The fishing industry is responsible for some of the most environmentally damaging practices affecting our seas and oceans today. Bottom-trawling (trawling for fish on the ocean floor) destroys the fragile ecosystem of the sea-bed, and while debates about quotas are reported in the news, illegal fishing remains widespread. The European Commission estimates that around 10% of seafood imports could be illegally sourced.
The very existence of many species is threatened by society’s appetite for fish flesh as over-fishing has resulted in tuna, cod, swordfish and marlin populations declining by 90% during the last century. Bluefin tuna, for example, is one of the most valuable fish on the planet. There is an increasing demand for its capture, with almost one-third of its catch from the Mediterranean alone arising from illegal and unregulated fishing. In September 2009, the European Commission gave its backing for a suspension of international trade in endangered Atlantic and