The world is in love with fish—so much that we are dependent on the revenue fishing and eco-tourism brings in. “The seafood industry—harvesters, seafood processors and dealers, seafood wholesalers and retailers—generated $129 billion in sales impacts, $37 billion in income impacts and supported 1.2 million jobs in 2011, the most recent year included in the report. Recreational fishing generated $70 billion in sales impacts, $20 billion in income impacts, and supported 455,000 jobs in 2011.” —http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2013/03/07_noaa_report_finds_commercial_and_recreational.html
With more and more money being generated by this massive industry, the need to protect the seas is more important than ever and should be at the forefront of every person’s mind who reaches for that fish product at the grocery store. The consumer must be aware of what they are supporting with their money.
Recently the U.S. government has begun to fight illegal fishing with new legislation and other measures to ensure that the ports will be closed to ships suspected of illegal fishing. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/world/us-announces-plans-to-combat-illegal-fishing-and-other-steps-to-protect-oceans.html?_r=0
The MSC label is designed to help the consumer with one easy step, stating that if they buy fish with the blue label they are supporting sustainable fishing. Though the MSC label is a good step, it is hardly accurate. The words stamped across your fish products would have you believe that despite the tons of fish being pulled from the sea, the rate we are consuming fish is safe…it is not. Overfishing is still a serious issue all over the world with more fisheries that are not “certified” then are “certified”.
There is little activism against the MSC Label, but awareness for overfishing is growing. Greenpeace and world wildlife fund are working to bring overfishing to the forefront of consumers’ and governments minds, but there is a need for more. The ads that are put out are not effective as they are lost in bowls of the internet—only to resurface during special times in the year. The ads should be placed in the face of every consumer, perhaps by the fish products or in the penny saver. Overfishing is an issue because “we” love the taste, but we need to be more aware of where we put our money because that is the only deciding factor that will make a change in the severely stressed populations of the sea and its habitats.