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Changing seas

Since 2002, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has produced a biennial report on The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture

According to the 2014 report:

  • Around one-quarter of the world's fish stocks are overexploited. 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 60% of 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 10% 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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