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World Fisheries Day was established in 1997 to draw attention to overfishing, habitat destruction and other serious threats to the sustainability of our marine and freshwater resources. Observation can help bring awareness of the importance of aquatic environments in sustaining life both in and out of water. Each World Fisheries Day also provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the ever-increasing challenge of sustaining coastal communities and the livelihoods of those who live and work there..
Why Care about Fisheries?
• The human population consumes over 100 million metric tons of fish annually (Fisheries & Oceans Canada 2018)
• More than 25% of the world’s dietary protein is provided by fish. (gov.za 2020)
• Each year the Canadian fishery lands over 1 million metric tons of fish valued in excess of 2 billion dollars. (Fisheries & Oceans Canada 2018)
• The global fish market is valued at over 160 billion dollars (statista.com 2020)
• Fisheries and aquaculture employ more than 43 million individuals worldwide. (FA0 2018)
• With 60% of the volume of the world’s fish trade coming from developing counties, there exists a real need for international efforts to ensure decent working conditions.
• A recent United Nations study reported that more than two-thirds of the world's fisheries have collapsed or are currently being overfished. Much of the remaining one third is in a state of decline because of habitat degradation from pollution and climate change.
• The largest Northern Cod fishery in the world was located off the coast of Newfoundland. This engine of the Newfoundland economy collapsed in the early 1990’s due to overfishing and poor fisheries management. Twenty-five years later Newfoundland’s cod fishery remains closed.
• Escalating amounts of point and non-point pollution continue to threaten water quality and fish habitat
• All natural fish stocks today contain at least trace amounts of mercury.
Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in World Fisheries Day. Top R4R Picks will connect you to some excellent resources to support these efforts.
Other Classroom Resources from Learning for a Sustainable Future