will need to change to meet that goal.

More regulation and monitoring of responsible fishing practices is needed should include a strong emphasis on the prevention of over-fishing.

Increased effort to protect the world’s oceans, where alarming amounts of trash are destroying ecosystems, is also needed. A World Economic Forum’s report warns that, without action, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, measured by weight.

And there needs to be much less waste of the fish that is caught.

Only by taking action on all three fronts will there be enough to feed future generations.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

A Sting Exclusive: “There can be no global deal on emissions without China and the USA”, Conservative MEP Ian Duncan stresses from Brussels

Vendor Pulse – 2000

Eurozone: Subdued inflation can lead to more recession

A rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the war-torn Yemen

Girls still being treated as aliens in medicine in the 21st century

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

Europe on the Move: Commission completes its agenda for safe, clean and connected mobility

Bayer’s cross at night (Copyright: Bayer AG)

The EU clears Bayer-Monsanto merger amid wide competition and environmental concerns

A European student just sets the question of the day: What kind of education policies are missing in Europe?

ECOFIN: Choosing between the re-unification of Eurozone and a stalemate

Millions of young lives ‘at risk’ says UN labour chief, calling for an end to child labour

JADE Testimonial #3: Sebastian @ Fundraising

First-ever EU defence industry fund to finance joint development of capabilities

Trump stumbles badly on his Russian openings; Europeans wary of Putin

A Sting Exclusive: “One year on from the VW scandal and EU consumers are still in the dark”, BEUC’s Head highlights from Brussels

Will the European Court of Justice change data privacy laws to tackle terrorism?

“C’est la vie”? French recession and unemployment to linger in Eurozone

ECB: Growth measures even before the German elections

UN official sees ‘unprecedented opportunities’ to make progress on peace in Afghanistan

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

The “Legend of the Sun” wishes you Happy Chinese New Year 2015 from Brussels

MWC 2016 LIVE: The top 5 themes of this year’s Mobile World Congress

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

Ahead of State of the Union the European Youth Forum highlights lack of action on youth employment

On Google antitrust case: “Let’s face it, some companies want to hurt Google and it goes as simple as that”

The South China Sea Arbitration: Illegal, Illegitimate and Invalid

Employers’ organizations work towards improving the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change and youth inaction: oblivion or nonchalance?”, AIESEC wonders from Brussels

“A global threat lies ahead worsened after the EU’s green light to the Bayer-Monsanto merger”, a Sting Exclusive by the President of Slow Food

Professional practices of primary health care for Brazilian health and gender inequality

MWC 2016 LIVE: Getty chief says one in four new images from phones

The widely advertised hazards of the EU not that ominous; the sting is financial woes

In Finland, speeding tickets are linked to your income

Two shipwrecks add to ‘alarming increase’ in migrant deaths off Libya coast: IOM

Entrepreneurship’s key to success showcased by a serial young entrepreneur

MEPs call on EU countries to end precarious employment practices

Refugee crisis update: EU seeks now close cooperation with Africa while Schulz is shocked to witness live one single wreck full of immigrants

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

The role of public affairs in student NGOs

No end to Deutsche Bank’s problems: new litigations in the US and frailty in EU stress test

The missiles fired against Damascus, Syria divided Europe deeply

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

Some Prevailing Arguments and Perceptions over the South China Sea Issue Are Simply Wrong

Fear casts again a cold, ugly shadow over Europe; Turkey sides with Russia

Italy’s rescue operation Mare Nostrum shuts down with no real replacement. EU’s Triton instead might put lives at risk

This tool shows you which cities will flood as ice sheets melt

JADE Testimonial #2: Jacques @ Process mapping

Eurozone very close to a sustainable growth path

ILO warns of widespread insecurity in the global labour market

Why Renewable Energy is an attractive investment

Leading Palestinian legislator calls for ‘new international engagement’ in two-state solution

Why the ECB had to clarify it caters for the entire Eurozone not just Germany?

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

Is poverty and exclusion the necessary price for EU’s recovery?

The Italian ‘no’ and France’s Fillon to reshape Europe; Paris moves closer to Berlin

“Working together to make a change at the COP 21 in Paris”, an article by Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

Autonomous vehicles could clog city centres: a lesson from Boston

EU and US close to an agreement on data sharing amid European citizens’ concerns

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s