Experts Call for Raising Awareness of Impacts of Overfishing

26 April 2012: A panel of experts on the sustainable management of oceans and fisheries underlined the impacts of overfishing, calling for raising awareness of the issue during a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 26 April 2012.

Carrie Brownstein, Seafood Quality Standards Coordinator, Whole Foods Market, indicated that as of Earth Day 2012, the company has committed to refraining from carrying wild-caught seafood, flagged as harmful, and introduced a color-coded sustainability status in seafood departments to enable consumers to make more informed choices.

Andrew Hudson, Head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Water and Governance Programme and Coordinator of UN-Oceans, underscored the role of fisheries in the global economy, stressing that they are a major source of jobs. He welcomed actions to protect heavily depleted or exploited stocks, such as the measures taken by Whole Foods Market, the choices made by responsible consumers, and the legal frameworks established by the UN. He called on fishermen, NGOs and governments to join these efforts.

While stressing the role of consumers, Mark Kurlansky, author of the books “Cod," "Salt,” and “A World Without Fish,” identified international fisheries as the major obstacle to addressing overfishing and ensuring the sustainability of fisheries. [UN Press Release] [UN Press Conference Summary]