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Anchovy are small pelagic fish, that occur in large schools. They are an essential food source for many marine species, like rockfish, sea lions and sea birds. A large part of the global catch is turned into fish meal to feed livestock and fish in aquaculture.
Cod is the main component in Fish & Chips and fish fingers. Most stocks in the Atlantic are overfished and the species is listed as “endangered” on the IUCN red list. Cod is caught with bottom trawlers, which destroy the sea bed and produce high amounts of bycatch.
Haddock is a close relative of cod from the North Atlantic. It is caught in mixed fisheries together with cod or crustaceans. In many areas the haddock stocks are overexploited, mainly because of the bycatch of undersized individuals in the mixed fisheries.
Worldwide there are 14 species of hake, that are commercially used. Hake are predatory fish, hunting in the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. 13 of 14 hake stocks, caught by trawlers or longlines, are overfished or already collapsed.
Herring are one of the most abundant fish species in the world and commercially extremely important. The small fish live in large schools, which are an essential food source. Despite of its high abundance some Herring stocks in the Baltic and North Atlantic are overfished.
Plaice live on the sandy and muddy bottom off the coast in depth up to 400 meters. They are often caught together with other flatfish in mixed bottom trawl fisheries, which destroy the sea bed and produce high amounts of bycatch.
Roundnose grenadiers are deep water fish, living in ocean depths up to 900 meters. It is a long-lived fish species taking many years to mature. It is listed as “critically endangered” by the IUCN red list and its survival even more at risk than the one of pandas or tigers.
Sardines are small pelagic fish and known as the nomads of the ocean. They are mainly caught with large purse seiners and lights are used to attract sardines at night. Most of the stocks are not in a good state and considered as overfished.
The spiny dogfish is a small shark living close to the ocean floor. In many European countries spiny dogfish is sold as “small salmon”, “sea eel” or “rock salmon”. The stocks around Europe have collapsed by at least 95 %.
Beaked redfish live deep down in the cold waters of the North Atlantic. They can live up to 75 years and therefore reach sexual maturity late. Redfish give birth to living offspring, after carrying the eggs for 8 months. Most stocks are considered to be depleted.
The Baltic Sea has a very special marine life because of the low salinity. Besides sprat and herring, cod is the dominant fish species. The cod fisheries have been collapsed and still haven’t recovered, mainly because of a high amount of bycatch of juvenile fish.
The Black Sea is a small inland sea of only ~400.000 square kilometers. 390.000 tons of fish are caught in the Black Sea every year, with Turkey being the biggest fishing nation. Over 78 % of the fish stocks in the Black Sea are currently fished at unsustainable levels.
The Mediterranean Sea is enclosed by 22 different nations. It is an important area for shipping and tourism. Over 78 % of the fish stocks are currently fished at unsustainable levels and pollution through sewage and plastic debris is extremely high.
The North East Atlantic is dominated by deep ocean basins, with a maximum depth of nearly 6 kilometers. Fishing is mainly done by large trawlers, which can catch fish in waters of up to 2.000 meters depth. 51 % of the fish stocks in the NEA are currently overfished.
The North Sea is surrounded by 8 countries and connected to the Atlantic Ocean through the English Channel and the Norwegian Sea. Fishing is mainly done by trawling in coastal areas, resulting in the destruction of the sea bed and producing large amounts of bycatch.