overexploited. However, overexploitation over a prolonged period of time is detrimental for stocks, and recovery is highly improbable for themajorityof theworld’sfish stock, including the Canadian cod (Neubauer et al. 2013). This is not only devastating for the survival of the fish stock, but also for food security as overfishing results in a permanent decline in fish catch. Food loss and waste in the fishery sector Overfishing has resulted in marine and freshwater ecosystems losing their potential productivity. According to Srinivasan et al. (2010), the total fish catch in 2004 could have been 9.9 million tonnes higher had fish stocks not been overexploited. From a regional perspective, the fish catch of North America could have been 23 per cent higher, while Europe and Africa could have had a 17 per cent higher fish catch. Habitat destruction is another reason why fish stocks are decreasing (Graham et al. 2007; Paddack et al. 2009). Coral reefs serve as important nursery habitats for fish (Nagelkerken et al.
overfishing been prevented since the 1950s the increase in fish catch in 2000 would be enough to cover the annual protein need of 90 million people. The increase in fish catch from the 1950s was a result of new and more effective fishing technologies that made it possible to fish further out and gain access to deep-sea fish stock. These fish stocks, however, are long-lived and late-maturing which makes them particularly vulnerable to overfishing (WWF 2012). While improved technologies, such as bottom trawling, increase yields in the short-term they can cause long-term and permanent declines in fish stocks. The east coast of North America and European Union fishing waters, in particular, have been severely over-fished in recent decades. Many fish stocks, including the cod off the east coast of Canada have been overfished to the extent of depletion (MA 2005). Similarly, overfishing has severely reduced the tuna stock in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Srinivasan et al. 2010). Research has shown that fish stocks are often highly resilient and capable of recovery even if