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October 30, 2023

Overfishing: A recipe for starved seas

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has begun the process of setting catch limits for the UK’s fish populations for next year. Every year, an independent body called the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) advises on sustainable catch limits.

But although our government talks of a ‘gold standard’ for fisheries management it consistently fails to follow the science. This year, a shocking 57% of fish catch limits were not in line with ICES advice, according to the government’s own advisers.

This puts huge strain on our ocean wildlife, as shown by the depletion of many fish populations. Currently, half of the most important fish species for the UK fishing industry are overfished or in a critical state, as found in our Taking Stock report published earlier this year.

Taking Stock Recipes Infographic. October 2023.