360 Depletion

The Problem:

More than 90 species of marine fish in Europe’s waters are threatened with extinction, according to a European Red List of Marine Fishes report published in 2015 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Anthropogenic factors like pollution, coastal development, offshore oil and gas extraction, and mining are putting European fisheries at risk. However, industrial-scale fishing and the economic pressures of a growing globalised seafood market is thought to be the main reason more species are under threat of extinction. The question of sustainable seafood is complex and has many dimensions to it like: what species are caught in certain locations, what fishing methods are used, and whether the catches are monitored appropriately to ensure compliance to catch quotas.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO): “About one billion people largely in developing countries rely on fish as their primary animal protein source” (that is one in seven humans on the planet). In addition to providing food, the fishing sector provides valuable employment for millions of workers across the world. As global human populations continue to increase, wild fish and shellfish populations of commercially-captured species can no longer support the demand for seafood products. Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants, especially fish, shellfish, and seaweed, in natural or controlled marine or freshwater environments. Aquaculture is seen by many as an option to help relieve pressure on wild fish stocks by providing an alternative efficient means of protein production. However, it is still a relatively young food production sector compared with agriculture and there are concerns about some practices and environmental impacts. The sector recognises the challenges and there is currently a lot of investment in creating new knowledge and technology to help overcome potential bottlenecks to the growth of the sector as well as alleviating concerns about its environmental impacts.

What seafood YOU choose to eat can help alleviate the pressures on vulnerable fish stocks, preventing their depletion. Sustainable seafood is caught or farmed in a manner that enables production of that seafood to be maintained in the long-term. If WE act now, some threatened fish stocks can be saved!

What Can We Do?

What seafood YOU choose to eat can help alleviate the pressures on vulnerable fish stocks, preventing their depletion. Sustainable seafood is caught or farmed in a manner that enables production of that seafood to be maintained in the long-term. If WE act now, some threatened fish stocks can be saved!

Tip 1: Make smart consumer choices. Only eat sustainable seafood. There are plenty of seafood guides available online which tell you what seafood is good for you and the planet, and what isn’t. Some supermarkets pride themselves on ensuring the seafood they sell is from sustainable sources.

Tip 2: Learn more about the fishing and aquaculture sectors so you can make informed choices as a consumer.

Tip 3: Ask your restaurant if the fish they are serving is a sustainable resource. Even asking the question may cause them to investigate sourcing sustainable seafood in the future.

Tip 4: Buy seafood that has certification stating it is sustainable, for example it holds the Marine Stewardship seal of approval: https://www.msc.org/, ASC Aquaculture Production: http://www.asc-aqua.org/, The Fair Trade Capture Fisheries Standard: http://fairtradeusa.org/certification/standards/download-center , Food Alliance: http://foodalliance.org/shellfish, Friend of the Sea http://www.friendofthesea.org/about-us.asp?ID=9.

Useful Resources:


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

New Series of Online Workshops

Co-Exploring Ocean Issues and Ocean Literacy – a free online 3 week workshop, seminar series and learning lab (with the option of 1 graduate credit for a fee). &nb...

Read more

‘Sustainable Fishing = Healthy Oceans’ Photography Competition Winners Ann…

The Centre for Development and Sustainable Fisheries (CeDePesca), an NGO working for sustainable fisheries in Latin America and a member of the World Ocean Network (Sea C...

Read more

Crab Watchers Wanted: New Citizen Science Project to Monitor Crab Species

How does finding a crab on the beach make you feel? Excited? Wary? Fascinated? By joining Crab Watch, a new citizen science project taking place across Europe, your searc...

Read more

Sea Change World Oceans Day Event - Safety at the Beach!

For World Oceans Day, Sea Change partner VLIZ held an event on "safety at the beach" in Oostend, Belgium, which over 180 enthusiastic visitors attended. The event include...

Read more

Sea for yourself! New Position Paper by the European Marine Board presents…

With our coasts and ocean changing faster than ever before, Citizen Scientists will play a huge role in helping science to protect them. What animals live along our...

Read more

Ocean Literacy for All : Sustaining SDG 14 Goals Through Ocean Science Edu…

Building on existing regional, national, and international ocean science education initiatives, such as those carried forward by the Sea Change project, the Intergovernme...

Read more

Sea Change Ocean Literacy event to be held at the Nisa Marathon in the Cze…

Sea Change third party iQLandia is organising a Sea Change event as part of the 17th Nisa Marathon, an annual canoe race on the river Nisa in Liberec, the Czech Republic ...

Read more

Youth Camp Teaches Teenagers of the Importance of Ocean Health

Sea Change third party AHHAA held a youth camp for teenagers from Estonia, Germany and Argentina in Tartu, Estonia from 22 - 24 March 2017. The course brought together 1...

Read more

Exciting Ocean Outreach Activities Revealed in the Sea Change Project’s Th…

Press Release: March 2017 The third issue of the Sea Change project newsletter showcases a range of innovative activities taking place across Europe to boost European ci...

