A recent international survey by Ipsos for the World Economic Forum found strong majority support for bans on catch and sale of endangered marine species. The survey involved almost 20,000 people in 28 countries between August 23 and September 6, 2019.
The World Wildlife Fund estimates there are some 400 endangered marine species.
Asking those who buy seafood regularly in the G20 countries, the survey found an overwhelming 77 per cent support a complete ban on fishing of endangered species.
The strongest support among the countries came from Colombia (91%), Mexico (90%), Peru (89%) and Argentina (88%). Canada was slightly below average at 75 per cent.
When asked if stores and restaurants should be banned from selling endangered fish, again 77 per cent said they would support such a ban.
The survey also found almost equally strong support (73%) calling for an end to government subsidies that lead to overfishing or illegal fishing.
Japan was the least supportive of such measures.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, over 33% of the world’s fish are harvested at biologically unsustainable levels, while 60% are being exploited at their limit.
Asking those who buy fish at least once a month about their concerns, some 81 per cent say it is important that the type of fish they buy is not on a list of species at risk of disappearing, and that the fish is sustainably caught or farmed (80%), and caught or farmed locally (72%)
The survey comes as the World Trade Organisation is negotiating to end harmful fisheries subsidies by later this year.
- World Economic Forum: media release Jan 4/20: Overwhelming Public Support for Ban on Fishing for Endangered Species, Poll Finds
- IPSOS survey: Global attitudes about sustainable fishing and policies to curb overfishing (pdf)
- IPSOS: press release: Jan 20/20: How important is sustainable fishing when it comes to what you eat?
- IPSOS: press release: Jan 13.20: Measures to curb overfishing receive widespread support globally
- CBC: Apr 27/17: A third of global fishing goes unreported, UBC researchers find