Overfishing imperils British seas

The Marine Conservation Society, a British charity, says severe overfishing is the biggest environmental threat facing Britain and is having a profound effect on marine ecosystems, the Guardian reported. The warning comes in Silent Seas, a report released as the British government prepares its marine bill for parliament.


The organisation – which campaigns on seas, shores and wildlife issues – urges the introduction of an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management. It also calls for a move away from quotas, which it says lead to fishermen dumping stocks overboard. To encourage regeneration of fish stock, the society seeks temporary closures of some sea areas.


According to Silent Seas, the rate of fish loss in British seas is accelerating, while the size and quality of fish is falling as younger ones are taken from the sea. Only eight of the 47 fish stocks found around the British Isles is reported to be in a healthy state.


Prince Charles, who is president of the Marine Conservation Society, called the report a “wake-up call” that British seas were in need of urgent help. “There is simply nowhere in Britain’s seas where marine life is effectively protected from human impacts,” he said. “Never has it been so important to take immediate action to protect marine life.”


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