Written by: Ayesha

Edited by: Julia Georgescu

Designed by: Ayesha

Published by: Maryam Khan


         Do you ever wonder how many sea creatures are fished out from the ocean? For instance, the human population over 50 years has almost doubled, causing the seafood production to quadruple according to factual information presented at “Our World in Data”. While fishing is not entirely harmful, it becomes damaging once commercial fisheries start catching fish a lot faster than they are able to reproduce, this is known as overfishing. 


What are the results of overfishing?

Overfishing causes imbalance in the natural ecosystem, as small fish are the main source of nutrition for many larger ocean creatures. When overfishing occurs, it leads to a lot of species like sharks, rays and other larger predatory fish into endangerment or even extinction. This unintentional killing of untargeted creatures results in negative effects on the marine ecosystem. 


The disruption of the food chain is not the only reason that non targeted species are getting killed. Other fishes, turtles and sea creatures get captured by commercial fisheries while they are hunting for a specific species of fish for seafood. This is known as bycatch and happens when marine creatures unintentionally get trapped in large fishing nets and are killed in the process. The species trapped in fishing nets that cannot be sold are discarded. The absence of marine animals does affect the ecosystem and disrupt the food chain, even if it appears inconsequential. 


What can be done?

There are many causes and consequences, but there are methods and procedures that can be implemented to ensure that the ecosystem remains protected while humans can still eat seafood. 


As seafood is an essential part of the human diet, it is mainly important to understand how much fish and other crustaceans can be removed from the ocean without harming the natural ecosystem. It is better to buy from and support local fishermen who catch and sell fish for a living instead of large commercial fisheries who overfish for profit. 








Fisheries, N. (n.d.). Understanding bycatch. NOAA. 


World Wildlife Fund. (n.d.). What is overfishing? facts, effects and overfishing solutions. WWF. 


World Wildlife Fund. (2021, September 8). Overfishing puts more than one-third of all sharks, rays, and Chimaeras at risk of extinction. WWF. 


Roser, H. R. and M. (n.d.). Fish and overfishing. Our World in Data. 


Government of Canada, F. and O. C. (2009, February 3). Government of Canada. International Fisheries. 




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