What can I do against overfishing of the oceans? The demand for fish and other marine animals is extremely high. In addition to the high catch quantities, destructive fishing methods are also necessary to be able to meet the demand at all times. Fishing methods that destroy the seabed and also kill hundreds of thousands of other animals as bycatch every year. As a result, with the Overfishing of the seas one of the largest Environmental problems of our time originated.
A body of water is generally considered to be overfished when more fish are taken than can immigrate or reproduce naturally. Nearly 30 percent of all global fish stocks are considered overfished at the current time. Around 30 percent are also exploited to the maximum and could not cope with any further "take".₁
In this article, I want to show you what you can do to stop overfishing and personally stop supporting it. Let's go!
Here is a brief overview of the tips from this post in advance:
- Prefer certified fish
- Do not eat endangered fish species
- Do without fish from aquacultures
- Take omega-3 from plant sources
- Do not consume marine animals
- Avoid plastic and do CleanUps
- Start and sign petitions
- Climate friendly living
- Support organizations
- Share knowledge
10 Tips - What to do about overfishing?
Every year, about 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die, as well as tens of thousands of sharks, seabirds and turtles as accidental by-catch of industrial fishing.₂ An evil that arises solely from our personal demand for fish. There is no way around the fact that we have to change our eating behavior. Here, therefore, are the promised short and crisp Tips against overfishingthat you can put directly into practice.
1. eat MSC certified fish
As with many other seals, the MSC seal is of course No absolute guarantee for sustainable fishing. But fish whose packaging bears an MSC seal is at least more likely to be better for the global stocks of the species in question. So look out for this when you buy fish in the future.
2. do not buy endangered fish species
Species such as the eel, the spiny dogfish or the red tuna are threatened with extinction, among other things, because we prefer to eat them. Other fish, however, are less threatened in your existence, which is why the look in the WWF Fish Guide worthwhile at any time. Here are a few examples of fish that still fit into a reasonably sustainable shopping basket:
These species of fish are more recommended:
- Trout (Germany, Finland, Denmark)
- Zander (Germany, Netherlands, Denmark)
- Hake (Northeast Pacific)
3. refrain from fish from aquacultures
In general, it is often claimed that fish from aquacultures is Species extinction counteracts. But in aquaculture Fish meal from wild catch used so that the fish gain weight. Crazy - and not without consequences for the wild stocks. So the opposite is true. In the end, aquacultures are nothing more than an Factory farming with insecticide use and great danger for our planet, all marine animals and also our own health.
4. be aware that omega-3 is not only found in fish
We catch, slaughter and eat fish because that's the way we've always done it. And because the industry has drilled into us that they are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and essential proteins. From Antibiotics- or Pesticide residues, as well as the agonizing death by suffocation of the animals in the case of ice or life refrigeration, is spoken reluctantly, so that the customers do not lose their appetite. Fortunately, there are also plenty of vegetable alternatives that contain these important nutrients.
Here are some examples of foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids:
- Linseed oil
- Hemp oil
- Walnut oil
- Rapeseed oil
- Chia seeds
- Chlorelle algae
Tip: For Vegetable protein sources you can get inspired in the linked post.
5. refrain from eating marine animals
Are you a fish lover? Do you like them more for food or because you love animals? If the latter is the case, then you should completely renounce the consumption of marine animals in order to stop overfishing.
There are also delicious, plant-based alternatives to fish sticks - and even vegan shrimps! Such ready-made products definitely make it easier for you to do without fish. Of course, you can also get the essential nutrients from other plant-based foods.
In keeping with this, take a look at the article about the Start into vegan life an.
Tip: Whether dolphin, tuna, crab or the turtle caught in the net. They all have in common that they emotional creatures are those who feel emotions such as fear or joy. They also have that in common with us humans. With this awareness you will have no difficulty in not eating fish anymore. This is also the most effective means that each and every one of us can use against overfishing.
6. avoid plastic waste and clean up beaches
Since every year up to 135,000 marine mammals at our Plastic waste in the environment perish₃, it is not surprising that also the most possible plastic free lifestyle and self-organized Beach CleanUps are an effective means of stopping overfishing. Plastic waste is so deadly because it persists in nature for many centuries until it decomposes into smaller microplastics.
Consciously try to make less garbage and also on vacation simply times a clean-up action against littered beaches to start.
Tip: in the article Microplastics in the sea you will receive further valuable tips on the subject.
7. start or support petitions
Do you mind that whales are kept in captivity or that trawling is still allowed? Then support or start an online petition against such abuses and drag other people along with you. In order to bring about positive change in our society, it always takes people to lead the way. Nobody would claim that they think overfishing of the oceans is great. Accordingly, the potential is great to reach as many people as possible and convince them to sign your petition.
8. live climate friendly
The Climate change is a major driver of species extinction. In addition to conscious waste avoidance, you have hundreds of ways to stop him in your everyday life. Avoid not only fish, but also meat as a matter of principle, enjoy vacation destinations by train in Europe instead of by plane all over the world, and consume regional foods instead of fruits of the air. Step by step, you will then live in a more climate-friendly way.
Here are some more in-depth articles that can help you:
9. supported organizations
We can live more sustainably, to stop overfishing. But supporting organizations that actively work every day to protect the oceans and all its inhabitants is also extremely effective.
These projects are particularly worthy of supportif you want to counteract overfishing:
You can help them either financially with a donation or with active support on site. The latter can be, for example, a Cleanup on the beaches or even a Awareness campaign be in the pedestrian zone.
Tip: In the linked article I have also given you a Overview of recommendable animal welfare organizations compiled.
10. share your knowledge with others
Make yourself aware that you can can also change the world positively as an individual. What will change if all you do is complain about others but do not act better yourself? If you want to stop overfishing, you should become a role model yourself - for your friends, for your parents, and for your own children. Raise the issue when appropriate, but don't force it on anyone. Rather, share what motivates you to stop endangering marine life through your personal everyday behavior.
Rather ask the right questions and listen to the answersinstead of directly with Facts and figures about overfishing of the oceans around you. Here are some examples of good questions you can ask those around you, but of course also yourself, to start questioning or good conversations:
- Why do you eat fish?
- Do you think fish have feelings?
- Are you against animal cruelty? Then why do you eat fish?
Tip: It's best to use the facts and figures from the linked post only after your counterpart is open to questioning his or her fish consumption.
Stop overfishing by reducing fish consumption
How can we stop overfishing? By eating less fish and other marine animals, of course. Since each of us is decisive for the extent of demand for corresponding products, positive change also starts with each of us ourselves. Try to reduce or completely stop your fish consumption. Be aware that hundreds of thousands of animals end up as bycatch - and that all animals caught according to plan must also suffer. Moreover, industrial fishing poses an extreme threat to our planet and ultimately to our own health.
I hope you were able to take away some tips from this article in the fight against overfishing of the oceans. If you have any questions or suggestions, just leave me a comment.
₁ H. Vesper; WWF Germany: What we must do to save the oceans (Apr. 17, 2018), available at https://t1p.de/oori. [26.10.2020].
₂ WWF Germany: Unwanted bycatch (as of 17.09.2018), available at https://t1p.de/9opg. [26.10.2020].
₃ NABU - Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V..: Plastikmüll und seine Folgen, available at https://t1p.de/tykc. [20.10.2020].