The direct exploitation of wild populations of species is the second leading cause of harm to ecosystems globally . The leading cause of direct exploitation is the fishing industry, despite 50% of all the fish eaten by humans now being raised in intensive aquaculture operations .
Of course, fishing inherently exploits wildlife, but in addition to the targeted species, many non-target species are inadvertently caught as ‘by-catch’. Approximately 40% of all fish caught by the fishing industry are by-catch : this includes a range of species such as turtles, whales and sharks . For example, sharks are being killed by the fishing industry faster than their populations can recover, and their absence would seriously disrupt marine ecosystems .
- (WWF: IPBES Global Assessment Report Summary, 2019) – https://lp.panda.org/ipbes#takeaways
- (FAO: World Livestock, 2011) – http://www.fao.org/3/i2373e/i2373e.pdf
- Davies, R.W.D., Cripps, S.J., Nickson, A. and Porter, G., 2009. Defining and estimating global marine fisheries bycatch. Marine Policy, 33(4), pp.661-672. – https://assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/bycatch_paper.pdf
- Worm, B., Davis, B., Kettemer, L., Ward-Paige, C.A., Chapman, D., Heithaus, M.R., Kessel, S.T. & Gruber, S.H., 2013. Global catches, exploitation rates, and rebuilding options for sharks. Marine Policy, 40, 194-204. – http://wormlab.biology.dal.ca/publication/view/worm-etal-2013-global-catches-exploitation-rates-and-rebuilding-options-for-sharks/