Depletion of natural resources does not come down merely to extracting fossil fuels and wasting fresh water. Wildlife is a natural resource too, and marine ecosystems are particularly vulnerable before the human needs. Fishing is an ancient industry, however, today it became lucrative as never before. Modern techniques allow to catch as many fish as possible and trade it all over the world. As a result, overfishing puts a real threat to marine ecosystems – certain species become extinct, and the food chain for the others is broken.
Overfishing is recognized as a damage to the marine ecology by governments, nevertheless, illegal fishing remains a large though concealed part of the industry. Nearly 20 percent of the global fish supply is caught illegally. Fisheries that do not have a license for their business earn billions of dollars annually. Governments find it difficult to control fishing, and unregistered suppliers easily access the global market.
Fisheries all over the world are still open for businesses. As long as there are few property rights on the natural resources, businesses cannot see why they shall leave any fish in the ocean. Marine protected areas comprise less than 2 percent of the world’s ocean. Thus, there are few places for fish to recovery from intensive industrial practices. Coral reefs remain protected but they offer a shelter to a limited range of species.
Overfishing also threatens food security of the coastal communities. In the developing countries, these people strongly depend on fish nearby them. Fishing is an essential part of world economies, therefore, illegal fishing deprives governments of their income.