Between 1990 and 2018, the global consumption of fish has increased by 122%. The hunger for seafood results in many different countries compete for dwindling resources, sometimes resorting to illegal methods of procurement. While the consumption of fish is increasing in the Global North, ocean grabbing threatens the livelihoods of billions of people in the Global South. Overfishing and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing also threaten the fish stocks themselves. As of 2019, more than one third (35.4%) of global stocks were overfished. The southeast Pacific is the worst affected: 66.7% of fish stocks here are at biologically unsustainable levels, closely followed by the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea (63.3%). The UN advocate for better regulation and monitoring to revert overfished stocks to sustainable levels. They also call to establish protected zones. As of 2021, 55% of marine key biodiversity areas were not yet safeguarded. Only 8% of the worldwide coastal waters and oceans were under protection as sanctuaries and reserves.
In the illustration, the soft, pastel colors and playful presentation clash violently with the motif of reckless overexploitation of fish.
Sources: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, “Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022”, Cambridge, (2022).