Save The Mediterranean Sea From Overfishing

Target: European Fisheries Control Agency

Goal: Create more marine reserves in the Mediterranean Sea to curb overfishing

A new study shows that the Mediterranean Sea’s years of exploitation have caught up with it in the form of overfishing. Previously healthy marine ecosystems are now in serious decline or have been completely wiped out. An international team of scientists found that in areas where there were marine reserves off the coast of Italy and Spain, fish populations were healthy and thriving. However, in areas lacking marine reserves off the coast of Greece and Turkey, fish populations were sparse. This was the first study in which divers observed ecosystems in both protected and non-protected areas across the Mediterranean. They were able to analyze how species interact and the effects of a collapsing fish population on the ecosystem as a whole. It is clear that marine reserves allow fish and the entire marine community to thrive. Marine reserves have also shown to yield more in revenue than fishing. The Medes Islands Marine Reserve in Spain is only one square kilometer, but provides more jobs and tourism revenue than fishing earns. The oceans do not hold unlimited resources and removing a few species disrupts the entire balance of the ocean. Without the creation of more marine reserves in the Mediterranean Sea, many species will be lost to overfishing.

Overfishing is simple. If fish are taken from the oceans faster than they can reproduce, they will not survive. As the world population grows, overfishing becomes more serious. Today, 90% of large predator fish are in critical decline. Popular species like swordfish and tuna will disappear completely by 2048 if fishing continues. Recently, Mediterranean countries rejected a push to list the bluefin tuna as an endangered species. Fishing a species to extinction does not just result in the loss of that species. When large predators are lost, smaller fish grow in numbers. Many of these fish like sardines and anchovies are then caught by commercial fisheries and used as feed for farmed fish. The remaining predators must then compete for a diminished food source. Lack of food also affects marine mammals that can become malnourished. The bottlenose dolphin in the Mediterranean has declined in numbers because of a loss of its primary food.

Illegal fishing contributes to overfishing. Almost two thirds of the oceans are free of international laws on fishing. It is estimated in the Mediterranean that there are 600 illegal fishing vessels. With 124 tons of fish caught each year, we cannot afford for there to be any illegal fishing.

We are killing the oceans, and rich countries are primarily to blame as they consume over 80% of fish caught. By signing this petition you are asking the European Union to create more marine reserves in the Mediterranean to stop overfishing.

PETITION LETTER

Dear European Fisheries Control Agency,

A new study shows that the Mediterranean Sea needs to create more marine reserves to prevent overfishing. An international team of scientists found that in areas where there were marine reserves off the coast of Italy and Spain fish populations were healthy and thriving. However, in areas lacking marine reserves off the coast of Greece andTurkey, fish populations were sparse. Furthermore, it was found that in areas where fishing was limited and not banned, fish populations were similar to completely unprotected area. It is clear that marine reserves allow fish and the entire marine community to thrive. Marine reserves have also shown to yield more in revenue than fishing. The Medes Islands Marine Reserve in Spain is only one square kilometer, but provides more jobs and tourism revenue than fishing earns. The oceans do not hold unlimited resources and removing a few species disrupts the entire balance of the ocean. Without the creation of more marine reserves in the Mediterranean Sea, many species will be lost to overfishing.

Today, 90% of large predator fish are in critical decline. Popular species like swordfish and tuna will disappear completely by 2048 if fishing continues. Recently, Mediterranean countries rejected a push to list the bluefin tuna as an endangered species. Fishing a species to extinction does not just result in the loss of that species. When large predators are lost, smaller fish grow in numbers. Many of these fish like sardines and anchovies are then caught by commercial fisheries and used as feed for farmed fish. The remaining predators must then compete for a diminished food source. Lack of food also affects marine mammals that can become malnourished. The bottlenose dolphin in the Mediterranean has declined in numbers because of a loss of its primary food.

Illegal fishing contributes to overfishing. It is estimated in the Mediterranean that there are 600 illegal fishing vessels. With 124 tons of fish caught each year, we cannot afford for there to be any illegal fishing.

We are killing the oceans, and rich countries are primarily to blame as they consume over 80% of fish caught. Please create more marine reserves in the Mediterranean Sea to stop overfishing.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. What in the world has to happen to get the politicians see the disaster?

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