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Statistics Facts and figures on overfishing of the oceans

Facts, figures & statistics on overfishing of the oceans 2022/2023

In order to solve the man-made environmental problem of Overfishing the oceans scientifically collected facts, figures and statistics are absolutely essential. They clearly illustrate how urgently we need new solutions to save the oceans.

In this short article, I would therefore like to give you the most important facts about the problem of overfishing.

NoteAll sources can be found in the bibliography below.

The most important facts, figures and statistics on overfishing

Overfishing of the oceans - facts, figures, statistics
Decisive facts & figures that speak for a quick solution in the fight against overfishing of the oceans / Image source: (C) WWF,

Overfishing affects different areas. For example, our consumption, the import of fish, fishing itself and, of course, the forecasts for its future.

Statistics and figures on the state of the oceans

First of all, it is important to find out how much our oceans are actually overfished. You can find the initial statistics here, which are also shown in the graphic:

  • Today, more than 60% of global fish stocks are considered to be exploited to the maximum.₁
  • 33% of global fish stocks are now considered overfished.₂
  • Only 7% of global fish stocks are considered "underfished".₃

Fish consumption and import facts

If we did not consume fish, it would remain largely untouched. A large proportion of the fish sold here even comes from other regions of the world. Here are some facts about consumption and imports:

  • 61% of the fish consumed in Germany is imported from countries outside the EU. Only 39% of fish come from European waters.₄
  • In 2014, each person ate an average of 19.2 kg of fish. That is twice as much as 50 years earlier.₅
  • Only 12% of the fish caught are MSC-certified to date.₆
  • The European Union is the largest fish importer in the world.₇
  • Around 54% percent of global fish imports come from developing countries.₈

Fisheries figures & statistics

Fisheries are in a dilemma - the more they fish, the less yield there will be in the future. Here are some statistics to go with it:

  • In 2018, around 90.9 million tons of marine fish were caught worldwide.₉
  • Fishermen nowadays drop their nets up to 2000 meters into the depth (
  • The fishing industry produces around 38.5 million tons of bycatch per year.₁₀
  • 6 billion tons of fish and seafood have been fished out of the oceans since 1950.₁₁
  • 11-26 million tons of the world's fish are caught illegally.₁₂
  • At least 800 million people are directly dependent on fishing today.₁₃

Facts, figures and statistics for the future of the oceans

Statistics Facts and figures on overfishing of the oceans

Last but not least, I would like to give you two statistics on overfishing that are particularly thought-provoking.

  • According to calculations of the UN-According to the Unep environmental program, commercial fishing will no longer be possible worldwide by 2050 at the latest.₁₄
  • In the near future, 26 million tons of fish could come from illegal and re-regulated fishing.₁₅

You can find out more about the causes, consequences and solutions in the fight against the environmental problem in the detailed article on the Overfishing the oceans. If you want to be part of the solution yourself, take a look at the article Stop overfishing inside.

Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions? Then please leave a comment. If you share the statistics mentioned here or this page, you will help to enlighten our society. Thank you very much!

Best regards,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: In ourBlog for healthy nutritionyou will get many more tips.

If you use the facts and statistics from this post, please cite the following source. Thank you for your support!

₁ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014. Rome, p.7.

₂,₃ WWF Germany (2018): Overfishing: Soon we face empty seas (as of 17.09.2018). [20.08.2019].

₄ Committee On World Food Security (CFS, 2014): Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture for food security and nutrition (June 2014).

₅ FAO 2014, The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014Rome, page 62.

₆ Marine Stewardship Council (MSC, 2019): "Good fish - The business with a guilty conscience": Answers from the MSC. [20.08.2019].

₇ European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA (2014): The EU Fish Market. 2014 Edition, p.1.

₈ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, 2012): World fish trade to set new records. [20.08.2019].

₉ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO 2018): The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018Rome, p.2.

₁₀ R.W.D. Davies, Cripps, S.J., Nickson, A., Porter, G.: Defining and estimating global marine fisheries bycatch. Marine Policy (2009), doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2009.01.003, p.20.

₁₁ WWF (2014): Living Planet Report - 2018 Timing higher. S. 7.

₁₂ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014, Rome, p. 84.

₁₃ WWF Germany (2018): Overfishing: Soon we face empty seas (as of 17.09.2018). [20.08.2019].



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Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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