By 2050, millions of people in developing countries might not be able to afford fish, which current-ly constitutes a major source of food and protein. This is stated in a report on the future of global fish supply published by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), produced with a financial contri-bution of the European Union.
The report “Fishing for proteins – How marine fisheries impact on global food security up to 2050”, analyses how much fish can sustainably be taken from the seas by 2050. The analysis fore-shadows that many people living in poverty will opt to export fish rather than eat it and will not have access to this source of protein. To prevent this from happening, WWF calls on decision-makers to prioritise improved fisheries management as a key part of the action plan to secure the ocean’s valuable resources for future generations.
The authors conclude that consistent changes are required in the fishing industry and in its admin-istration to ensure that the worldwide problems of hunger and poverty do not continue well into the future. Apart from bad management, fish stocks also suffer from the effects of climate change as well as the pollution and destruction of their habitats. Investment in improved fishery management, in sustainable aquaculture, in the protection of vital marine habitats and in fair trade policies would restore the productivity of our seas and pay off for billions of people in devel-oping countries.
According to the authors, the results show that the world’s growing population must not serve as an excuse for even more reckless exploitation of our seas. In fact, the solution to these problems can be achieved by implementing and enforcing ecosystem-based and sustainable fishery man-agement. In addition, fair access rights and prices must be guaranteed.