EAS to discuss sustainable fisheries in the region
Some of the world’s ocean leaders and advocates will speak at the East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress to be held here in the Philippines in November to find out ways how the world, especially the East Asian region, will not run out of fish.
“There are plenty of fish in the sea – but not for long, if we continue to fish unsustainably. In recent weeks, Philippine media reported on the shortage of bangus, and rising prices of staple fish like tilapia and galunggong,” the organizers of EAS said.
According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a third of the world’s oceans are overfished. Stocks fished within biologically sustainable levels has decreased from 90 percent to 66.9 percent, with some fish species not having enough population left in the ocean to replenish and reproduce.
Over the years, the demand for seafood has drastically increased. Some 3.2 billion people rely on fish for almost 20 percent of their animal protein intake.
Sadly, not all of the fish caught or produced end up on our plates. The FAO revealed that around 35 percent of the fish and seafood harvested is lost or wasted. Seafood waste also wastes the energy used in transporting it from the ocean to the plate (or however far it gets), and most critically is a pointless risk to biodiversity.
“Known for their rich oceans and seas, countries in the East Asian Seas region play a significant role in global fish production,” the EAS Congress organizers said.
China, Viet Nam, and Japan are among the world’s largest producers and exporters of fish and fish products. In addition, Asia is a huge food fish consumer, accounting for two-thirds of the 149 million tonnes consumed globally in 2015.
“Thus, looming threats to fisheries such as overfishing, climate change, marine habitat destruction, and marine plastic pollution could damage the livelihoods of millions of people. For these reasons, the shift to sustainable fisheries is being promoted to ensure we have an adequate supply of fish and seafood for the future.” they added.