www.lemonde.fr 31st January 2011
A new report released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has stated that the global consumption of fish hit an all time high in 2010. The need to reconstruct collapsed fisheries was labelled as “urgent” as the number of fish stocks either overfished, depleted or recovering from depletion rose in 2010 to 32% of total stocks. The increase, according to the FAO, is mainly down to the rise of aquaculture, which has almost overtaken wild fisheries in supplying people with fish. Almost half the world’s population, around 3 billion people, rely on fish for 15% of their diet. To combat falling fish stocks (global catch rates have been in decline since 1988), the FAO has said that the world’s governments needed to clamp down on illegal fishing practices, which account for between $10 and $23.5 billion of fish stocks per year. It has also been suggested that a global register of fishing vessels be created with each ship being given an identification number that cannot be changed, even if the vessel changes its flag.