Humans are emptying the oceans of fish  – there may be no edible fish left in the sea by 2050 . If we were to take fewer fish out of the sea each year, then fish populations would be able to increase in size again . By fishing less now, we would have more fish in the future [3,4]. How can we do this?
Governments can set quotas for the number of fish that can be caught each year . This means having fewer fishing boats and fewer people employed in the industry , so governments need to provide training in alternative occupations .
Unfortunately, this rarely happens for a few reasons, including [8,9]:
1) Tragedy of the commons: if one country fishes less, another country can sail into its waters and take the fish anyway . This means that fishing less only works if everyone does it, which is difficult to coordinate on a global scale [10,11,12]. However, governments can assign certain areas of the ocean to specific fishing boats and strictly enforce quotas .
2) Much fishing is done illegally (e.g. illegal catches in West Africa have been ~40% higher than reported catches) [14,15], so even if legal fishing follows government-imposed quotas, the quota will be exceeded by illegal fishing. This can be tackled by using satellites to identify illegal fishing boats .
3) ‘Sustainable’ fishing quotas are usually deemed as too high by biologists due to lack of reliable data on fish population sizes and growth rates, and influential lobbying by the fishing industry [9,16].
4) Governments provide huge fishing subsidies to increase yields in the short-term . Without subsidies European fisheries would be bankrupt . Subsidies also cause the collapse of fish stocks, unemployment, and financial loss in the longer term; these ‘perverse’ subsidies need to be removed .
So sustainable fishing requires well-informed laws that are strongly enforced [18,19]. You can help by only buying sustainable seafood (such as that labelled by the Marine Stewardship Council) .
 https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10433-no-more-seafood-by-2050/ And see journal reference within article
 https://www3.epa.gov/region1/npdes/schillerstation/pdfs/AR-024.pdf See: Marine reserves and fishery closures
 http://www.fao.org/state-of-fisheries-aquaculture See: ‘underfished stocks for 7.0 percent of the total assessed stocks’. ‘Maximally sustainably fished’ stocks will not be increasing in number, and due to illegal fishing, these quotas are exceeded.
 https://bioone.org/journals/Wildlife-Biology/volume-7/issue-3/wlb.2001.017/Sustainable-exploitation-a-review-of-principles-and-methods/10.2981/wlb.2001.017.full See: See: Increasing effort is simple, reducing it is painful; Abstract and 2 and 3
 https://www.msc.org/what-we-are-doing/oceans-at-risk/overfishing-illegal-and-destructive-fishing See: Illegal fishing
 https://www.nature.com/articles/32761 See: paragraph beginning ‘So what are the leading instances of these perverse subsidies?’
 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/faf.12009?casa_token=Iw2GeYqT2CYAAAAA%3As_2OV7gN7-sPl0LBfBgl6vrluKC3Fio0561_LGanlFYyWFxt08rYE_uUi3JjrQpLJDe_X7BLRFpzgO71 See: Introduction, paragraphs 2 and 3
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