When people think of animal welfare they frequently focus on land-based animals, and overlook those that exist in the world's oceans, lakes and rivers.
While there are several serious issues affecting the world’s fish populations, unsustainable fishing has long been pointed to as chiefly responsible for declining wild fish populations. While the pace of overexploitation of fisheries has slowed since 1990, and progress has been made in reducing exploitation rates and restoring overexploited fish stocks and marine ecosystems, the world’s fisheries remain in bad shape.
More than half of the world’s fish populations are at, or very close to, their maximum sustainable production levels as of 2009. Among the remaining stocks, close to 30 % are overexploited, producing lower yields than their biological and ecological potential. The declining global marine catch over the last few years, the increased percentage of overexploited fish populations, and the decreased proportion of non-fully exploited fish populations has led the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to conclude that the state of world’s marine fisheries is growing worse.