Is the consistent decline in fish stocks worldwide because a lack of knowledge about the actual numbers of species in the ocean or are people ignoring the signs of fish depletion to protect a $70 billion dollar industry that creates 200 million jobs worldwide? According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, more than half the world's major fishing areas are in serious decline. In 2006 a group of ecologists and economist s went as far as to say that "the world will run out of seafood by 2048 if steep declines in marine species continue at current rates."(Eilperin; Trumball).
Researchers have analyzed areas were fishing stocks have reached record low numbers and fishing had to be closed down completely and they found that, over the course of five years, numbers of species had rebounded by twenty-three Farmed fish have also helped play a role in meeting seafood demand worldwide, however, farmed fish cannot feed the billion people world wide who depend on seafood as their main source of animal protein. (Eilperin).
Could it be that we have reached the end of the line for commercial fishing and fish stocks have become so depleted world wide that they will never fully rebound, can this multi-billion dollar industry afford to shut down or would it lead to even more of an economic crisis? Can we just continue to fish the way that we have in order to keep millions of people employed and hope that this problem will work itself out naturally? The research is there and people are now realizing what a valuable resource seafood is, and if this resources runs out, the world will be in serious trouble. Researchers across the world are coming together in order to find a solution to the problem. The biggest obstacle is that nearly 70 percent of the earth is water. With so much water is it even possible for people to get accurate counts on fish species and numbers? Species that have seen serious decline in numbers are Blue Fin Tuna, Alaskan Cod, and even closer to home, all species of Salmon from Canada right here in the Puget Sound.