Oceana reports $1 billion worth of fish are tossed as bycatch annually

By on July 10, 2014
Bob Fisher moves a cownose ray, which was caught as bycatch off the coast of Virginia. (Credit: Virginia Sea Grant, via Flickr)

Every year, U.S. commercial fishermen throw out two billion pounds of edible fish — that’s nearly $1 billion of seafood, according to Reuters.

Fish caught accidentally are known as bycatch, and due to permit restrictions, quotas and dock processing complications, many are dumped back into the sea near death or already dead. And these aren’t puny or unappetizing fish — they’re potential meals.

Bycatch is considered one of the greatest threats to ocean ecosystems, according to nonprofit conservation group Oceana. Finding a solution will require policy makers to walk a careful line. While many commercial fishermen support sustainable and conservative fishing practices, over-regulation is a common fear in the industry.

Image: Bob Fisher moves a cownose ray, which was caught as bycatch off the coast of Virginia. (Credit: Virginia Sea Grant, via Flickr)

 

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