IMO: Sustainable Fisheries
Approximately 3 billion people rely on seafood as a significant source of protein. From the late 19th century to the early 20th, the fishing industry evolved from small, local operations to large-scale enterprises hauling in millions of tons a year. As the hauls have increased, wild fish populations have drastically decreased to about 10% of their previous numbers. Overfishing, defined as removing fish from the oceans faster than they can reproduce, can lead to biodiversity loss, species extinction, and ecosystem destruction, especially with trawling nets. If we do not find ways to sustainably fish while still providing our growing populations with seafood, we could run out of fish as soon as 2048. Sustainable fisheries ensure that the seafood industry continues to thrive in aquatic habitats, not only benefitting marine life, but humans, too, since sustainable fishing generates less waste, minimizes energy consumption, and reduces the use of chemicals that damage the ozone layer. In addition to preventing overfishing, the IMO strives to ensure safe, sustainable, and ethical working conditions for fishers - the fishing industry provides an income for 10 to 12 percent of the world’s population, so the problem of overfishing impacts more than just sea animal life. In this committee, delegates will collaborate to preserve the biodiversity of underwater ecosystems and protect the labor rights of workers in fisheries while ensuring that the billions who rely on seafood will have enough to eat.