Overfishing will be prevented only with your help

Overfishing will be prevented only with your help

Each one of us is eating an average of 20 kilograms of fish annually. This is almost twice as much of the figure recorded 50 years ago. It does not seem that this figure will ever decrease, because the demand for fish in the world is continuously increasing. However, the problem is that fishing exceeds the production of the world’s seas. 

Some 31 percent of world fish stocks and 93 percent of the Mediterranean fish stocks have been drained out because of overfishing. 

You could understand this from the fact that in 2014 Mediterranean members of the European Union have imported 85 percent of the fish they consumed.  

As a result of illegal and pirate fishing, the amount of fish caught has increased to 26 million tons and about to reach 30 percent of the amount of fish caught in the world annually.   

In other words, this is alarming for the seas. Global climate change is another threat. Experts are warning that soon there will be no fish to catch, grow or eat. However, 800 million people in the world are dependent on fish both for nutrition and to make a living. 

Even though governments and the fishing sector are trying to prevent this, the overfishing done to meet the increasing demand makes these efforts void. 

Well, what are we going to do? Are we going to give up eating fish? 

There is a non-extreme option. By selecting the fish we eat, we can protect fish stocks and people whose lives are dependent on these stocks. 

Correct choice of consumers can affect millions of people. 

The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has issued a “Which Fish” guide on sea products recommending diversity of seafood to protect the fish stocks in seas.   

In this guide, there are 10 different cooking recipes from European and the Mediterranean chefs and experts from Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey. 

The guide is drawing attention to declining numbers of fish. Rather than which seafood to eat and not to eat, it focuses on how and under which circumstances we should consume. 

While the recipes explain, there are several warnings on the length and weight of the seafood to be consumed. 

Also, there is necessary information in the WWF guide to check the certificates of whether the fish we are eating were fished or grown according to the rules. 

The recipes in the guide demonstrate how even the simplest and actually degraded products of the sea can be cooked deliciously, perfect for menus of the most luxurious restaurants. 

To eat good fish, we do not necessarily have to choose near-extinct species as bluefish or grouper. This guide is telling us that a correct and good recipe can make even the most unpopular fish as delicious as the others.  
Siganus rivulatus/siganus luridus from Turkey has been selected, locally known as “Sokar Balığı.” This fish enters the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal. 

Fishermen and Mediterranean people know of it but you would not come across it in restaurants. 

The WWF guide is offering the siganus as an alternative both to species who are in danger of being extinct such as grouper and for fishermen who cannot fish them due to the fishing ban.

In other words, if you eat “Sokar,” then you can lift the pressure off from mass consumed species as grouper and support the local FISHERMEN in their livelihood.

In short, nobody is telling you “Not to eat fish” they are telling you to eat “the correct fish and increase their variety.”

Overfishing could be prevented, but for this, everybody’s contribution is required.