The trouble with bycatch …

The global fishing fleet numbers 4.3 million vessels

The global fishing fleet numbers 4.3 million vessels

An estimated 7 million tonnes of bycatch is being caught and discarded each year.

This is not only a shocking waste of a valuable resource; it is causing dramatic declines in many marine species. And as many bycatch species are top marine predators like sharks, anthropogenic changes to marine ecosystems through overfishing and destructive fishing practices could have severe knock-on effects – because marine ecosystems and food webs are interconnected and extremely complex, the loss of sharks as apex predators may cause dramatic shifts in the ecology of marine ecosystems with unexpected results and far-reaching implications.

Between 73 and 100 million sharks are being caught every year for the growing shark fin trade, with sharks now representing the greatest percentage of threatened marine species on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. As what happens in the ocean influences what happens on land this could be a catastrophic situation in the making – makes you think doesn’t it?