Today, one-third of all fished stocks are exploited at unsustainable levels and another 60 percent are fished to capacity, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. A significant part of this overfishing is driven by subsidies – most of which go to the owners of large-scale fishing fleets to help pay for fuel, gear, and boat construction.
Ask people what’s most important to them and there’s a good chance they’ll say, “Staying healthy – and keeping my family healthy.” But they might not realize that the health, economic well-being, and safety of their families and communities very much depend on the health of our oceans, which cover 70% of the earth and face threats ranging from warming waters and diminishing fish stocks to plastics pollution and dying reefs. Protecting this ecosystem is critical to human health: The ocean filters our air controls the weather and provides food for billions of people. Yet, collectively, global leaders have not done nearly enough to ensure the long-term sustainability of the marine environment.