Changing seas — MSC
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Changing seas

According to a 2010 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report, it is estimated that

  • one-quarter of the world's fish stocks are overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion. They have been under excess fishing pressure which has reduced their capacity. There is no possibility of increasing fishing activity, and in some cases the stocks may decline further.
  • about half of the stocks are fully exploited. They are being fished at or close to their maximum sustainable limits. There is no room for further expansion of fishing activity.
  • around one-quarter of fish stocks are underexploited or moderately exploited and could perhaps produce more.

Since the FAO started monitoring the global state of stocks in 1974, there has been

  • an increasing trend in the proportion of overexploited and depleted stocks.
  • an overall increase in the proportion of fully exploited stocks
  • a consistent decrease in underexploited and moderately exploited stocks.


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