Read more

New Marine Science iBook “Harmful Algal Blooms” to be Launched to Boost Oc…

Press Release: March 2017 A marine science iBook entitled “Harmful Algal Blooms” has been developed as part of NUI Galway’s contribution to an EU-...

Read more

Crab Watch!

Crab Watch is a citizen science initiative developed as part of the Sea Change Project. The initiative will explore how citizen science can be used as a tool for increasi...

Read more

Miniboats Help Students Learn About the Atlantic: Our Shared Resource

Imagine being part of a class that builds, decorates, and launches a miniature sailboat that can be tracked on the Internet as it sails the ocean currents around the enti...

Read more

Estonian Science Centre to hold a youth camp on marine sports and environm…

Estonian Science Centre AHHAA is organising a youth camp on the theme of marine sports and environmental protection at the beginning of January 2017. The camp will be hel...

Read more

Innovative Public Engagement Activities to Increase Awareness of the Ocean…

Press Release: October 2016 The Sea Change project is holding a series of innovative public engagement activities across Europe in 2016 and 2017 to change the way Europe...

Read more

New Online Course Offers Educators Innovative Ways to Teach Ocean Literacy

Press Release: October 2016 A free online course entitled “From ABC to ABSeas: Ocean Literacy for all”, led by Sea Change partner UNESCO and its Intergover...

Read more

Galway’s Young Coders use their Digital Skills to Raise Awareness of Marin…

Press Release: August 2016 Thirteen young Irish people were honoured for their work in creating innovative digital games and stories based on the health of the ocean at ...

Read more

Second Issue of Sea Change Project News Now Available

Press Release: July 2016 The second issue of the Sea Change project newsletter is now available to download HERE. Sea Change is a three-year EU Horizon 2020 funded proj...

Read more

Join the Sea Change - Take Action to Protect Our Ocean, Our Health

Press Release: July 2016 The Sea Change project invites you to take simple steps towards protecting our ocean by joining its new “Our Ocean, Our Health” camp...

Read more

Turning ABCs into ABSeas – Engaging Education Stakeholders to Bring Ocean …

Press Release: April 2016 Teachers, educators, outreach workers, curriculum designers, media representatives, government agencies, parents and students across Europe are...

Read more

Students Set Sail on a Transatlantic Ocean Literacy Initiative

In the coming weeks, the Wylde Swan ship is taking an educational voyage across the Atlantic Ocean (from the Caribbean to the Netherlands) with 30 secondary school studen...

Read more

Sea Change to Launch Marine Coding Challenge for Young People

Press Release: 23 February 2016 Coder Dojo enthusiasts are invited to submit games as part of the European project “Sea Change” which aims to create a deeper...

Read more

Think Big, Think Ocean Video Contest Now Open

Press Release: January 2016 Have you got a creative, innovative idea for how to increase people’s awareness and appreciation of the ocean? If so, you should enter the Se...

Read more

Are You Ocean Literate? – New Resources Launched to Raise Awareness

Press Release: September 2016 Did you know that the ocean provides half of the oxygen we breathe - enough for every second breath we take? Or that the majority of marine...

Read more

Whale Sculpture Highlights Threat of Plastic Pollution to the Ocean

Whale Sculpture Highlights Threat of Plastic Pollution to the Ocean A sculpture of two life-size whales, made from Somerset willow and 70,000 old plastic bottles, has ...

Read more

Is it Possible to be Science Literate Without Being Ocean Literate?

The Ocean Literacy Campaign is changing the way educators and the public think about ocean sciences education: teaching ocean sciences is not just enrichment, but is esse...

Read more

Bringing About a Sea Change to Protect Our Ocean and Our Health

Caption: Sea Change Consortium at the kick-off meeting in Plymouth, UK Sea Change, a new €3.5 million EU Horizon 2020-funded project, will address the challenge o...

Read more


Sea Change Promotional Material

  New Sea Change Infographics:How to make a Sea Change in the kitchen, bathroom, supermarket, office, on the commute, and when eating on the go.    ...

Read more

Sea Change Videos

  Make a Sea Change in the Bathroom from Sea Change Project on Vimeo.   WATCH: Make a Sea Change... Make a Sea Change in the Bathroom from Sea Change Proj...

Read more

Press Releases

10 2017 - New Sea Change Resources Launched to coincide with 'Our Ocean' and 'EMSEA' 2017 Conferences in Malta 06 2017 - Crab Watchers Wanted: New Citizen Science...

Read more



COLUMBUS Website Icon4

Jon Parr

Sea Change Coordinator

+44 (0)1752633338

COLUMBUS Website Icon5

Jon Parr

Sea Change Coordinator


 COLUMBUS Website Icon6

Marine Biological Association

Citadel Hill,  Plymouth,

PL1 2PB, United Kingdom

Back to top


Follow us on Twitter

@SeaChange_EU #OceanLiteracy #OurOceanOurHealth #BlueGrowth

Love Ocean Literacy?

Like us Facebook for regular updates on #OceanLiteracy and stories that inspire


Sea Change Vimeo channel

Follow us on Vimeo to see our upcoming project videos about Ocean Literacy

Back to top